Will I manipulate or humble myself under God’s Word?

“Our goal is not to master or manipulate this Book but to treat it as the very Word of God and to humble ourselves underneath it and to try and understand it.  And there’s a big difference between trying to master it and manipulate it and trying to humble ourselves underneath it and understand it, and that’s the approach we need to have…”

I’m glad for this statement from a pastor I’m listening to this morning.

How many pulpits are filled with ‘manipulators’ of the Bible and those who demonstrate an attitude of having ‘mastered‘ God’s revelation (thinking of the recent May 21st Judgement Day foolishness).  It demonstrates a right understanding and a right attitude regarding the study and proclamation of God’s Word from a place of humility before God. (consider Isaiah 6)

But this statement wasn’t made with a specific application to the preaching of God’s Truth but rather to the listener, the responder… to me.  These are opening comments of preparation for the study of God’s word, more specifically the letter to the Roman’s.  There are hard truths in God’s word; and how we or how I respond to these truths, especially in the living out or experience of these realities, will reveal my heart. 

Am I truly humbling myself underneath the Word of God and trying to understand it in light of God and the gospel… or am I simply content to find some level of mastery of what the Bible says or have I been trying to manipulate God’s words to fit into the context of what ‘works for me’?  And, when God ordains something in my life that I wouldn’t have expected and certainly don’t want, does humility and submission to God go out the window?  Do I push away from what God has perfectly planned for me for His purposes and my good?

Is my faith motivating obedience to God in my life? 

Recalling from our care group last night, two lies that we believe before salvation and two lies that hinder us as christians…

‘I can please God on my own by the way that I live.’  …self-righteousness, rooted in pride. (look at all the good things I do for God)

‘I’m not bad and don’t need saving.’  …failure to honor God as God. (also understood as God is so pleased with my good stuff, He won’t mind the few sins I don’t want to deal with).

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4 Responses to Will I manipulate or humble myself under God’s Word?

  1. Hi, Tim – This is very good. We’re so used to having everything tailored to suit ME in today’s world, that it’s almost an affront to learn that we need to submit to what the Bible teaches. It’s easy to want to make it fit US, instead of striving to be transformed by it. I remember being a teenager reading and memorizing Scripture and actually thinking, “Man, I’ve got a good handle on this!” Ahhh, the foolishness of youth! So thankful that the Lord is patient…

  2. TimWitten says:

    I’m with you, Blaine… grateful for God’s mercy, patience, longsuffering and His redeeming sanctifying love. It still baffles me that first, He took care of all my sin for all time at the Cross… and then He promises to sanctify me in His Truth so that His righteousness might be more and more evident in my life so that His name would be praised. How crazy is it that in those times I think I want it my way… He doesn’t regard my sin against me but rather delights in His plan and purpose being accomplished by His grace and power. (did I understand you took to the mountains on your bike recently?)

  3. I did indeed spend a few days in the Rockies, but alas, not on my bike. I had to sell my Buell a while back when cash was tight. 😦 Major bummer, but I’d rather eat than ride I guess LOL. I’ve got my eyes on BMW 1200 RT eventually. 🙂 My middle son and I went out together. I’ve sort of made it a tradition to take each boy to the mountains when they reach the tween years. Gives us time to be together without Mom and four other brothers! It’s really pretty cool. I give each one of them a journal that their grandpas and their uncle and myself have all written in, passing on our collective wisdom and Godly encouragement. So far I’ve also given each one (3 down, 2 to go) a knife engraved with something meaningful for each particular boy – and we all know how boys love knives!
    This last trip was with my most tender hearted son – he cried a couple of times reading through his journal ;).

    • TimWitten says:

      I’m sad with you brother… I also sold my Bandit 1200S this past year. Both my brother in law and father in law have their BMW’s … and maybe down the road I would like the opp… but for now, no bike riding. Of course, the benefits of time with our children is a good thing. Thanks for your example expressed here. I hope many hear and learn and pursue these moments with our boys. I have 3 and 1; I love them all and know they are all so very different and I’m grateful to God that He knows me and others as He created us…. I’m digging the journals with past generations included.
      Thanks brother, I’m glad for the fellowship.

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