Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Where the Lie Begins: Did God Really Say?

I recently heard someone say, "But that can't be what God meant..." in reference to a convicting Bible passage. If you haven't noticed (but who hasn't), the Bible is counter-intuitive. Living by faith is not living by sight. Obedience itself is an act of belief in the unbelievable.

Try these on for size:

  • Don't worry about ________ (fill in the blank). (Matthew 6:25)  Really? You've got to be kidding.
  • Make God your top priority--above __________ (fill in the blank). (Matthew 6:33) But what about _____? 
  • It's a blessing to be persecuted and insulted for Jesus' sake. (Matthew 5:11) Thanks, but no thanks.
  • Anger is equal to murder. (Matthew 5:21-22) Then lock me up and throw away the key!
  • Lust is equal to adultery. (Matthew 5:28) Pin on the "A" and get it over with....
  • Be kind to those who hate you; bless them (i.e. say good things to them), do good things in response to their evil words and actions against you. Pray for them. (Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:28, Romans 12:14, 21; 1 Peter 3:9) Umm... No. Not in my lifetime

Here's the rub. If you can't do these things the way God said, you're basically human. Surprise! You actually can't. You're not qualified. You don't have what it takes. Adam and Eve shouldn't have given in to temptation, but on their own, they were limited in their ability to withstand Satan's deception and their own sinful desires. But they tried. And failed.

Each of should read the Bible and, instead of saying (like the boastful Israelites), "“All that the Lord has spoken we will do!” (Exodus 19:8), we should cry with the tax collector, "God, be merciful to me, the sinner!" (Luke 18:13) Somehow, many of us have come to the conclusion that we can't ask God for help until we take care of the problem ourselves--or deserve His help. That's not what the Bible says, but it's what our society and our hearts often tell us. "God helps those who help themselves" is one of the greatest anti-biblical sayings ever. It has led many to the gates of hell.

Apart from the saving work of Jesus, by faith, we can never obey the Word of God, experience His forgiveness, power or enabling work of His Spirit. If I do not acknowledge my spiritual poverty and desperate need at the feet of His sovereign provision in Christ, I have no ability to live a life that pleases Him. I do not have the righteousness of Christ. I will flounder and fail, falling into despair as I look at my inadequacy and pale effort.

Try these:

  • Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst." (John 6:35)
  • "...the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out." (John 6:37)
  • “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28-29)
  • “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved..." (Acts 16:31)

Believe, yes. Do? On your own? No.

Yes, God has really said ________ (fill in the blank, from the Bible--not someone's twisted interpretation). He is waiting for my cry, for your cry, ready to cleanse, restore, and transform us into the wonderful image of His Son.

Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ (Isaiah 41:10)

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!" (Matthew 7:7-11)

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear from you! Please share your experiences, thoughts, questions or comments. Thanks for stopping by.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.