Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Rock and truth and being spat out...

It was pointed out last week that I hadn’t posted in two weeks. ::grins:: So here I am.

These last four weeks have been full for me, though. Full spiritually. I even sat down and wrote out a post two weeks ago (I think it was), but I didn’t feel released to actually post it. Maybe there was some error in it, or maybe the timing wasn’t right…I don’t know. So it joined the small collection of other un-posted posts.

Most of what these weeks have been full of, though, has been learning…having many beliefs strengthened and others challenged and some blown clear out of the water. The result of all of this is two deeper convictions that might, at first glance, seem contradictory.

The first is how vital it is that every single thing be tested against the Word of God. In John 17:17, Jesus said to the Father, "Your word is truth." If I do not hold fast to the Word of God as the only truth, then I am inviting myself to fall into error. And the biggest errors start with the smallest twists. I have discovered quite a few things recently that are taught as truths, that there is absolutely no support for in the Bible (that I or other preachers I respect can find). Some of them have come from twisted verses, and others have come as the result of man's if-that-then-this reasoning...even though the result of that reasoning is contradictory to other verses. And trying to stand on a false truth isn't going to get me anywhere.


I am enjoying a new appreciation for messages filled with Scripture that backs up every single thing spoken, for it definitely saves me from wondering where so-and-so got got such-and-such from the Bible. I beg your forgiveness as well, for I have not always done this myself, on this blog. I am also going to hold myself to a higher standard from now on. If I can find no scriptural support for something I long to share, then I will not share it until the Lord shows me support in His word for it! I'm talking nitty-gritty details, too. I do not believe it is safe to take a Scriptural truth and then teach implications from that truth unless even those implications can be backed up with Scripture. I've got to test everything I think God is telling me, too. It's not enough to read a truth, have a well-known Bible story come to mind, and take that as an example. I need to test even that by looking up and re-reading the story. (If you think that's extreme, keep reading...I demonstrated my own point while writing this.)

If you catch me breaking this standard from here on out, please point it out to me!

Second, I am discovering that our actions matter just as much as our theology. They almost matter more, for as James says, faith without actions is dead. And according to that verse, there's a lot of Christians walking around on dead faith!

There's a new link over there on the left called, "I think everyone should listen to..." Right now, the messages on there are YouTube videos from Francis Chan, but I'll be adding more from other places on different subjects. You know those verses in Revelation about the church of Laodicea? The church that is neither hot nor cold and whom God said He would spit out of His mouth? Almost every Christian I know believes that the American church is part of that church...yet Francis Chan is the first person I've ever listened to with the guts to actually help us face what that means.  He does it in some of those messages with so much love, and he does it in his book which I just read. (And just in case the devil just whispered to you that it's a money-making thing to sell the book...I'll tell you that all author royalties of the book--which is a bestseller--go to the Isaiah 58 fund which is a ministry that reaches to those in poverty. And no, it's not Francis Chan's ministry. He gives the proceeds to someone else's ministry.)

The paradox in this is that our theology matters for us because it puts the truth inside us. If what comes out of us is based on what is inside us, then it matters very much how much truth is in there.  I will not be judged according to whether or not so-and-so's theology is off...it only matters to me how much truth is inside me. Because whatever amount of truth I have been given, that is what I have to act upon.

And what am I doing with it? Am I hiding it under a bushel? (Luke 8:16) Am I burying it in a field? (Luke 19:11-27) Am I waiting to be spat out? I'm afraid that, for years, that's exactly what I was doing, and I praise and thank God that His mercy is shoving me off that lukewarm burner to a place where I must choose to either jump into the boiling pot or slip into the freezer.

I wrote a post awhile back about living a life poured out. God's really been impressing me that this is only the beginning. I don't know where He's leading me, but He's not letting me sit still! He's not even letting me remain in what used to be a new step of faith. To remain where I am and only do what I am doing would be direct disobedience...while to obey is to open my arms to blessings and gifts beyond my comprehension. I see many others that He's leading in the same way.


How about the parable Jesus told of the house on the rock? He said...

Okay. I was about to equate the rock to truth, and why we need to get into the Bible to know His truth, for I'm pretty sure that's how I've always heard that parable used. But I thought of my new resolution and went to look it up. And thank goodness I did (illustrating that point I made earlier), for that's not what Jesus said! Here it is, from Matthew 7:
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”
Did the same thing jump out at you, that jumped out at me just now?  Here it is again:
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”
You know what that means? It means that, until recently, I was that foolish man. And all the doctrine I knew wasn't benefiting me in the slightest.

Do you think I am interpreting it right if I say this means that, when the storms of life come, it is not our doctrine that enables us to stand upon His grace through those storms? That it is whether or not we have acted upon His words that enables us to stand? I'm not sure how else to interpret that parable.

It goes right along with James's statements that faith without works is dead, doesn't it? Here are verses 14-17 of James 2:
What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.
I like what Francis Chan pointed out here. These verses are not discussing the differences between faith and works.They are discussing the differences between faith that results in works, and faith with no works. The difference between a living faith, and a dead faith. Kind-of like how Jesus didn't talk about someone who found a rock and builds no house on it. He spoke the parable as though we don't have a choice about whether or not to build a house...just by living, we're building. And that sounds quite a bit like another parable He told, doesn't it?


Thus, you see what my life has been like lately. A question, which leads to looking up a scripture, which leads to having some beliefs strengthened and connected with half-a-dozen others, while other beliefs are found to be without any Truth behind them.

I pray that this is a season of correction and re-alignment, and that when the seasons change, I will be closer to my Lord and that much more willing and able to be His handmaiden.

1 comments:

  • Cara@TheSheetBoutique says:
    Friday, July 08, 2011

    Great stuff Katie... I've been waiting for it (wink wink). The worst error is error bathed in half truth!

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