Thursday, November 17, 2011

Your feelings vs. God's Word

Christians have a problem the world over.

The problem, is that somewhere along the line, many of us have decided that what we feel about what the Bible says is more important than what the Bible actually says. Really?

Many Pastors will have you believe that you must interpret the Bible in order to make sense of it. Even worse, they'll also tell you that you should be "applying the Bible to your life". Really?

a) If you interpret the Bible, you'll never know what God has to say, only how you feel about it.
b) If you sit there and turn the Bible into a "self help book", you've just exchanged the Bible from "that which speaks of Christ" into "a set of patterns and rules" that will bring you to salvation.

Someone I know likes to say, "If you can learn how to read, the Bible reads like a children's book!" While that may be an oversimplification, he does have a point. If you can learn to stop interpreting everything you read and just read it for what it says, you'll be doing yourself a huge favor.

As for the Bible being a "self help book", Paul tells us that "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." Do you see what Paul is saying? He's saying (in plain words) that you can not do anything and that your salvation is a gift of God due only to your faith in Him.

So don't wrap yourself up in what I call, "Commandment Worship". Paul tells us that the law is to be a schoolmaster to us, not a RULE BOOK of instructions on what "we can do". The commandments are a great thing to be used as a "moral blueprint" for society, but "religiously following" those commandments is a waste. You can't.

Galatians 3:24-25 (KJV) - Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

So back to the original issue... Does God care about your feelings? Sure! Any good father would care about their childrens feelings... The thing we must remember though, is no matter how strongly your child feels about something, as a father, you need to be more concerned with the big picture, than whether or not your son or daughter likes your decisions.

So when you apply it to God, it works out the same. God tells us that "His ways are above our ways". What this means, is that no matter what you or I think about any given issue, God's perspective on it is probably different. You can feel as strongly as you want to about: abortion, earthquakes, hurricanes, terrorist acts, wars, or whatever else it is that strikes a nerve, but at the end of the day, if you don't, won't, or can't wrap your head around the single fact that GOD IS IN CONTROL OF EVERYTHING, then you're really setting yourself up for disappointment and even worse, you're setting up everyone who you share your faith with for a life filled with confusion and an endless cycle of them doing it to others too. But from a more immediate concern, you're setting yourself up for constant and continual disappointment, because you're less concerned with GOD'S WILL and more concerned about your own will.

You'll thank me (not that you need to) if you can find a way to just accept the fact that God is in control of all, and how you happen to feel about it is irrelevant. If you think that because I've said that, that I'm uncaring or unkind, then you really don't understand love. While we're told what love is (very clearly I might add) in 1 Corinthians 13, if you don't realize that love (at the heart of the word) means that YOU CARE, then you're missing the point of it all. Just like a parent loves their child enough to prevent them from getting hurt or from sticking a fork in an electrical outlet, I too love you enough, to at least try to warn you of the dangerous paths that you may have set yourself up to walk.

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