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Daily Devotional: Is Scripture Your Standard? [Oct. 20th, 2006|11:26 am]
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2 Timothy 2:15-18 (NASB)

 

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.  But avoid worldly {and} empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, {men} who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some.

 

 

 

Do you know what the Bible really says about things?

 

I grew up in the Christian church and learned the “basics” of Christianity: I learned about the Trinity, I learned about Adam & Eve and sin, I learned about Jesus’ birth and death and resurrection.  I learned about the Ten Commandments, and Moses and Noah and David and Goliath.

 

Growing up I always had an interest in spiritual things and loved to sit and discuss spiritual topics with friends and family.  I could easily give exact scripture references, or at least give accurate paraphrases of verses, on many topics.  I was pretty sure that I had a good understanding of the Bible and what God expected of me.

 

A few years ago when my marriage was on the rocks, I was searching desperately for information about marriage in the Bible.  I began reading some things that didn’t sit well with me – things I downright didn’t like!  There were things in the Bible that seemed to contradict everything I believed about being a woman, about being a wife, about my place in this world.

 

Has this happened to any of you?  Have you ever thought you were living your life in accordance with the Bible and then come upon a passage that seems to shout at you “You’ve got it all wrong!” ?  It’s a hard thing to deal with. 

 

My first inclination was to reject what the Bible had to say – those things don’t apply to me today . . .that was a different culture back then . . .i’m sure it doesn’t really mean THAT.

 

I felt God speaking to me over and over in the following months . . . And I began to ask myself “By what standard can I say that X verse still applies to me today, but X verse doesn’t?”  By the standards I was using (which were basically just whether I liked the verse or not) then anyone else could just as easily reject something I considered 100% true – like Jesus’s divinity, for example.  By what authority was I able to accept the verses that taught me about Jesus’ sacrifice, yet not accept verses that taught me about dying to myself and doing things that didn’t sound like very much fun, in order to have a holy marriage?

 

I began examining the beliefs I held about what my “rights” were as a woman, as a person, as a wife, as a mother . . . I began examining the values I had believed were good for me – after all, they sounded really good and healthy.  Like “God helps those who help themselves” – I thought this was scriptural!  After all, it mentions God!  This was my motto for a long time and how I justified trusting only myself (and my judgement) to get things done . . . not really trusting God to take care of me.  The truth is God helps those who fall at his feet and humbly acknowledge their need for his work in their life.  Or what about “To thine own self be true” – I knew that one was Shakespeare but I’ve heard more than one person say they thought Shakespeare had gotten it from the Bible.  It sounds sort of Biblical, doesn’t it?    This is a concept that is all over our culture today!  We are not to be true to ourselves, though – we are to be true to GOD.  There is a big difference!

 

There are many, many things that our culture promotes that sound very nice . . . but often they are contrary to scripture.

 

So what do we do when we come across a belief that we’ve had drilled into our mind our whole life, and then we come across a Bible verse that seems to contradict it?  For example, we are often taught to rely on our instincts . . . to go with what our gut tells us . . . to use our best judgement . . . but what do we do when we see repeatedly in the Bible that man’s judgement is flawed?  What do we do when we see over and over that we are to rely on God’s standards and not our own?

 

I have to say that coming to this realization: that many of the seemingly noble and honorable and healthy values I’d been living by were contrary to scripture – well, that was probably the largest turning point in my life, spiritually.  It wasn’t as if I was trying to live contrary to scripture.  The things I believed in sounded good! 

 

At that time, I had to decide if I really believed that God’s plan for me, shown through scripture, was the best thing for me, even if it contradicted what *I* and the rest of society thought was best for me.

 

I had to decide if I was going to rely on scripture as my guide in living my life and making decisions.  I had already determined that I thought scripture was valid enough to believe in and accept Jesus’s sacrifice for me so that I could have eternal life.  Now I had to decide if I was going to get in line with the REST of scripture – the hard stuff – the parts that aren’t popular and the parts that require me to die to myself and lift God’s will above my own no matter what.

 

I can’t say that I have perfected this trust in scripture, or that I have perfected living my life based on scriptural instruction.  I mess up a lot and I have to repent.  But I did make a decision.  I decided that if I was to believe in and benefit from Jesus’s sacrifice, then I had no grounds to reject anything else that was put forth in scripture.  If one part was God’s will for me, then all parts are God’s will for me.  I don’t get to pick and choose what I like and what I consider applicable to my life.  It is ALL applicable to my life, even in today’s world.  Don’t you remember?  God never changes!  Neither does the application of his word in our lifes.

 

So – take some time and examine the values and beliefs that you live by.  What are the standards that you consider to be worthy of applying to your life?  How do you make your decisions?  Are these values scriptural?  Are they contradicted by scripture?  Under whose authority are you living your life – yours or God’s?

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