Thursday, October 9, 2014
October 8 – Slicing through confusion
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing even to the point of dividing soul from spirit, and joints from marrow; it is able to judge the desires and thoughts of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 NET)
The most popular form of Christianity comes in heavy doses of feel-good information and entertainment. A lot of pop-Christianity actually does teach the truths of God, but it doesn’t challenge listeners (or readers) to practice it. If the truths of God are not lived out, they just remain hidden and dormant in the hearts of whoever hears them, like ammunition in a warehouse. People have become obese with information, with notebooks and lesson plans full of wonderful words, but their spirits are malnourished.
The goal of this blog is for each of you to go out and practice what you learn – but do you? If so, this promise would become a reality for you. All the confusion in your life could become crystal clear, because the Word of God working in you will be able to slice through to the core of what is going on around you. Why do you think that pastors and prayer counselors are able to speak directly to you, even to the point that you wonder if they’ve been listening in on your phone conversations? “How did he know that about me?” is often the response we get after services. The reason is that a man or woman of God who doesn’t just read the Word, but actually lives it out to the point of sacrifice – that Word becomes sharper than a double-edged sword. Their discernment is sharp and their spirit is alert to the slightest nudges and proddings of the Holy Spirit. They can immediately see what is going on in the spiritual world, and can quickly align their emotions and their faith to be the most effective.
The saddest thing for us pastors is to work hard and invest much effort to teach the Word of God to a church full of hurting people, show them the way to freedom, and then discover that though they loved hearing the Word, they don’t practice what they are taught. When people only persevere because a pastor has to keep onto them, or forgive because their pastor challenges them, or be faithful in coming to church because they have to be constantly called or texted – they are unable to experience the full power of the Word. This promise is of a living Word that makes all things clear, that separates confusion from calm. Isn’t that what we all long for? Those who go against their feelings and just obey the teachings that they have been given are the ones who begin to see and hear God’s voice and direction more distinctly than ever.
When people ask us how we can be so sure of blessings or miracles that we determine, it comes from a lifestyle of immersion into both the reading and practicing of God’s word, even to the point of pain. This is available to anyone who is willing to sacrifice selfishness and fears to just jump in and believe no matter what.