Probably all of us can plead “guilty” to reading Scripture with glazed eyes and a dull heart. I know I can. Some mornings, it takes my foggy brain (and heart) a bit to kick in to “receptive” mode. But also, there is a danger in becoming so familiar with a text that we tune out and miss its impact and the wonder.
Did you tremble when you opened the Word today?
[box]All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the LORD. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word. (Isaiah 66:2)[/box]
God delights in those who come to His Word with a humble and receptive heart, with such an awareness of its supernatural quality that it causes us, the reader, to tremble.
We can forget that this God-breathed text is meant to take us beyond the natural. And when we forget that, we miss out on some serious transformation.
Are we just reading the text to check the box, to get a warm fuzzy for the day, or are we truly willing to tremble before the holy Word and let it affect how we live? Take for example, how does the Word you read this morning impact you, if you get slammed this afternoon? How do you react when you’ve just been hit in the face with an ugly insult? Or someone unloads their anger on you?
Does the truth of Scripture, that you’ve been soaking in every morning, shape your response? Does it shape mine? It should.
Do these instructions immediately come to mind and produce a gentle response:
[box]“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Prov. 15:1)[/box]
[box]“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called . . .” (1 Peter 3:8–9)[/box]
[box]“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” (James 1:19–20)[/box]
Do we let this truth shape our lives or do we yawn through those words and then go on our merry way unaffected? Do I believe that a soft answer, a gentle reply to an angry spouse, friend, or coworker, really can turn away wrath?
Do I really believe that I’m supposed to respond to insult or evil treatment in brotherly LOVE?
Wait a minute, I have to “bless” the person who is being rude or harsh . . . Really? I can’t return their injury with a swift kick to their ego or at least place a creative jab on their pompous pride? At least let me raise my eyebrow a bit and give them the “you’re an idiot” facial response.
If I really believe that Scripture means what it says . . . I’ll live it . . . and if I’m living it, the transformation will be evident.
What I fear has happened in the Church today, is that we’ve become so complacent in our approach to God’s truth that we no long tremble at His Word, and therefore we never leave the natural realm.
We look like everybody else.
Nothing supernatural happening here.
What an indictment.
Of all places where the supernatural should be seen, it should be seen in the transformed lives of believers.
It should be happening in the most ordinary of days, in the most typical conversations, during a meeting at work, at the grocery store, in the market place, and in our homes. As a believer, we always have the opportunity to live beyond the “natural.”
Scripture should be shaping our every response. When it isn’t . . . our profession to know the Living God and be impacted by His Spirit-breathed Word . . . comes off as a sham. Titus 2:5 calls it blaspheming the word. To profess to be a Christian but live without transformation, causes the watching world to revile the word of God, rather than allowing them to see living evidence of the power of the gospel.
I want to live out the power of the gospel today by really living out what the Word says. I can’t do it in the natural, but by the power of His Spirit, I can live beyond the natural. I can be the living evidence of the gospel!
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