Opposite Directions

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8: 31-32

Abiding in God’s Word is necessary as disciples of Christ.  There is a moral commitment that takes place within a believer’s soul to this truth.  A deep reverence develops for what is sacred to God.  The number one commandment given to us as Christians is to “love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22: 37)  In order to fulfill this commandment, we must possess a living understanding and application of God’s Word within our daily lives.

It is important to pause for a moment and define exactly what it means to love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind.  As A.W. Tozer wrote, “Our Lord gave us a rule by which we can test our love for Him: ‘He has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him….if anyone loves me, he will keep my Word….he that does not love me does not keep not my words.’ (John 14:21, 23-24)  These words are too plain to need much interpreting.  Proof of love for Christ is simply removed altogether from the realm of the feelings and placed in the realm of practical obedience.”

In other words, to love the Lord is to be obedient to His Word. Unfortunately, love within our culture often involves disobedience and confirmation of sin.  This is not biblical love, but worldly love.  Many Christians have been deceived into a worldly love walk reasoning that they are “doing what Jesus would do.”   In the name of tolerance, they’ve become so broad-minded that they fail to remain obedient to the truth of the New Testament.  Their faith walk tends to be more socially minded than biblically minded, and sadly is furthered in many of our churches. It has been coined “progressive” Christianity; a version of Christianity where the New Testament is watered down to a culturally acceptable document that has zero zeal, conviction or commitment.  It is a counterfeit Christianity, and many within the walls of our modern church have fallen for it.  The attraction? It leaves many of us calling ourselves Christians while maintaining comfort within new cultural norms. 

Since progressive Christianity tends to be simply a reflection of the current culture, it is continually ever-changing.  If you are engaged within a progressive church community, I would implore you to run! No where did Jesus ever teach that the acceptance of sin is love.  I always find it ironic when progressive Christians make the assertion that tolerance should be our only course of action toward any and all things in the name of love when Jesus stood for quite the opposite.  He said follow me, or I do not know you.  Without complete salvation through Him, Jesus spoke of eternal punishment in hell. I’d say Jesus was fairly intolerant.  He left no neutral ground for interpretation or compromise. We too are called to be intolerant when safeguarding God’s Word within our lives and the communities around us. 

In my own life, the Word has become a guide for all decision-making.  Quite honestly, I cannot imagine my life without it.  Better than any spouse, friend, counselor, etc., it applies to ALL areas of life, offering valuable and steady guidance.  I suppose this is the way God intended it to be.  Without this understanding, I would be lost in my adult life.  Although that is easy to write, I recognize how deeply difficult it can be to abide in God’s Word in the face of feelings and surroundings!  More times than not, abiding is a decision made contrary to what I feel or see.  Believe me, I get it. Many times I have learned the hard way that emotional decision-making shifts like the sand and can be deadly. The same can be said for cultural decision-making. To love the Lord is to keep his Word even in the face of adverse feelings and culture. We must love God ahead of people, and loving the Word above sin. 

Where do you sit? Are you a worldly Christian or biblical Christian? We are called to the latter; a church body with a deliberate, personal commitment to Jesus Christ and His biblical teachings. 

I want to encourage you to build your life on the solid Word of God. By this alone will you know that you are truly His disciple.  The Word of God is like a seed.  It will produce a like-plant harvest in your life…one that is in unison with the truths set forth in the Bible.  Just like the seed of a tomato seed cannot produce anything other than a tomato plant, so too is the seed of the Word.

xo Carre