Bible Mike Wonders

Think What It Says | July 4, 2010

In the past few weeks I have not written much as my physical condition has made that difficult. My disability can be very limiting at times. Due to sever muscle spasms my neck pain has gotten much worse, but the pain radiating down my shoulder and across my chest is no slouch. Turning to my left is extremely painful, but sneezing, coughing or simply sniffing a dripping nose is terrifying. I swore nearly thirty years ago that I would never take medications like this, but today I have taken methadone for chronic pain and vicodin for what is called breakthrough pain and I hate doing so. It could be worse for nearly six years I was on 200 transdermal units fentynal to deal with even worse chronic pain. Pain so debilitating that I could not move without whimpering like a baby. I finally agreed to the narcotics after weeks of being curled up in a ball on the floor unable to move. For years I prayed for healing, but always ended my prayers with an irresistible statement that not my will but His be done. I figured that healing was in my interest primarily and it should not take place except if it were for His glory or would extend His plan. I fully believed that He could heal me if He willed it, but I also believed that it must be His will not mine that dictated that healing. It took many years for me to understand why I felt that way.

After I lost my abilities to read, write, walk on my own or even recognize common things I eventually became nearly totally unaware of my surroundings. For nearly three years I was bedridden. Needing to be carried to the tub for bathing, helped on the toilet and fed by hands of others. In June of 2008 I became more aware and noticed that a black senator from Chicago was vying for the presidential nomination against Hillary Clinton and that John McCain was running for president with someone who looked like a reality TV star as his running mate. That was quite confusing, but not as confusing as seeing my children who had changed so much when I was gone. Two of my older children were gone and had rejected any relationship with me refusing my requests for contact. My younger ones were a little resentful about some of the things I had apparently said and done when I was not myself. My real grieving began. Why would God awaken my to such horrible rejection and sorrow? There should have been rejoicing, but there seemed to be only indifference and rejection. I was heart broken. Things got a lot worse before they got better.

I wanted to call my old pastor, but he was no longer around. In fact my church hade dissolved while I was out of it and all my Christian fellowship was gone. I turned to radio and the internet and due to God’s grace discovered some great teachers like John MacArthur, John Piper, Alistair Bigg, R. C. Sproul, Charles Stanley, and Chuck Swindol. Studying the book of Job as wells as James and Jude also helped immensely. James and Jude directed me to clear teaching and Job helped me realize my right relationship with God and helped me to truly recognize God’s sovereignty. My turmoil was one of the greatest blessings of my life.

I am clay that is being formed just the way the great potter needs me to be formed in order for His great Will to be fulfilled. Like Job I may not know the what or the why, but like Job I am learning that it really none of my business. It is the potter’s business and I am here to be used by the potter for his purposes. That and to worship Him are my only purposes for existing. Any other purpose I give myself is just my ego getting in the way. It is not a matter of fairness or what is right from my perspective. I am the created not the creator. If only I had realized that sooner in my life.

James tells us in chapter 2 that we are to be doers of the word not just listeners. Actually I think that is not quite enough. If we are doers of the word only we can become trapped in a legalistic mindset that will steal from us all the benefits of knowing God’s grace as fully as we should to experience His joy. We need to change our entire mindset about God and our relationship with Him. He owes us nothing. NOTHING. We owe Him everything and are unable to repay Him for what He does give us. Not only is our salvation a gift of His grace, so is the faith by which we believe for salvation, so is the heart that softens enough to turn to Him. Everything is a gift of His sovereignty. More on that another time.

My main point is that God wants us to think not just feel our way into a relationship with Him. Most Christians today don’t believe that Satan is real, fully one third believe that Jesus actually sinned while He was on the earth, 25% dismiss the authority of the Bible in directing our moral lives. These are professing Christians not atheists or agnostics we’re talking about here. Why? Because they are ready to believe anything that makes them more comfortable with themselves and more secure in defining God as they want Him to be. They deny the very sovereignty of God and set themselves up to be among those who will be told by Jesus to be gone because He never knew them. They have chosen to believe in a god of their own making rather than the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The God who is rather than the god they want.
Isaiah 1: 8 tells us to reason together or in the Message version to sit down and argue this out. We are not to leave our brains at the door when we come to Christ, but we are also not to leave God outside the argument while we make our own decisions. It is reasonable, even logical to have faith. We just need to think biblically and not just go by our “feelings” suppositions, desires or ‘gut instincts.” Romans 12 says we are to renew our minds and Philippians reminds us to put our minds on things above. We need to do away with “I think”, I believe”, “I feel” or “My god would never do such and such.” Our personal opinions are based on false information and a depraved nature and will always be suspect because of that.

We need to move to “The Bible says,” because then we will learn to think, feel and believe the right things, the things that our sovereign God has put in place. We need to recognize His sovereignty and our own depravity in order to move in the right direction. Experience is not a good basis for theology. Experiences can be confusing and deceiving by themselves. However, good theology can be the basis for the right experiences. I don’t know where he said it but I know it was C.S. Lewis who said that not listening to theology doesn’t mean you have any ides about God, but it does mean you will have many bad ideas about God and your life. Too many of us have been listening to the latest trend in thinking and experience that feels good to us, but therein lies a downward slope that gets steeper all the time. I have learned to understand my experiences in light of God’s Word not to try to make God’s word fit my experiences.

I don’t want justice from God. Neither His definition of Justice nor mine will do me any good. His definition will put me in hell and mine will put me in a place without Him at all now and for all eternity. I want and long for His mercy, His grace and I am prepared to live whatever life on earth fits His plan for all of us in order to receive His grace in the end. Think about it. Read His word and you will find that there is joy even in the most difficult of circumstances when you do things His way.

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