My friends, it is too easy to become dependent on something other than the Word of God for your sufficiency in life and ministry. It is simply too easy to become consumed with some idea or some egocentric goal and forsake the divine authority.
Anyone can quote the Bible and convincingly show that it supports their position. We can make the Bible say what we want it to say. Pastors and teachers sadly do this all the time and people listen without considering what is being said. And all too often – far too often – what they say is out of harmony with the Word.
By “The Word”, I do not mean simply the written Word – a collection of letters jumbled into words, verses and chapters on a page in some translation.
I mean the Eternal One, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, He Who Is and Was and Is to Come, the Messiah, the Holy One of Israel, the Savior of the Nations, Jesus Christ.
I would be an atheist were it not for Jesus. Nothing else of religion – be it Christian or otherwise – has any resonance for me. But for Jesus, there is nothing for me anywhere in the world of religion. He is literally all there is.
In my ignorance, he has taught me. In my blindness, he has led me. In my foolishness, he has reproved me. In my darkness, he enlightens me. In my pride, he humbles me. And he does it all without malice or hate. He sees me as no one else can.
His words are precious to me. Each sears into my heart. He writes his message on the tablet of my heart, and I am both wounded and changed.
So, when I hear people evoke his name for their agendas, call upon him to bless their religious games, it cuts to the quick. When people misquote Him or use His words to mean something he did not mean – when they try to bend Him to their will, I feel like Simon Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane. I take up my sword and I flail away wildly,
“NO! NO! You’re wrong! Let Him go! Let Him GO! You abuse Him!”
Tears burn my eyes – tears of rage and tears of shame. Not tears of my own shame, but tears of shame that others like me would disgrace him so. I bellow and stomp and roar, for He is precious to me. I lose control.
But it is not mine to judge and execute. Even then my foolishness is turned on its head, and he heals despite me.
And still he remains. He takes their abuses, and still pours his grace upon them. The one who sought forgiveness for those who parted his garments still works despite me and despite those who misuse him. This I will never understand. Those I would strike he allows to continue. He reminds me that I am not called to their lives but to my own.
He is too wondrous to treat as our own, for his purpose is beyond our own. It is worse to misuse him than to reject him. May we instead long after Him – the Living Word – and become wholly dependent upon Him in all things.