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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Growth Impacts Understanding and Application of the Bible

Psalm 46:10 is a passage that has impacted my Christian experience throughout my journey as a believer.  The way it has impacted me has changed.  The changes are not because the meaning of the passage has changed.  The changes are because of my growth as a believer and the changes in my experience.
How does the Bible change as you grow?  Or does it?  Thoughts at DTTB.
As a young believer I was striving to know God.  It was a passion.  I have shared in this blog that within six months of trusting Christ I was leading 7 Bible studies a week – I do not recommend that.  The point was that I was striving to gain God’s approval.  All of the environments in which I had lived thus far in my experience were competitive.  Academically, athletically, socially, I had to prove myself to my mentors and peers.  At the time I was in Air Force pilot training, yet another highly competitive environment.  So my natural response to any challenge was to dig in and perform to the best of my ability, so 7 studies.

Years later I was confronted with Colossians 2:9 – 10.  I am complete in Christ.  One does not compete to become more complete when one is already complete.  That wrenched my entire understanding of my relationship with Christ sideways.  I realized that I was striving to do something that Christ had done for me.  Rest, abiding, waiting not competing or performing became the new basis of my relationship with my Lord, there were major and minor relapses into performance – a reality with which I continually battle to this day.

My drive has always been to help others in their Christian life, but now the focus had shifted from getting people engaged in performance to resting in their completed position in Christ.  Part of that has been striving – oops there is that word again – to equip people to know Christ through His Word.

I have taken on that burden.  Shouldn’t have, but did.  I have led workshops internationally on how to more effectively study God’s Word.  I have three international trips on the books in the next six months.  I meet with men weekly on this, and I have a 10 week workshop scheduled to start at the end of this month.  Striving?

Psalm 46:10 tells me that God is going to be exalted.  So how do I rest, in that and still engage, steward, and equip and not segue into performance in the process?  First I have to, like the passage commands, know that He is God.  Second, I have to embrace the reality of the attitude Paul expresses in 1 Corinthians 15:10; Colossians 1:28 – 29; and 2 Timothy 2:24 – 25.  It is my responsibility to engage.  I rest in the fact that it is God who will grant the acceptance and application of what I share.

That lifts the burden.

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