Did God Say? (Part 1)

It’s hard to overstate the need for knowing “what God said.” (But you know me…I’ll try)

Knowing, not in the sense of being acquainted with, but of intimacy.

Knowing that you know.

When I say we are living in a time of great deception and that it is going to increase, we have a tendency to look outward as we see the world cloaked in darkness. While that is true, we must also look inward because the threat is very real.

The world is flooded with lies and misinformation, and the pursuit of truth isn’t easy.

As Christians, we must heed the Apostle Paul’s advice to the church of Corinth and be careful we do not become “followers of men.” When we do, we’ll find ourselves interested more in the defense of a person than the pursuit of truth.

While our first inclination is to apply this to the world of politics, and rightfully so, this is an issue within the Christian Church as well.

In this first installment of a three part series, I want to look at our approach to the Word. When we open our bibles are we endeavoring to know what God said, or what we want Him to say. Are we seeking to know His truth, or for affirmation of ours.

Let’s take a close look at 2 Timothy 4:3. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”

Paul warned a time would come when some would no longer “endure” the truth, but raise up teachers telling them what they want to hear. They will “turn their ears away” from the truth and turn to fables.

Is that me? Is that you?

One day a man was driving through the countryside when he saw an old barn on the side of the road. Painted on its side were multiple targets, each with an arrow dead center on every bullseye. Amazed, the man pulled over to ask the farmer how he’d become such an expert archer. “Easy,” he replied. “I shoot the arrow first, and then paint the target.”

How often do we, when handling the word of God, shoot the arrow first? How often have we predetermined what we want it to say as we pull out our paint and brush?

Unfortunately this is prevalent in many churches today.

My belief is that it is due in part to our lack of discipleship making. Jesus said that if we were to follow Him, we had to “deny ourselves” and “take up our cross.” When was the last time you heard a message on “The Art of Dying To Self”, or “How to Deny Yourself in Five Easy Steps”?

Carnal Christians pursue the earthly, temporal things, and use the Word of God to do it. Jesus said we should not store up for ourselves treasures on earth but should store up for ourselves treasures in heaven. (Matt 6:19-20) Paul said we are to set our minds on things above, not on the things of the earth. (Col 3:2) Spiritual immaturity will have you pursuing earthly treasure while focused on worldly pursuits.

As Believers, our level of maturity rests solely with us. As the Bereans confirmed by Scripture what they heard, so should we. (Acts 17:11) There’s a lot of “2 Timothy 4:3” preaching in today’s pulpits, and you need to grow in the Word to recognize it.

You need to put in the work.

One last moral to the story…

What would have happened had the man driving through the countryside not stopped to ask his question?

He would have gone about his life believing this farmer was the greatest archer he’d ever seen. And if by chance he wanted to learn the sport, who better to instruct than this man.

If you find yourself in a church where you’re unable to question the farmer or hear the words “You can’t touch God’s anointed,” you’re not in a church, you’re in a painted barn.

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