Thursday, January 24, 2013
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I guess it's possible to get lost in a computer. I'm lost as soon as I turn on a computer, but that's not what I mean. What I'm describing happens to people who really understand computers. There was a Newsweek article a while ago that talked about how some business leaders were complaining about this emerging problem with some of their computer people. They were talking about computer technicians who just kept going deeper and deeper into programs, and spending lots of time on sophisticated functions that didn't really have anything to do with getting their job done. One of them had an interesting name for it - "the rapture of the deep" they called it; lost somewhere in that computer; making the computer an end in itself rather than what it's supposed to be, which I think is a means of getting a job done. You know, some people get lost in the Bible too.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Very Deep, But Very Dead."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God comes from James 1, and I'm going to begin reading at verse 22. "Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like." I think this verse is talking about people who know the Bible, but are fooling themselves. That's kind of scary, isn't it? I mean, we're Bible people. But it's possible to be self-deceived and in the process of getting to know the Bible you get self-deceived. Why? Because you've forgotten that the purpose of studying the Bible isn't just to know the Bible; it's to do it; it's to be changed by it, like looking in the mirror. What needs changing? You don't just get information; you take action.
So, like the computer buffs, they remember Bible facts, they discuss theology, they look for deeper and deeper meanings, they analyze the Bible, they dissect the Bible, they learn big words for things in the Bible, but they're getting lost in biblical space. To be sure, we should never take God's revelation lightly. It demands, it requires serious study. That's good. But the ultimate objective is not to know it; it's to do it.
2 Timothy 3:16 - "All scripture is God-breathed..." good, good. "...and is useful..." Oh, it's supposed to do something, it's not just something you know. Maybe you've been slipping into a state of let's call it uh...passive loyalty to the Bible. Oh, you've got the head part going. Yeah, you're strong in Bible information, but maybe you're weak on application. Maybe when you were a younger Christian you didn't know much about it, but you were applying it. It was changing you, wasn't it? Maybe the balance has shifted.
There are three ways to read the Bible. You can read it for information, you can read it for inspiration, and you can read it for transformation. And that last one is what God has in mind. When you pick up the Bible, are you asking every time you read it, "What connection does this make to something I'm going to face today?" Start a spiritual diary, and in it you write two things: what did I read today; what is God saying here and put it in your own words...not Bible words. And then, what am I going to do differently today because of what He said?" The Bible isn't just to be mastered. It's to be obeyed.
So don't get lost in a scriptural rapture of the deep. Oh yeah, go after the deep things of God to be sure, but only so they can deeply penetrate the way you live. Otherwise, you could be very deep but very dead.