Monday, April 7, 2014

Cyclone Action

One of the pulpits at St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh
     Several Christmases ago, my dear husband bought me a new Dyson Pet Hair vacuum cleaner.  With a constantly shedding basset hound, we needed it!  It has a cyclone motion as it picks up hair and dirt kind of similar to a small tornado in a tube.  Certainly does the job!
     As I was sweeping the floors the other day, I thought about that cyclone action, and I pictured in my mind how much it resembles the world we live in.  There are ideas, philosophies, world views, information and religions swirling around our heads every day as we walk through this world.  We cannot avoid being confronted by this since we live in the age of electronic gadgets where information is disseminated at the speed of light.  So how can we successfully navigate in our environment without being taken in by world views that run contrary to the Bible?
     Perhaps the best place to answer that question is the start with our daily routine.  On average, how much time do we spend reading and thinking about God's Word?  Is it a regularly established time set aside or is it haphazard?  The answers to these questions will help us evaluate how prepared we are on a daily basis to face the onslaught of worldly ideas and values.  I firmly believe that without preparation we will be vulnerable to the misguided philosophies spun by the Enemy rather than the clear truth as spoken by God.  This is evident in some of the churches today that have compromised their stand on matters which God clearly spells out in His Word.  This results in a weak witness to the world.  Either we believe what God has said or we do not.  Unfortunately, there are many who have not spent the time mining the depths of the Bible to know both God's character and His Laws.  With this in mind, let us look at several reasons why we need to make time for study of God's Word.
     2 Timothy 3:16 tells us why Scripture is valuable to believers:  "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness..."  Certainly, if we are to face the ideas presented to us daily, we have to know what God thinks about things so we can think His thoughts after Him and be able to communicate them to others.  Likewise, His Word trains us, rebukes us, corrects us and helps us grow into righteousness as the Holy Spirit applies it to our life.
     Secondly, God's Word is referred to as "the Sword of the Spirit" (Ephesians 6:17).  Not only is it capable of providing a sure defense against all the vain imaginations and false ideas swirling around us, but it is also able to discern our own thoughts and heart.  Hebrews 4:12 says:  "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart."  This is one reason that the Reformers stressed that the Word is the only rule of faith and practice for the believer.
No traditions of men, business models, New Age concepts, or other ideas can replace the Bible as our sure foundation for faith.  Jesus clearly said in Matthew 24:35:  "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away."  What our Lord has spoken remains long after all other philosophies have disappeared.  Therefore, it benefits us to meditate on God's Word since His truths are eternal.
     Finally, the Word of God is what renews our thinking, tears down vain imaginations and brings peace to our soul.  The Apostle Paul wrote this about renewing our minds:  "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."  The only way we can renew our minds is by studying the Bible.  God wants us to have the mind of Christ, and this only happens when we put His Word into our thinking throughout the day.  In addition, Paul wrote these words of encouragement to the Corinthians and to us as well:  "5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;" (2 Cor.10:5).  We cannot cast down vain imaginations or ideas unless we know what the Bible says.  As we know a Scripture verse, we can come against faulty thinking at just the right time.  In my own life, when I am tempted to feel down about the loss of our grandson, I remind myself of the words that Jesus spoke in John 14:1-2 about not letting our hearts be troubled.  Instantly, I can stop the downward spiral by knowing God's Word.
     The Psalmist who wrote these words in Psalm 119:11 gives us sound instruction:  "I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you."  This should be our prayer daily.  Our walk, our worldview and our sanctification depend upon the depth of our study of God's Word.  As we immerse ourselves in His truth, we will better be able to avoid absorbing the faulty reasoning and ideas offered by our world. We must remember that only God's Word will last forever.  Lets be faithful students on a daily basis so we don't get sucked up into the vacuum of the world's system.  Selah!

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