The Word Became Flesh

Has anything changed me as much as the Word of God has?

A few years ago, family circumstances shifted dramatically, leaving me looking at my ability to know and understand things in a different way.  For the first time in my life, I had to come to terms with the fact that I am not promised forever to figure things out.  For most of my life, I had been willing to know things on the surface, especially when it came to my faith and theology.  Even when I didn't realize it, I had developed a really dangerous habit of knowing a WHOLE LOT of what good people said about the Lord and a GENERIC LITTLE of what the Bible said about the Lord.  For the better part of twenty years, I have put those two things together to come up with the "WHAT I BELIEVE" part of who I am.

Don't get me wrong.  I read my Bible.  A lot.  Over and over.  But, subtly, I allowed what people taught me to direct what I thought about what I was reading.  I wasn't a Spirit-led learner.  I wasn't a disciple.  I hadn't submitted to the Scriptures.  When I read about any certain topic, I learned that topic through lenses of what I'd learned, what I'd heard, what I'd read and where I live.  The Bible was important to me, but at the end of the day, "This is how we do things here," and "Very educated men said it this way," prevented me from actually seeing the Scriptures and letting them come alive in my life.

I knew I had a serious deficit in my knowledge of the Bible because of the condition of my heart.  I argued with the Word every day of my life.  I couldn't imagine an actual person  LONGING  for the heaven I had learned from men, so I didn't.  I couldn't imagine having the faith to be criticized for obeying Jesus' teachings, so I didn't.  I couldn't imagine laying down my life for Jesus like He did for me, so, I didn't.  I couldn't imagine the Scriptures being so simple, yet so powerfully life altering, so I didn't let them be those things in my everyday life.  Instead, I read books, did 90 Day Challenges, collected a stack of devotionals, and spent 20 years recycling the messages good men taught me.

I loved the idea of Jesus, but I didn't know Him.  I needed the redemption of Jesus, but I didn't know how to be in His presence.  I was a professional at church activities, but I didn't trust the Body of Christ or recognize its powerful simplicity.  I prayed,  but so many of my prayers missed the mark because I let men teach me methods instead of letting Jesus teach me truth.

And then, I simply decided that if I was ever going to know anything about the person of Jesus, the Body of Christ, the Gospel of the Kingdom or the teachings of the apostles that the New Testament church devoted their lives to, it was going to be RIGHT NOW.  I decided I wanted to KNOW every single Word of the Gospel of Christ Jesus.  And finally, after spending my life dancing between the depth of the Bible and the shallow culture of American Christianity, I actually did what I had started and quit a hundred times in my life.

This year, I set out to write every word in the New Testament.

I didn't go about starting this lightly.  I studied and prayed over what translation I would write, how I would allow myself to study passages that needed clarification, since I really wanted to hear from the Word and not from men who had heard from men who had heard from the Word.  I wanted the Word to wash me, the Spirit to lead me and for Jesus to be my Rabbi.

Day after day, my VERY CULTURE changed.  It definitely didn't happen fast and I'm definitely not finished, but for the first time in my life, the Word is changing EVERYTHING about who I am, and not just for a few weeks until the feeling of a good teaching wears off.  What looked normal to me a few years ago doesn't look normal to me now.  What I was willing to give before looked completely different than what I'm willing to give now.  How I was prepared to love pales in comparison to how I want to love now.  And the Son of God I thought I knew then has been replaced with my Teacher, Friend, Lord and King- A God I KNOW!  A God I LOVE!  A GOD I can't wait to relate to and with on a daily basis.  The veil truly has been torn for me.

I don't even recognize myself some days.  I've lost friends.  I've definitely stepped out of the crowds.  I've spent a lot of time repenting, only to learn new things about myself to repent for, but in the most peaceful, graceful way.  I probably started this journey hoping I was right about all the things and that I would not have to change, and just a year in, I WANT to change more than I ever wanted to be right.

Consider something radical.  Consider spending a year UNLEARNING everything you know about the Bible and learning to trust that the sufficiency of Scripture, the authority of Jesus, and the power of the Holy Spirit are enough to show you the Kingdom of Christ Jesus.

I have been a Believer, a teacher, a pastor, a writer and a church leader for TWENTY YEARS and NOTHING has come close to changing me the way submitting myself to each and every word of Scripture has.

Your Lord and Christ is WORTH knowing deeply, richly and well.


Popular posts from this blog

The Gospel for the Religious

What Do You See?

"It's Going to be Okay."