Instructions are often the subject of many one-liners. “When all else fails read the instructions”. Men are supposedly notorious for not reading them. I have been guilty of it enough times that I tend to read them even if I’m pretty sure how it’s done. It’s not really hard to figure out my direction in this blog post. The instructions are available to us. I’m talking about the Bible of course. Some of us have multiple sets of instructions even in different translations. Many times they are lying about collecting dust. That is not necessarily because we don’t care about the word, often it’s because we assume we know what it says. I have been going through a lot of scriptures that I most certainly have read many times. I was a Bible quizzer back in the day and I was the quotation guy. If a quotation question came up, no one was to touch the buzzer but me. I was very technical and precise about the memory of a verse. Every a, an, and the exactly as the KJV recorded it. But even with that precision, I’m discovering that what I thought it said it doesn’t necessarily say and what I’ve been taught it says is even less accurate. So what’s the fix. Do we learn Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. I am versed in translating from the a Greek and Hebrew. I use Strong’s extensively. But even then, I find myself feeling like even Strong’s misses it in places. Often that’s because God has revealed it to me in a way that a simple translation cannot. I know, I know, you want me to get to the point already.
I’m realizing that we approach the word with so many preconceived notions that it makes it difficult to downright impossible to understand what it actually says. We know what we have read. What we believe it says. What we have been taught to believe it says and the Spirit can’t get a word in edgewise. Paul admonishes us of this and calls it double mindedness. You see when we approach the word we must believe that the same mind is in us that is in Christ. God is not double minded. He has a single thought about everything that He wants to convey. Many scriptures clearly some have multiple thoughts attached to them. But God will give you His thought. Even with the many understandings that can be expounded from a passage it should always reveal Jesus in a greater dimension.
Christians say things that are double minded. I recently read an article on the purpose of pain in the Christians life. Frankly I was appalled at the level of ignorance that such a learned man was willing to walk in for the sake of a double minded understanding. He started out well by saying that in this fallen state we exist in we will have trouble. Other understandings of that could be suffering, pain, tribulation etc. That was where my agreement with him stopped. The problem with understanding this suffering is that most of the body of Christ believes that God is the source of this suffering. I cannot find scripture to back that concept up. And before you start screaming at the screen about being in fellowship or a partaker of His sufferings keep reading. To understand the sufferings of Christ we must know two things. One is when did He suffer? And two, is He suffering now? He suffered then in the garden, on the cross, and in the three days in the heart of the earth. He did all of that so you wouldn’t have to. Number two He is not suffering now. So how do we become partakers of His suffering or be in fellowship with His suffering? The same way we are crucified with Him, alive in Him etc…..by faith. Now if you are being mocked and beaten, spit on and ridiculed, for someone else’s sake, then to you… I apologize. 2 Cor 1:5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. If you can’t see the good news in that scripture nothing else I write here is likely to change your mind.
Now can we suffer for His sake or His cause…yes we can. Is He the cause of that suffering? If He is … the maximum blame to be assigned is indirect. If you crash your car on icy roads the ice is indirectly involved but the ice is not driving. The ice will not get the ticket for failure to control your vehicle. Paul was beaten and the Jews were blamed not God. Paul was shipwrecked, snake bit and on and on but I find no place where God was blamed but rather given glory. When you get a flat tire or an unexpected bill, you are not suffering for the cause of Christ. Your just living in a fallen world. I’m not trying to make light of your infirmities or your trials or tribulations. We can be thankful we are not being beaten for His name’s sake. We are afflicted in things from time to time. We do suffer through situations. God will chasten us if we submit to His Lordship. But God is not chastising you when your cable bill is doubled. The church is not under persecution because we must install handicap rails in the bathrooms or because we have to pass a fire marshal inspection. We are instructed to give thanks in everything. Here we are…. back to those instructions. I have assembled stuff not realizing I misunderstood the instructions. Go back to step one, see where you went wrong. Often we go wrong because we missed a step or misunderstood one.
Stop assuming we know what the instructions say. Go read the instructions like it is the first and last time we ever will. Believe that we have the mind of Christ and just see if we don’t learn something. I know I have. Many times I learn I was wrong.