I saw a stack of watchtower magazines. (Watchtower is the Jehovah Witness’s international brand.) Inflamed with a Holy Zeal, I casually walked over to the counter. When nobody was watching I snatched them up and tossed them into a nearby trashcan. Yes! A victory for Christ!
Or was It? I hadn’t given any thought to whether or not my actions were biblically accurate. I was doing what I felt was right. But I was wrong.
Through a course of events, one of my Church brothers found out. “You know that wasn’t right,” he told me.
I was too stubborn to see the truth. That evening, I found a dozen passages in the Word as “proof texts” for my actions. One of them was the story of Gideon: Gideon tore down the altar of Baal and Asherah (Judges 6:25-27). Another was a story of the new converts in Ephesus: they burned their books of magic that amounted to a value of fifty thousand pieces of silver (Acts 19:19). The quiet voice in my heart was telling me that my application of these texts was wrong. God had Gideon dealing with the idolatry of an entire nation. Also, they were commanded in the Mosaic Law to tear down the altar of foreign gods. With the Ephesians, the books they burned were their own, and it was voluntary.
The next morning I directed him to these passages and gave him my twisted applications. I wasn’t fully aware of my sin. But God was ever so subtlety convicting me. It’s as if God cracked the door open, allowing a little ray of light to burst through. I could open the door and see the truth, or close it and remain ignorant.
As I resisted, God inflicted my conscience more. Finally, I fell on my face spiritually broken by God. Disgusted with what I had done, I confessed my sin. And I made a life changing decision: never again would I manipulate God’s Word to say what I wanted it to.
My repentance required a confession -not only to God but to my brother whom I had led astray. When we got together the next day I admitted to him my wrong, asking for his forgiveness. “You were right”, I confessed. And I took the time to explain.
I learned a valuable lesson. I must have a willingness to be wrong. I need to second guess myself; to triple guess, and ask, “Is this really what this passage means”. I must allow the Holy Spirit to completely change my interpretation, even if it means forgetting EVERYTHING I thought I knew. This is my criteria … I must be fully persuaded by the Holy Spirit, via the Word of God, after careful study.
Instead of just learning the Bible, let’s learn to hear God speak through the Bible. His voice is powerful, life changing, wonderful, peaceful and exhilarating! There is nothing more satisfying than hearing God speak. He desires to speak with you!
There are some simple, but effective principles, for safe, sober, and profitable Bible study. If you do not have the time or patience to read a book on the subject, these lessons will help.
click on the link below for Principle #1…