The Stark and Sweet Nature of Biblical Perception

In the last few days, God has graciously revived in my thinking the importance, and joy, of tasting by personal experience the belief and obedience of the truth.  It’s easy to point to the Harold Campings and scandalized television evangelists of our age, but it is especially and exceedingly useful when God uses our spirits as His candle to search us and to cause us to know that He is searching us (Proverbs 20:27).  I had just recently a most wonderful time of fellowship with a dear brother in Christ, a 51 year old pastor that I have known for many years, and was made to contemplate the sweet and stark reality of the truth of the Gospel, and its application by the law of God, to my life.  I couldn’t help, in the light of my ever increasing awareness of indwelling sin and the precious gift of God’s Word to guide my feet, but affectionately admire the tenderness, grey hairs, kind complexion, and wrinkles that knew exactly where to form when he smiled.  Thank you, Father, for such godly men.

The realization of God’s Word, both in the Gospel and its application in our lives by God’s law, causes us to recognize some stark things about ourselves. I’ve often said that we should never judge the Bible by our experience but rather our experience by the Word.  And yet, in round about ways I have often done this.  I suppose it is, to some degree, inevitable by the very nature of the amount of light and understanding God gives us.  I have often judged of the nature and depth of a truth by how much I perceive of that truth.  Praise God, His Word goes far beyond our perception and is the backdrop for continued growth.  God often brings circumstances into our lives to cause us to revisit the depth and clarity of our understanding of ourselves, Christ, and His law as a directive roadmap in our lives.  The more I have been challenged with the multi-faceted nature of life’s challenges, the more God has been enabling me to see that I desperately need a deep foundation in the principles of the Gospel and even the application of case law in the Old Testament.  Practical, specific application of Biblical principles and Gospel truths are exceedingly helpful when we come to distrust ourselves and throw ourselves on the wisdom and Word of the living God.

The realization of God’s Word as a saving power and sanctifying rule and directive is growing sweeter with time. Not only does It show me that I may find Christ in every phase and aspect of life, God’s Word shows me how.  When we take the theological statements of God’s Word and couple them with the rich number of biblical examples and the counsel of wise men we are enabled to meet any obstacle with grace and sure success.  God’s Word is perfect for every need and every occasion.  O that we might learn more and more to make our first response to be putting on the “coal mining hat” of the Spirit and searching the storehouse of God’s Word, the counsel of godly men, and our precious protestant heritage.

I don’t know what you face today, brothers and sisters in Christ, but I am convinced that the Gospel and law of God, properly held together, will revolutionize our lives, our families, our churches, and our nation.  O Lord, let us not live in the shadows of judging the brilliant nature of Thy truth by our own shallow perceptions.  Plow our hearts by Thy Word and Spirit so that we may be willing to receive, yea violently pant after, the entrance of Thy light-giving Scriptures.