Selecting certain Scriptures to the exclusion of others is like treating the Word of God like a big cherry tree… picking and choosing certain Scriptures to back up your theological viewpoint and/or personal opinion.
The Word is Always True… Always
I have relatives and friends who are convinced that God is like a Father… Always patient and always doting on His beloved children. They use Scriptures like Psalm 86:5 to back up their viewpoint:
For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.
I also have friends who are convinced that God is wrathful and adamant about obedience… He’s like a Father who beats his children with rods and will not let any sin go unpunished. They use Scriptures like Hebrews 12:6 to back up their viewpoint:
For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.
Both sides will stand tenaciously behind their own viewpoints, refusing to see the other side. But what they don’t realize is that they are BOTH RIGHT, because Scripture is always true… at the same time, they are BOTH WRONG to think that they have the only valid knowledge of God.
Are You one of these people?
The truth is we are all susceptible to this error. When the Holy Spirit reveals to us a new aspect of God’s character through Scripture, we have a tendency to “camp out” on that revelation, convinced that we have special insight into the many facets of God. From that point onward, every time we find a new Scripture to back up our viewpoint, we add it to our arsenal to use, while trying to convince others that our revelation is right and their revelation is wrong.
It is inevitable that we will all make this mistake at least once, some time in our lives.
The Same God…
We must come to terms with the fact that sometimes, in our own carnal thinking, God’s ways will not make sense to us.
- The SAME GOD who loves all, and doesn’t want anyone to be lost also ordered the Israelites to go in and slaughter entire cities (including pregnant women and babies)!
- The SAME GOD who put us here on earth, also says that we are sitting with Him in heavenly places!
- The SAME GOD who says in Romans 8 that nothing can separate us from His love also says that it is possible to have your name erased from the Book of Life (Rev. 3:5)!
- The SAME GOD who came in the form of a man to save the world will also come back and send everyone who doesn’t accept Him for WHO HE IS to hell forever!
Now, can you love a God like that?
Friends, we have to understand that we must accept and receive God for who He is, not what we want Him, or understand Him, to be. It doesn’t necessarily have to make sense to us… it only matters if it makes sense to Him.
Our Brains & the Transforming Word
There is a well-known, often-misused Scripture that, taken by itself, can leave you feeling pretty hopeless in your quest to know God:
“For My thoughts [are] not your thoughts, nor [are] your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
Fortunately, in Romans, He throws us a lifeline.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what [is] that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
This is why it is SO important that we continually spend time in the Bible, allowing our way of thinking to be molded, tweaked and changed by His Spirit and the inherent power of the Word of God. Gradually, our minds will be transformed so that, in the end, we can confidently say, like Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:16, that “we have the mind of Christ.”
It is during this transformation process, that the enemy can trick us into believing that we know it ALL, and everyone else is wrong, even those who dearly love the Word of God and have another scriptural viewpoint. Whenever this happens, we have fallen into pride, and the transforming work of the Word is twisted and unfruitful.
I’m not saying we should regard or tolerate the words of false teachers, or any other deceptive ministries/ministers, but if we all come together with our scriptural insights and learn from each other, like the Body should, we would have a better glimpse of who He is and what we are meant to be.
…till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;