Not for long anyway. And what’s true in the natural is even more true in the spiritual.
Many of God’s people (and some who think they are), are dining on a constant diet of only “positive’ scriptures. Some mine the word of God discarding the challenging in favour of the encouraging.
The truth is that God’s holy word is not a dessert bar with a huge selection of cream, custards and cakes. It’s a full multi course banquet with everything necessary to grow up into the image of Christ.
Parents know the challenge at times of convincing their children to eat their meat and “veges” but there is usually no trouble getting them to devour buckets of ice cream. The preachers job is to present the whole counsel of God so that Yahweh’s twice born children are receiving a balanced diet.
God is love; and that is a profound and wonderful truth. But scripture records many, many more times that God is Holy.
In fact I think it’s unlikely to grasp God’s love till we comprehend His holiness.
How can we appreciate His jaw dropping grace till we have trembled at His deserved wrath against our sin.
For all the wonder of His immanence, His Presence creates a greater sense of worship when we consider His transcendence.
Too many believers are dining out on a false understanding of God’s “wonderful plan for our life”. Tell that to the early believers facing the lion in the arena. That wonderful life may entail persecution, hardship and martyrdom. While true that famine nakedness danger and sword cannot separate us from the love of God in Christ, neither will the love of God necessarily separate us from these things.
The kittens, butterflies and puppies emphasis in some believers conversations would be at home in any new age discussion. Our God is not nice, He’s awesome. He silences our vain words and draws out utterances of worship. We approach the throne of grace with confidence, but we don’t do it lightly. The old saints admonition to walk carefully before the LORD is an alien thought to many in this generation; not all thank God, but many.
Now I want to get a little “strong” if I may.
God’s word is not to be approached flippantly. The way some deliberately ignore a divine commandment and skip over it to an often out of context positive thought is a frightening presumption. No amount of tantrums can get the Holy One of Israel to alter His word to make us more comfortable. There are many pleasant and comforting truths in His written revelation for sure, but there are also the meat and potatoes that we may well develop a preference for once we begin to taste.
God’s word is living and active and sharper than a two-edged sword.It’s been perfectly designed for battle against demons, sin and a God-hating world system. Some have become confused and use the sword of the Spirit as a weapon in a pillow fight against the blues.
I like lollies (candy for my American friends) as much as the next guy. But since I’ve grown up I delight in steak and vegetables. In the church some of us need to grow up. If you have no taste for the fearful majesty of God you are missing out. If the fact that to look upon His face results in instant death doesn’t stir your juices, you have not yet seen God as He is. There’s a word for that…Idolatry; and the Creator hates it.
The church of the living God is His temple. We should not jauntily strut into the assembly of believers as if going to a basketball game. The glory of God when His people meet manifests in a fearful joy and a joyful fear amongst those who grasp the wonder of His Person.
I encourage you fellow believer take hold of God’s precious word, open it and begin to read with fresh eyes. Don’t linger on your favourite memory verse but rather read the verses around it. You may find it is saying entirely the opposite to what you thought. Try to put out of your mind religious movies you’ve seen and prosperity messages you have heard and read the word as if for the first time.
Go to the Old Testament, (Yes the OLD Testament) and begin to get a grasp of the broad scope of God’s plan of salvation and what He has done to bring it to pass. Let Jesus reveal to you Himself in the words of the Old Covenant. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your spiritual eyes to comprehend …and believe.
God’s word has fresh manna for very day. Living streams of miraculous water flow from the pages of this heaven-birthed Book. It is seed from which grows life eternal. It is a hammer that breaks down the walls of carnal strongholds. It is more than a list of doctrinal statements to quote. It is living truth and addresses every circumstance, every situation, every fear and every desire with perfect wisdom and uncanny timing.
Make sure you are getting a balanced diet of God’s wonderful provision.