Are You Swayed by the World or the Word?

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

Imagine playing a game of basketball with friends.  You’re battling hard, probably with a little more contact than you’d usually get away with in a real game, but you’re calling any major fouls.  One of your buddies goes down and can’t continue, but fortunately there is someone on the sidelines who volunteers to step in to replace him.  You don’t know him, but it’s a body so you welcome him on the court.  You start the game, pass him the ball and he grabs it, runs down the court without dribbling and sinks the basket triumphantly.  At first everyone just stands there in shock, but then you say: “buddy, you can’t do that; you have to dribble”.  The new player responds: “well I don’t believe that”.  That begins a debate back and forth, but he doesn’t budge, insisting that he doesn’t believe that he has to dribble.  Ultimately you say: “it doesn’t matter what you believe; you can’t travel, it’s against the rules, get off the court if you’re not gonna play by the rules”.

Many years ago, a pastor said something that, on the surface, seemed ridiculous to me, but when I pondered it over the years, I realized it was the one of the wisest things anyone ever shared with me.  He said: “whether you believe in God or not has no bearing on his existence”.  Over the years I pondered on that statement and extended it to say: “whether you believe in God and what you believe about God, has no bearing on his existence, or who he is”.

Understanding the above statement could radically change your life.  It made me recognize how arrogant I was.  We think through things and then conclude saying: “no I don’t believe that”, or “I believe this”, and therefore that is now reality.  While the scriptures are full of verses talking about being confident in this, or that, it is critical to understand that our believing or not believing something doesn’t cause it come into existence or make it cease to exist.  Why is this important?  I have seen many “Christians” sway quite radically from traditional beliefs that the church has held for hundreds, or even thousands of years.  When I have dug into their rational, it is rarely anything they discovered from the scriptures.  They have felt societal pressures, and then sometimes they investigate scripture to try to find a way to support their bias (i.e. “what I believe now”).  The question I always ask is: “was your opinion swayed by the world, or by the word?”  I have yet to meet a Christian who can honestly say it was swayed by their in-depth analysis of the word.

If you are a follower of Christ it is critical that you are immersed in the Word of God.  When the Apostle Paul wrote to his friend Timothy he said: 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3: 14-16).

Psalm 119: 105 says: “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path”.  If you choose to ignore the teachings of God’s word, you are running a race in the dark.  In a world that is ever-changing, we are encouraged to cling to our unchanging savior (Hebrews 13:8).

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