Number one . . . that’s the place where God should reside and dwell in our hearts . . . the position He should hold in our lives. It’s not a new revelation. It’s not news to me, and yet, it seems like something, anything, and everything are constantly pushing and vying for that spot.
I was thinking about how crazy our world seems. In reality, I think the world has always been crazy. Since the fall of man, all those thousands of years ago in the garden, the world has been a crazy place because sin will that do that to you. People are reactive, offended, critical, contentious, and angry . . . in the world, but also, in the church. And we can blame a million different things and people.
We can say “if only” . . .
“If only _____________ was in charge” . . .
“If only _____________ didn’t happen” . . .
“If only, if only, if only . . .”
But the only “if only” that really needs to be said is, “If only Jesus, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit took first place in people’s lives . . . “.
That’s the only “if only” that matters. If our lives aren’t colored by the blood of Jesus, then they’re colored by everything else. If we’re not living led by the power of the Holy Spirit then we’re being led by the flesh. We can’t have it both ways. So many things, good things, vie, for our attention . . . our top priority . . . family, work, friends, serving, politics, church and ministry . . . yes, even church and ministry can take priority over God . . . even church and ministry can become an idol . . . just because you’re there doing all the things, all the time, doesn’t mean that God is truly first . . .
I’ll say it again, for myself, and for the people in the back. We aren’t going to be led by the Holy Spirit if we’re not seeking Him for ourselves. If we’re not in His word, studying and praying, for ourselves. I love listening to pastors and teachers of the word. I learn and glean so much from others, but there is not a man or woman on this planet that is infallible (no one, nada, not a single one). Which why, when I listen to teachings and sermons, studies and podcasts, I’ll often (that should be always) go back to the word of God, and at times even to the original text (also, so important to do this with different translations of the bible because accurate, biblical translation is imperative!), to be sure that what I’m taking in, what I’m hearing, lines up with the reality and truth of the bible. Just because it sounds good and elicits an emotional response, doesn’t mean it is good or true. If everything I put into practice is filtered through the mind and interpretation of another, imperfect, human being, I have a problem. If I never take the time to seek Him for myself, to set the teachings and devotionals and sermons of others aside . . . all good, don’t hear me wrong . . . all needed, because I think it’s so very important to learn from others . . . then I’m not going to be able to accurately judge and discern the truth of what I’m taking in.
Even the most qualified, wise, and Godly preachers and teachers, miss it sometimes, and it’s okay to say you don’t always agree with everything. It’s more than okay to take a deep dive into God’s word for yourself and see if what you’re learning and hearing is true. That’s growth. That’s the development of a personal walk and relationship with our God. That’s moving from milk to meat. That’s seeking the truth of God’s word for ourselves. God gave us His perfect word, inspired by the Holy Spirit, to be read and learned from by us. We are able to take it and understand it, through the power of the Holy Spirit on its own. The bible doesn’t need any help from anyone.
And those are my Monday morning ramblings. Bottom line . . . there’s no substitute for God’s word, and the only way to make Him a priority is to make Him and His word (that’s the bible and prayer, y’all) a priority. Hello, that’s bold for a reason. You had to read all that “stuff” I wrote just to get to the point. No one has ever accused me of brevity with my words. Happy Monday everyone!
Side note: This is not the first time I’ve written about this. You can read more of my past ponderings on this topic, as well as the importance of accurate translations of the bible . . . because that’s a whole thing with me . . . you need to be sure that you’re using an accurate translation when studying and there are definitely some inaccurate ones . . . in this post right here. Click on “here” it will take you there ;).