Jude 1:3 ( NKJV )
Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
Yesterday I shared my journey of faith with you. God took me from being a Catholic boy who was not very religious at all to a born again, spirit filled Christian experience in a few short years. A group of us, including my wife, began to cycle through the various Charismatic teachings that came through the Body of Christ through the 70’s and 80’s. We finally came to a stream of teaching that later became know as the Word of Faith.
This stream of teachers were saying things that I thought should be true, but that I had never heard expressed before. At the heart of what I heard was this simple truth. The Bible, the Word of God, is not just a philosophical or theological book. It is instead the true and dependable Word of the Living God. It is something that we can depend upon. It has the ability to cause our natural reality to conform to itself. This is because the Bible is truth. It is the highest truth in existence. Every other true thing will conform to the Word if we apply it’s truth to the circumstance by faith. This was a revelation.
We began to change our way of viewing life in general. We began to view life through the prism of the Word of God. The Word of God became our highest reality and our final word in every situation. If the Word of God says I am healed, I am. If the Word of God says I can prosper, I can. If the Word of God says I can be victorious, I can be. That is the final word on the subject. This is the essence of Faith.
The bible is the one thing we have of God that we can touch with our physical being. It is the bridge between the invisible God and the visible world. I cannot see God. I cannot feel Him physically, at least not very often. I can see the Bible. I can hear it, touch it, even taste it if I really wanted to. The bible never changes. It is the same in every language. There may be problems in translation, but I believe God is bigger than those problems. He watches over His Word to see to it that it is performed. (Jer. 1:12 YLT)
This emphasis on the written Word of God gave us a consistency of faith. We knew what to believe. In areas where the bible did not specifically cover the situation, it was covered in principle. We began to see the Bible as a treasure trove of promises that gave us specific things to believe. When the devil came against our faith we could go back to those promises, read them, confess them and remind the devil that “it is written.”
This gave faith a new and exciting dimension. We made mistakes. We forgot to look at the conditions of the promises. We didn’t understand that, if we wanted to be all the Word said we could be, we also needed to accept the fact that we could not be or do what it said we couldn’t. We got some wrong interpretations that caused us to believe for some wrong things, However we learned and we grew.
The mistakes we made did not take away from the revelation we received. The Word was true. It was the final authority in our lives. We would obey it and believe it. God might do things that were outside of our understanding of the principles in the bible, but He would always honor those principles as long as we honored them as well. We were determined and uncompromising where the Word was concerned. God had to bring us through some youthful arrogance and some wrong attitudes, but we were firm on what we believed and, maybe for the first time, we knew how to find specific things to believe. We had the Word.
Then life continued to happen. We found out that there were battles to fight. We found out that it was often easier to depend on natural solutions than to stand by faith. There was not nearly as much opposition from the devil if we just trusted in the flesh. Our gradual compromise was not so much in the area of sin as in the area of ease. Some things we believed for didn’t happen. There were many reasons why. Some of them we understood and some we did not. Either way there were disappointments. Gradually we settled into a little less extreme view. We still preached the “uncompromised gospel.” We still believed it. We just weren’t as radical in our application. We lost our edge.
I believe the Word of the Lord to us is clear. We need our edge back. We need to trust God again the way we did before. My friend Pastor Phil Crandall, while preaching in our church, said we need to get rid of play B. I believe that to be true. We need to get back to a real dependence on the truth of the Word of God. We need to get a little more radical again. We need to be a little harder on ourselves where compromise is concerned. We need to be more mature than we were 30 years ago when we first heard this kind of teaching, but we need to put aside the disappointments and get back in the game.
Maybe you are new to this revelation. Maybe you have walked in it for years. Either way the thing our world needs right now is a people who know how to connect with God. They need some people with houses built on the rock of hearing and doing the Word of God. They don’t need the church to have houses built on the shifting sands of compromise (Matt 7:24-27.)
I am going to get my edge back. Would you care to join me?