God Sustains Us

Zayin 49 Remember the word to Your slave, In which You have made me wait. 50 This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me. 51 The arrogant utterly scoff at me, Yet I do not turn aside from Your law. 52 I have remembered Your judgments from of old, O Yahweh, And comfort myself. 53 Burning indignation has seized me because of the wicked, Who forsake Your law. 54 Your statutes have become my songs In the house of my sojourning. 55 I remember in the night Your name, O Yahweh, So I keep Your law. 56 This has become mine, That I observe Your precepts. Psalms 119:48-56 (LSB) 

The doctrinal extremists out there really get under my skin sometimes. It seems they cannot handle the fact that our sovereign, holy, omnipotent, omnipresent, immutable and omniscient God wants to have a personal relationship with those He has saved by His grace. God is sovereign and yet He is gracious. He knows that left to our own abilities we could never come to salvation. He knows that, even if He declares us righteous, we need Him to extend His grace to us continually to sanctify our hearts and draw us to Him. He also reveals Himself to us, speaks to us, and sustains us through the sanctification process that matures us unto Christlikeness.

I read an article today in which the writer was complaining about Divine Illumination. He did not buy it. He felt we had no need for the Holy Spirit to interpret scripture in our hearts so God’s wisdom would be imparted to us. I suppose he believes we are capable of doing that in our own abilities. I agree that as we become more skilled in proper exegesis of Scripture, we can become quite proficient in the process. However, without the presence of the Holy Spirit in that process error is inevitable. The writer of the article used the illustration of the many conflicting interpretations of scripture out there. In his mind how could so many come to such varying opinions about scripture if the Holy Spirit was really doing that. I suppose that’s a fair question. The answer, of course, is we do not always listen to the Holy Spirit when expounding scripture. We are fallible which makes error inevitable when we do not listen. We are too independent for our own good. I have caught myself doing Bible study and teaching without involving God at all. When we do this, we are absolutely opening ourselves up for error as we “serve” God perfunctorily. That means we do it routinely without His aid and empowerment. This is why it is imperative to rely on the Holy Spirit in all Bible Study. We must ask the Lord to open up our hearts to the truth as we study and ask Him to give us the truth. If we simply do it ourselves, we are asking for trouble. If our motive is not His glory, we err. View article →