Have you ever tried to make the Bible fit your theology?
What about trying to fit the Bible into your paradigm or worldview?
It doesn’t work that way.
The Bible tells me about me. Not the other way around.
In the red corner – the Bible
However, I wrestle constantly with this reality. My flesh fights for supremacy. Not unlike Jacob wrestling with the angel in Genesis 32. He fought for control. He lost.
He was forced to admit in the face of God who he was. I am Jacob. Or, I am a liar, heel-grabber, schemer, and cheater. The Bible always reveals to us who we really are. The deficiencies, the sin, and the deceptions we believe.
He was wrestled to revelation
He was wounded in his flesh too. This wound was for life. A lesson that was lived out till the day he died. That’s the ultimate goal of scripture. To so impact us, that we are never the same again.
The sinew in Jacob’s hip shrank. I don’t pretend to understand the ramifications of that, but I do know that when the Bible wins – the result is our flesh is minimized and His touch is magnified.
This touch changed a nation. The nation never ate of this sinew again. They were reminded of Jacob’s encounter with God every time they cut open an animal. The Bible is a book of legacy. Truths that are seized by one generation can be reverenced in another.
The angel told Jacob his name had changed to Israel. The Bible tells us who we are, not the other way around. The Bible expounds me. It reveals the real me.
Jacob began this wrestling match in pursuit of a personal blessing. After he was worn out and wounded, he asked God what His name was. The Bible should always point to Jesus. Knowing Him is more important than any singular blessing.
UFC style, this wrestling match ultimately ended with Jacob tapping out. The Bible needs to have this same effect on us. We need to submit to its teaching, principles, and direction. We will put up a worthy struggle to be sure. Keep reading. Your flesh is getting set-up for a spiritual triangle choke.
Reading the Bible wears me out
I ran across a scripture the other day that solidified this concept in my mind.Ecclesiastes 12:12 – And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making of many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
Much study makes the flesh weary. The Bible takes the upper hand. My concepts bow to its principles. My thoughts are replaced by its teaching. Study the Bible until your flesh gets weary. That’s a good thing.
Jacob left his wrestling match limping, weary with exhaustion, and with the testimony that his life had been preserved.
The Bible has the potential to save you from many things. From yourself, sin, etc. You’ve got to tap out to experience this preservation.
You can’t read and decide to not agree: and hope for salvation. If the Bible wins this wrestling match – so do you.
If you win – you lose.
Don’t fight it.