Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Open my heart.

There is a song we used to sing when I was a teen at camp and it had these words in it;

"Open my heart to what you know, so I can stretch, so I can grow. My feelings toss me to and fro. Open my heart to what you know."

At least that is one verse of it. What do those words mean to you? In my head I can hear voices singing the sad slow tune together. To me they remind me of how our hearts are to be open, though it often causes conflicting emotions.

     Have you ever come to something in Gods word when you are studying, or in a class that just makes you freeze? Right now in our Sunday morning bible class we are doing an in depth study in the book of Romans. We have come to content that has a lot of people at a loss. People are frustrated because what we are seeing in the bible is contradicting our traditional thoughts. I am enjoying it immensely.  People are getting frustrated with it, but I will tell you that I have seen more actual studying going on than I have in a long time. Whether or not people realize it or want to admit it, this class is lighting fires under behinds.

     Honestly, we all need to step back and ask why we believe what we believe and seek the true answers to these things. I personally have asked people in the past why we believe something and the response I have gotten is, "Because it's the way it has always been." Not. Acceptable. Not even a little. How are we to minister to people about the bible, if we don't KNOW the bible. Do not be fooled. Just because you've gone to church for X years or you think you know all the "stories" doesn't mean you know all there is to know. What you think you know may not even be true. May we NEVER get to a point in our lives where we think we have learned all we can from the bible and we no longer need to study it or believe that we know it all.

     With all of this being said, we are to maintain an open heart when we study. If we don't, then there is indeed nothing we can learn. Personally, I like to pray before I study. I pray for God to guard my heart from letting Satan twist the scriptures and for God to open my heart to Him. I think this is important because Satan knows the scriptures very well, as evidenced by all the times he quoted and misused it when tempting Jesus in the wilderness.

      Does this mean we should believe every new thing we hear? Absolutely not. Should we dismiss everything we hear? Nope. We need to search the scriptures to prove that which is true.

1 Thess 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast to that which is good.

Acts 17:11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; They received the word with all eagerness, examining the scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
Many times when we are presented with something that contradicts what we have believed, we become defensive and closed up. It ought not be this way. We should approach these things in love and kindness. The word of God is our sword. We must learn it, inside and out. We cannot defeat Satan without a weapon.

   I'm excited about being challenged. but at the same time, it can be an emotional struggle when we wrestle to find the truth. It is hard to hear things that contradict what we have held to as certain truth. I believe, however, it is good for us to be challenged. It keeps us digging deeper into God's word and brings us closer to him.

God is so good and truth is beyond value. Find the truth. Seek it out and hold fast to it. Keep your heart open, yet guarded. Then ask yourself to prove with scripture why you believe what you believe.