In yesterday’s post we began looking at why understanding the Word of God is so difficult. We considered how, even though the Bible uses the same letters, words, and grammar we use in our everyday lives, our worldly ways of thinking make the Word of God sound like another language.
There’s an even simpler reason human beings have a hard time hearing the Word of God: we don’t want to.
The Scriptures are pure truth–and that’s the problem as far as we’re concerned. The Bible doesn’t present the truth so we can hear it and say, “Well that’s interesting,” or “Isn’t that nice!”
Only rarely does a real prophet tell God’s people, “You’re doing great! Keep up the good work.” The prophets who bring the Word of God call us to repentance–a change of thought and action. God’s Word isn’t there to tell us how great we are. Over and over we’re called to give up our sin and worldliness and to live righteously. Of course, we don’t want to hear that. Naturally, we’d rather keep on sinning. And so, at some level, we simply refuse to hear God’s Word.
All of us, even Christians, refuse to some extent to hear God’s Word. So where does that leave God’s people, who have committed to hearing and doing God’s will?
Romans 12:1-2 goes a long way toward answering that question:
So I urge you, brothers, through the mercies of God, to present your bodies, a living and holy sacrifice, well-pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service of worship. And don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.
What we need in order to better understand God’s Word is to be transformed by God. And that only happens if we are willing participants in the transformation. Being transformed comes from being a living part of Christ’s body, the church; giving up our sin, however fitfully and partially; turning again and again to God’s Word; and praying each time that he will open the ears of our hearts to hear what he’s really trying to tell us.
I serve as sports writer for the Manchester Times and preacher and elder for the Church of Christ at Fredonia. The ideas expressed here, however, are my own and do not necessarily represent the positions of either the Times or the church.