Growing in Faith
Just as we enjoy different types of food, we individually tend to have preferences for certain spiritual disciplines and dislike others.
Brussel sprouts, in particular, are one of those foods many people rather not eat a lot of or avoid all together. We probably all have proverbial brussel sprouts in our spiritual diet. We ignore some disciplines because we personally don’t enjoy them. While we know they may be good for us, we have never learned to like them. We therefore rationalize that if we don’t enjoy them, we are not getting the benefit God intended and if we’re not getting the benefit we might as well not practice them.
We cannot afford to ignore parts of the bible because we don't like it or because it challenges us or because it makes us feel uncomfortable. God wrote every page of the bible for our benefit.
Every single word of the bible is God-breathed. We call this inspiration and it is so important to us in understanding the bible the correct way.
We cannot know God apart from inspiration; it covers all of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16). The God-breathed Word depicts the gloriousness of God’s character and also spells out the calling on our lives as followers of Christ. It tells us how to live and how not to live a life that pleases the Lord. These scriptures are the way in which God speaks to us, revealing both the darkness of our sin and the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's the way God speaks to us about the good, bad and the ugly of our lives. We desperately need to trust and believe that God inspired the scriptures, because without that belief, the teaching, reproving, correcting and training found in the Bible holds little value.
To deny or ignore any part of the scriptures is to deny or ignore God and to deny or ignore God is to deny or ignore the authority found in scripture. If we deny or ignore inspiration, we cannot know when God speaks and when He doesn’t. We steal the authority away from the scriptures and take it into our own hands; we begin to pick and choose what we believe about God. We like this portion, so it’s from God, but we don’t like this part, so we’ll ignore it and move on to something else. Our flesh jumps at every opportunity to be god of our own lives and even god over the text about God. If we take this authority upon ourselves, we will soon be treating the bible like our favorite buffet instead of recognizing and adhering to scripture in its entirety.
We will be missing out on necessary rebuking, discipline and lessons if we choose to only read and believe that which "feels good" or fits to our present situation or lifestyle.
If we don't accept the bible in its entirety we won't have a full gospel because we won't have a full and complete message from God. We would not know of creation, the law, the prophets and we would not know of Jesus Christ. We cannot make sense out of the world through any other book but this one....the whole book.
The writer of the letter to the Hebrews warns against the danger of only following a diet of the things one enjoys. Hebrews 5:13-14 (ESV) reads, “Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”
Many of us have become selective in what God clearly says. If we don’t like what the bible says or doesn't agree with the norm, we ignore it or try to twist God’s words to suit our convenience or society. We pick only the words we like and change the others to comply with our opinions or the opinions of others.
The problem with opinions is they are often wrong; at least when they come from mankind, simply because mankind is flawed with sin. On the other hand, God’s “opinion” is never wrong because He is perfect in every way. If He isn’t perfect in every way, then He isn’t God.
God's Word is perfect, All of it, from Genesis to Revelation.
The Bible is not a buffet. We don't get to pick and choose. We take it all, as it is, or we leave it all behind. There's no middle ground.
A lot of people are spiritually malnourished because they only nibble at, or completely ignore, most of the feast the Lord has prepared. In His wisdom, God has commanded us to engage in a rainbow of spiritual disciplines. It is not up to us to usurp the role of God and pick and choose what we will do. Instead, we are to obey and press on; engaging in all the disciplines of discipleship. At times, this means eating a lot of brussel sprouts and avoiding chocolate cake.