Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Reading the Bible is messing with my theology!

Those who have read my blog recently know that I've undertaken a Chronological Bible reading plan this year. I'm also attempting to read with new eyes...not relying on past sermons and teachings. I want to try and see these stories for the "first time." To be honest, I'm finding that this reading the Bible is messing with my theology!

Oh, I like to say I believe in God's saving grace - that it is based totally on His love and I realize I do not deserve this kind of favor...but I'm lying to myself. To be very honest, I live my life in such a way to try and "deserve" His acceptance. I am a very "American" Christian. I hate to admit it but I feel like if I am "good enough" I will somehow receive the favor of God. Then I read about some of the people in the Bible that God favored. 

It started when I read about Lot - I mean for crying out loud, the man wanted to offer his daughters to a crowd of ruffians to protect angels! Okay, so he didn't know they were angels, but still - HIS DAUGHTERS!!!!!?????!!!! And God saved him. 

Then I read about Abraham. The man was a liar! Then there came Jacob - the man was a cheater. Both of these men were blessed by God. Okay, this is seriously messing with my theology.

I wonder why God blessed these men. That's when it starts to hit me...it really wasn't because they were somehow holy or righteous...they just believed. 

Is it possible that God uses people not because they are special or doing what is right? That really doesn't work with my good Southern-girl way of looking at life. I always figured if you did what was right, life was supposed to treat you right. Yeah, I know my past history should be evidence enough that it doesn't work that way, but what can I say...I'm a bit dense at times. Still, I wonder if we don't all do this in a way. We have a very "American" way of seeing things, a pull yourself up by your bootstraps kind of faith...but it doesn't work that way. 

Why does God include stories about patriarchs of faith that are less than exemplary? Maybe it's so we'll realize it's not something earned, and it's not something that always makes sense. His plan is greater than ours and sometimes we get to be a part of that plan - whether we 'deserve' it or not. (And to be honest, it's always NOT.)

The following is from a devotion I read today from youversion.com...it just seems to fit.

"Whenever God does something new, he involves people — often unlikely people, frequently surprised and alarmed people. He asks them to trust him in a new way, to put aside their natural reactions, to listen humbly for a fresh word and to act on it without knowing exactly how it's going to work out. That's what he's asking all of us to do this Lent. Reading the Bible without knowing in advance what God is going to say takes humility. Like Joseph, we may have to put our initial reactions on hold and be prepared to hear new words, to think new thoughts, and to live them out. We all come with our own questions, our own sorrows and frustrations, our own longings. God will deal with them in his own way, but he will do so as part of his own much larger and deeper purposes. Who knows what might happen, this year, if even a few of us were prepared to listen to God's word in scripture in a new way, to share the humility of Joseph, and to find ourselves caught up in God's rescue operation?"

So how has reading the Bible messed with your theology today?

Isaiah 55:8-11

The Message (MSG)
 8-11"I don't think the way you think.
   The way you work isn't the way I work."
         God's Decree.
"For as the sky soars high above earth,
   so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
   and the way I think is beyond the way you think.
Just as rain and snow descend from the skies
   and don't go back until they've watered the earth,
Doing their work of making things grow and blossom,
   producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry,
So will the words that come out of my mouth
   not come back empty-handed.
They'll do the work I sent them to do,
   they'll complete the assignment I gave them.


Amanda P. said...

I am reading Leviticus right now and it has blown me away with the amount of preparation the people had to take to get ready to come into the presence of God. Made me stop and wonder how I prepare myself to come into His presence. Sadly, I'm not sure I prepare myself at all. Definitely gonna be changing that! Right mind set, right attitude, humbled and ready to pour myself out in grateful praise and let Him fill me up again.

Anonymous said...

What a GREAT post! LOVE that reading the Bible is messing with your Theology... awesome! It's sometimes hard to overlook "our beliefs" that have made their way into our hearts and minds from life - to see the Truth. Great reminder.