In the creation story from Genesis 1, one of the more overlooked themes is also one of the most prominent: the authority of God’s word. Everything He speaks happens – all of creation is subject to His voice. So, it comes as quite the shock in Genesis 3 when humans reject it. Ever since that moment we have continued down the same path, believing we could achieve or take hold of something outside of His design that would be better than what He intended. Only recently have my eyes been opened to see that God’s words have really not shaped my life as much as I thought they had.
The Holy Spirit has been teaching me this about myself. I have claimed for my entire adult life that scripture teaches us the best possible way to live, that the words of Jesus lead us into the life that really is life. But I don’t actually believe that. Don’t get me wrong, I sure do cognitively agree with the notion – but God’s words have not taken center stage in shaping my life. Surely we haven’t truly come to grips with the reality that if Jesus really is ‘The Word’ that was present in God’s creative activities in the beginning, then confessing His Lordship is far and away the most significant activity we can engage in on a daily basis.
The question is this: do we believe that Jesus’ teachings actually work in “the real world”? Can you really be the greatest leader by being the servant of all? Do we really have to give up everything in order to be His disciple? Is forgiving those who have sinned against us really a make or break thing? Who is my neighbor? Is it even possible to not worry about what I will eat, drink, or wear while I seek the Kingdom? And was Jesus just using hyperbole when he said it is nearly impossible for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God? Almost everything Jesus said was upside down – but if His teachings are the way to real life then we have to open ourselves us completely in order for them to change us from the inside out.
I'm starting to deeply believe that I can't live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. His words have started to come alive in me -- like a fire in my bones. And I’m finding that callous by callous, they burn away the hypocrisy.