Wednesday, March 4, 2020

The Spiritual Danger Of Believing What You Want To Believe

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?’….. Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die.’….. So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.” — Genesis 3:1,4,6

Have you ever heard of the term “Confirmation Bias” with respect to interpreting the Bible – the “Thus saith the Lord”? It is the idea that we can “cherry pick” the scripture.  Believing what we want to believe, ignoring what gets in the way of our belief. Dr. Henry Blackaby (Experiencing God) calls it “Evangelical Christian Humanism”. We are deceived into thinking that our ability to decide, to reason, what is right is greater than God’s revelation of what is Truth.

It is the same reasoning as Eve in the Garden – and Adam. It is the same thinking and believing that accommodated bigotry in the Church. How we can spout John 3:16, God so loved,  and Matthew 22:37-39, love God and love others, and yet hate or ignore those that are not like us. It is how we can praise the Good Samaritan while we, ourselves, walk on the other side of the road – convincing ourselves that it is not our problem to deal with. Luke 10:30-34

Why write about this? Because I believe that we all struggle with this problem.

He [Jesus] answered and said to them [Pharisees and scribes], ‘Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.’ He said to them, ‘All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.’” – Mark 7:6-9

We must be careful that we don’t trust in ourselves, which is to say, our old nature, to give spiritual guidance. That we don’t give preference to what “my daddy” said is right when it contravenes what the Lord has said is right.  That we don’t decide to obey some of the Bible and ignore other parts because those parts get in the way of doing and thinking what we want to do and think.  What I am referring to is the spiritual battle that we are all fighting – every day. The god of this world, Satan – the serpent, would have you trust in your own judgement and be suspicious of what God has surely said.  Like Jesus tempted in the wilderness, we must stand against the temptation and put our full trust in God – not our feelings – not our desires – not our fears – but in God alone.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones.” – Proverbs 3:5-8

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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