"Heaven helps those who help themselves."
"God won't give me more than I can handle."
"God wants me to be happy.
Our culture is full of ideas of what the Bible says about God and our life with him. Watch television for a couple of hours in any given week and you're bound to come across a handful of similar sayings. The thing about phrases like these is that they sound so true, and, in many cases, so appealing.
The problem is they are wrong. And not just, "Oh, well, you get the general idea," kind of wrong. They are completely, insidiously, diametrically opposed to the heart and character of God. They create a false narrative about who God is, and the nature of our relationship with him.
When we base our life on such false foundations, cracks are bound to appear in one of two ways. When we find life not working the way it should, either we are at fault which creates a sense of condemnation, or God is not holding up his end of things which leads one to think God cannot be trusted.
All because we are holding God accountable for things He NEVER said.
What makes this whole situation even worse is that so many people who claim to be followers of Christ fall prey to this false gospel. How can this be?
Because the people of the Word have become the people of the hashtag. We gladly "like" pithy comments from the top Christian personalities of the moment, but can't remember the last time we cracked open our Bibles. At this time, in 21st century America, it's easier than any other time in history to make the Word a part of our lives. Free audio versions and Bible apps can be downloaded to our phones. Any number of free Bibles, in just about every translation, can be downloaded to our tablets. And there are dozens of places on line where you can sign up to have scripture emailed to you every day. Honestly, for us, not being in the Word everyday is a matter of "won't", not "can't". Regular immersion in God's Word is the only thing that will set us straight about who He is, who we are in Him, and what the abundant life promised by Jesus really looks like.
I think Jesus said it best...
So Jesus said to [those] who had believed him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:31-32 (ESV)
Think about it.