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Sunday, February 22, 2009

When I think about the security I have I my spiritual life, my mind always reverts to the many people I know who seem to have no assurance regarding God’s promises or any foundation in the things of God. While it is true that our security in God rests in our faith in Him, it is greatly strengthened by our knowledge of His Promises.

I have one dear friend who loves the Lord, I know, and who follows him, I know, but she is very easily swayed by false doctrines. Not that they cause her to be led astray, but they cause her much stress because she has not established the Word of God in her heart. Every false doctrine that comes across her path sends her into a tizzy of worry. The doctrine doesn’t sound right, but she is worried because the false teacher uses scripture to “prove” his points. She is never reassured until we can sit down together and look at the Word and find out what God is really saying. It always takes outside intervention to get her back on track

I don’t know where I developed the habit, from my parents I suppose, but somewhere along the line in my 60 years I learned to not just sit passively and soak up the preached word of God, but to take the notes and the scriptures and study them through for my self. That way, I wasn’t just taking a man’s word for what God said, but I was going back to Him and saying, "Lord, this is what the preacher says. Show me if it’s right and if I’m understanding it right.”

Now I’m not swayed by ‘every wind of doctrine’ because firm doctrine has been planted deep in my heart and those winds of doctrine blowing around cannot move it.

When I dealt with teaching children we recognized two kinds of learning. The first kind was “rote.” This is the way young children learn to count. They just chatter off the numbers in a long string. Or they learn the alphabet that way—all in one long string. And proud parents say, “He can count” and “She already knows her ABC’s!” But if you ask the child to count the blocks he chatters away and five blocks come out as “eleven.” The reason for this is that he hasn’t established the idea that “counting” implies a one to one relationship. To him, counting is simply rattling off a string of numbers. And if you ask the little girl to show you a ‘J’ she may point to almost any letter, because she again associates the ‘J’ with simply a string of syllables not with a specific shape or sound. These things have been learned by rote.

The other type of learning is by ‘internalizing’ the information. The best example of this that I’ve ever found is the young person who is memorizing the drivers’ manual in preparation for his driving test. He memorizes the fact that the vehicle must slow for curves and remain on the right side of the road. He knows it, he puts it on the paper and passes the test. The fact is not internalized until he takes a curve too fast, swings left of center and is involved in an accident. THEN the writing on the page becomes real to him. It is ‘internalized” He would have been ahead to not only memorize the rule but to incorporate it into his driving practices.

It is the same way with the word of God. Many people are simply memorizing the words and not incorporating them into their lives. We can’t just sit and listen to a pastor as he preaches the word to us. We can’t just memorize special passages. We must take every word and make it part of our daily practices. We must seek to understand why God said those things, what they mean in our lives and change our actions to fit them. When we have done that we are established in the Word and cannot be swayed by winds of doctrine.

I’m so thankful to have been raised by parents who not only kept me in church, but taught by example that the words of the pastor were to be studied and hidden in our hearts until they became a part of us. They taught by example that we didn’t just read the Bible but burrowed into its pages until the depths of them were so much a part of us we could not be moved from solid doctrine. That’s what my soul’s security is based on!

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