Stepping out in Faith and into Spiritual Growth

Stepping out in faith

Dear First time caller:

A few preliminaries out of the way, we move to the heart of your inquiry.

Discovering Growth

I have horrible instincts when it comes to knowing what He’s trying to say to me.

Many IFB and ex-IFBs feel this way. Yesterday’s post addresses the IFB pastor’s investment in membership self-flagellating.

But where you say you ‘have horrible instincts’ for discerning the Spirit’s voice, I see an insatiable thirst for knowledge. And for your questions and timidity, you’re better at this than you guess. You ask how you can learn to read Scripture with new eyes. What you don’t see is that your own post largely answers own question. Here is what I see in your post.

  • You strongly desire to read the Scriptures through new eyes.
  • You know that the Spirit speaks to us through the Scriptures.
  • You are open to the possibility that God gives us new wine.

If you are seeking the starting point discerning the Spirit’s leading in the Scripture, I can offer no better council. But I also see how you interact with Scripture from your emotional life. Look at the words you use:

cautious, skeptical [a little], scary [a little].
much more gentle, love to read it, refreshing.

That, First time caller, is the stuff of which growth is made. It requires that we ‘step out in faith.’ And yes, that can be at least mildly scary. Yet we are not called to avoid dangers but to face them relying on the word and Spirit. Willingness to explore and test ideas is why the Bereans [the ones in Acts 17:10-11] were commended. A favorite text of mine:

‘We take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ’ [2Co 10:5].

Spiritual curiosity disciplined with Biblical-shaped caution is a wonderful gift, and it is a gift is much needed in the church. It is here that the church does some of her best theological work.

Even if somewhat scary, you’ve already made an huge step of faith with respect to how you ‘read’ Ph 2:12. In the process, you’ve touched something extremely important, with deep ramifications, and which is profoundly beautiful. It is also relevant to your inquiry as to HOW to read the Scriptures. It is also revealing of who you are as God’s image. But I’ll take up this in tomorrow’s post.

Blessings!

1 thought on “Stepping out in Faith and into Spiritual Growth”

  1. But where you say you ‘have horrible instincts’ for discerning the Spirit’s voice, I see an insatiable thirst for knowledge. And for your questions and timidity, you’re better at this than you guess.

    Yes, I DEEPLY thirst for knowledge. I know that I’m not understanding as I should. I know that I’m missing something, and am restless to find what the missing piece is, because I think it’s something that will somehow put into place all of the fragments I am trying to make sort through and make sense of.

    I guess by “horrible instincts,” I meant that I so often get it wrong. I begin to see a scripture differently, but when I express that, I’m told why that’s wrong and I don’t know how to counter the arguments. Saying “this is what I think God is saying to me” isn’t really accepted as an explanation… people have believed God has directed them to do things He clearly has not. Or, I think God desires me to make certain choices, or go in a certain direction. And when I do, it just kind of “blows up” in my face. It doesn’t accomplish anything at all except to bring trouble for me or for others.

    I’m confused by the fact that there are so many different brands of Christianity. There are so many different interpretations of the same scriptures. If the Holy Spirit is to lead us, then why is he not able to unify us in what His word actually says?

    This, here, IS helping me to see a bit more. I feel that I’m closer to finding that “thing” that I’m missing. So, thank you.

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