I am in the midst of reading Ray Stedman's book "Adventuring Through the Bible." I am a great admirer of Mr. Stedman, who I believe is one of the great evangelical teachers and authors of our time. Mr. Stedman passed away years ago, but through his books and sermons he has become a wonderful mentor for me. I heartily recommend that you check out his teachings. They are all available for free at raystedman.org .
I was reading in his book about how a true relationship with God has to be a blending of the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit. He states that if one's faith relies too heavily on one or the other of these two things that our relationship with and our understanding of God will not be as it should be. I completely agree. If we put too much emphasis on Scripture and not enough on the Holy Spirit, it can lead to a dry, boring, intellectual view of God that can become ineffectual. However, if we put too much emphasis on the Holy Spirit, and not enough in God's Word, it can lead to a view of God that is based solely on feelings and emotions, which can result in chaos and mayhem. But if our relationship with Christ is an equal blending of the two, then we know that we love Jesus with truth, love and the understanding that comes from the revelation of Scripture through the Holy Spirit.
As I was thinking about this subject, I suddenly found myself (believe it or not ) thinking of the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. This should come as no surprise to those of you that know me. If I remember the story correctly, at one point Goldilocks is trying out the beds of the bears while they are out foraging or something. The first bed she tried was Papa Bears, a huge bed that was very hard and uncomfortable. The second bed was Mama Bears, also huge but way too soft. The third beds was Baby Bears. It was smaller in size but just right as far as being comfortable was concerned.
I started to think about how these beds might represent what I am talking about here. The first bed was very hard and unforgiving. To me, that is a picture of a relationship with God based entirely on Scripture. Christianity becomes a difficult, very strict set of rules that leads us to believe that God is that "angry old man" ready to strike us down if we can't abide by the commands God puts forth in his word.
The second "too soft' bed would represent a relationship with God based solely on the Spirit. It can be more comfortable, but where is the foundation for the feelings and emotions that are propelling you along on your spiritual journey? How do you know whether this new "Spiritual Fad" is based on truth? You don't if your relationship with God lacks the revelation of Scripture.
The third bed is smaller, more comfortable and it allows you to rest knowing that you have found that "just right" area where you know that your relationship with God is based on both the truth of Scripture and the leading of the Spirit. That's what I'm looking for at this point of my journey. A place to rest in God's love and truth. And you know what? I think I'm getting close. I'm beginning to feel more comfortable with who I am in Christ. I also know that I don't want to get too comfortable because then I won't grow.
The pursuit of God is forever and we need to have a place where we can rest and re-energize. For me, it's a comfortable place right between Scripture and Spirit.
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