*This post has taken both great research and great prayer. The subjects of the following two posts are near and dear to my thoughtful heart*
Speculation is defined as, “the forming of a theory or connector without firm evidence.” I believe that speculation in relation to scripture can be inspiring and even helpful, but too much or the use inappropriate wording can confuse or create crisis where none should be.
Context is a wonderful thing, and verses or passages taken out of context have contributed to some of the largest schisms in the history of the Church. However, engaging in historical entertainment instead of scriptural scrutiny is dangerous.
2 Timothy 1:4b says, “Don’t let them waste their time in endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees. These things only lead to meaningless speculations, which don’t help people live a life of faith in God.”
This mistake is most often committed when the teacher or presenter deeply desires his audience or congregation to connect with the message. She/he makes it “current” or spends great time discussing what scholars think “might have happened.”
Sometimes this is exactly what the message needs and leads the group closer to complete understanding. But all things in moderation friends.
I believe there are three ways this behavior goes from helpful/questionable to unacceptable.
1. When the speculation is treated or presented as fact. Do not use the word “is” if the correct word is “might.” If you are teaching on material that is extra-scriptural, you must preface it what it is: an educated guess. No matter how excited or carried away you get with the lesson.
2. When the Bible is considered too boring and needs to be spiced up. Would this happen deliberately? Perhaps not. But I just saw Noah, the new move, and as much as I wanted to appreciate it, it was impossible. The story was much more false than it was true, the message was nearly ignored, and the Lord was presented as distant and even cruel. The word should never be interpreted to meet your needs as a speaker. One must not use the Word. The Word must use you.
3. When the awe of what might be exceeds the awe of what is. The time spent in speculative material should be brief and factual. Teaching the “might be” as the most moving or inspiring part of the lesson is not teaching the word of the Lord. The lesson has become dedicated to the whim of man.
The Word has been called the Love Letter of God, Holy Book, the Law, Sword of the Spirit, and Living Word. Even our Jesus has been referred to as, “The Word.” The sacred message of our great God deserves our utmost respect. Never our manipulation.
“My point is that people need solid food, not possible food. They need a sure word from God, not a guess from man. They need a biblical, “Thus says the Lord,” not a “Maybe God said.” – desiringGod.org
Fear. Fear is a funny thing; easy to find and hard to shake. In our world that is so fast, dangerous, and calculated, fear is often a secret of our hearts.
We fear things that we can’t control. The obsession for total control manifesting itself in terror of those things which we cannot. The truth is, there is little we can truly control and very little that we should.
We are told from our childhoods that to build a beautiful life, we must mold it with our own hands. We must remove all obstacles and break down all walls in the path of our personal happiness. But those walls are often masked opportunity we are afraid to confront.
Trust is difficult for me. Especially trust in my big God that I cannot see and can’t audibly hear. It is hard for me to believe that I could be wrong about what is best for me, or that silence and patience could be God’s will. But He is wise, a lesson I have learned the hard way over and over.
The first time I can remember my trust being tested, I was seven. I was in a big girl, in a big bed, in a big house, on a different floor than my parents, and I was terrified every night that the house would burn down. Looking back, it was such a random fear, yet so real and crippling.
Fire was bigger that me, and even bigger than my Daddy. Fire could destroy everything I loved and no one could stop it. It could break apart the carefully placed pieces of my seven year life and I was terrified of it. My nights were full of unrest for nearly a year.
One day though, I was lying there and tired of the sleepless nights and I prayed. I asked my God to take away my fear and I asked with child-like faith. And it was gone, it vanished as quickly as I asked. I found I was not even surprised.
That day, I learned to love and trust my heavenly Daddy. I believe that He is looking out for me. And more miraculously, I have come to trust Him even more than I trust my own self.
This weekend, I sat scary close to a bonfire and I felt the stirring of an age old fear in my heart like hot coals. But when someone dropped a new log on the fire, and the sparks sprayed over my boots, I took a breath and thanked God. Because I do not have to be afraid.
My heavenly Daddy can control fire, and sickness, and the turning of this world. He wakes me up in the morning and has held all the stars in His hands. Those same hands are holding me.
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
“The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Psalm 118:6
Nothing makes you love a thing like being without it. I have missed home. I try to pretend that Emily with her big girl life doesn’t need anything but the life she has crafted with her own two hands. But it isn’t true.
We are, whose we are. I belong to Jesus, my Mommy and Daddy, my brother and sisters, and Ben. I love that they help make up who I am, and I make up them.
How sacred it is, the feeling of home in a heart: deeply comfortable, free, and honest. It was so good to be home and in the sun with all my family this weekend.
I got to see my sister Ella go to prom, followed by my brother. My picture was on the front page, laughing at my handsome boyfriend as we ran in the park. I met the new Pastor of our church, and laughed in the hot tub with my best friend. But nothing was as spiritual or as beautiful as flying a kite.
My parents, baby sister, and I ran barefoot in the grass, chasing each other, squealing and panting. We lay on the grass and belly laughed. We made lemonade slushies and stained our mouths red. We gave long hugs and took deep clean breaths and stopped for a moment. We stopped and saw the beauty that is around us. We paused, and the joy of the Lord crept in.
The joy that is asboundless and simple as a blue sky, and as complex as family finds us in these moments. It fills us up to happy tears and it reminds us that life is fullest outside our planners and watches and to-do lists. Somehow, it is a hard truth to remember.
So pause friend. Breath deep the big world you live in. Find God there. Be healed and be filled in the present and the simple.
“Let’s go fly a kite
Up to the highest height
Let’s go fly a kite
And send it soaring
Up through the atmosphere
Up where the air is clear
Oh, let’s go fly a kite!” – Mary Poppins
Welcome! I'm a brand new wife, first year music teacher, Jesus follower, and am chronically curious about just about everything. Join me as I start off a whole new life.
"I am the Vine, you are the Branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."