I came home today from work feeling a bit depressed. Not that anything went wrong today in particular, it was a rather uneventful day at work apart from a brief hour over lunch of reading. Yet somehow, in that short time period of researching the biblical backing behind CS Lewis’ imagery of heaven and hell in his novels, I stumbled upon a few very disturbing articles and I found myself barraged from both sides.
One stance offered articles written by the world’s top atheist New Testament scholar, methodically picking apart my belief in the inerrancy of scripture I hold so dearly as my source of ultimate truth. On the other side, I found articles written by one of the world’s most infamous cult leaders. It was riddled with scriptures and logical progressions, rooted in the Bible and with much sound teaching, convincingly ending with the claim that I and anyone outside of their specific church and biblical interpretations was destined for hell.
I could barely tear my eyes away from my phone screen, flipping back and forth between the two as I felt my foundations slowly chipped away. I won’t even mention their names here for fear of sending any more Internet traffic than they have already abused.
At the end of my reading, I was left to question everything… Does God exist? If there is a God, can I trust the Bible? If I believe the Bible, am I even saved? It was a dreadful place I have not been in a long time.
Perhaps you find yourself in a similar predicament. We are being attacked from all sides. Our adversary, the devil, is very clever and broad reaching in his tactics. Daily I feel bombarded from those who say we are too intolerant to those who say we are too tolerant. He loves to twist scripture, this being even his best attempt at tempting Christ in the desert. My accuser reminds me that one day people will ask me about these troubling articles and twisted scriptures… if I cannot answer, what will become of their faith
Fortunately, we are not alone! The Bible offers many examples of those who have gone before us, the great cloud of witnesses who have finished the race. In this moment of feeling low, I was reminded of the emotional turmoil faced by many of the psalmists and I could not get Psalm 42 out of my head. The repeat, or chorus, from this Psalm says:
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
And why are you in turmoil in me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him,
My salvation and my God.
This was exactly how I felt! I could hear these words playing in my head over and over again. I could feel my downcast soul, yet I still faintly felt the hands of God holding me from leaving his grasp. When the psalmist was taunted by his enemies saying, “Where is your God?”, he remembered back to the great joy and love and comfort from God he felt before. I was reminded that nothing can strip me of my testimony, when my understanding of the freedom found in Christ washed over me like breakers and waves. Though my joy was challenged today, I could still remember it from yesterday and tell myself, “Hope in God for I shall again praise Him.”
Now, as I sit writing through my experience this evening, God has granted me many remembrances of time I spent studying and praying through the exact issues I faced. I am left finding no meaningful claims against the Bible’s inerrancy as the very Word of God. My mind has been renewed with passages refuting the words of condemnation. All that remains is remembering how loving and merciful our Savior is for both saving me from this trial and His ultimate sacrifice on the cross.
I don’t know why God allowed this experience today… perhaps an attack from our adversary for recent studies on scripture inerrancy, perhaps it was an opportunity for God to remind me to rely more on Him than my intellect, perhaps it was just a trial to see how strong my faith is… but regardless I know I will be rooted stronger for it.
If you find yourself under attack, I pray that you would consider the tactics used by Christ when tempted in the desert, the same tactics helpful for me today when facing Satan’s attempts at twisting scripture. Christ responded only with scripture. It IS our ultimate truth source. Ephesians 6:17 tells us that it is a sword, a weapon, for fighting in the spiritual battles against the mighty powers in this dark world. Go today, go now, and memorize some scripture. If you don’t know where to go, consider even just that simple chorus of Psalm 42.
“Be sober-minded be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). You never know when you’ll need the scripture you memorize, but filling yourself with the Word and the Holy Spirit is the best way to stay sober-minded against spiritual attack.
In the end, I thank God today as my ultimate foundation remained. It is all because of Him that I still hold faith in the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. Tomorrow I will awake newly thanking God that he has kept me and that no one may snatch me out of His hands (John 10:28-29).
No responses yet