Today as I read the Word, this stuck out to me:
"Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar" (Prov 30:5-6)
Which reminded me of this:
"See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."
Which led me back to this:
"This is the way of an adulteress: she eats and wipes her mouth and says, 'I've done nothing wrong.'" (Prov 30:20)
I know my brain works in crazy ways sometimes - but can you follow my train of thinking?
God's word is perfect. It is truth and it stands on its own. We are not to try and change it, or add to it, or even "tweak" it to make it "better" or more acceptable.
And yet, there are those that will try. They will take the "hollow and deceptive philosophies" of this world and try to make the Word of God fit within those principles. They will try to make it more convenient or more palatable. But you can't because "'my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the LORD." (Isaiah 55:8)
And if we think that those who try to deceive us are just "of the world", we are naive.
"For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened...
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie...
Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mine, to do what ought not to be done...
Although, they know God's righteous decree that those who do such thing deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them." (Romans 1:21,25,28,32)
They knew God but they exchanged his Truth for lies. They did not keep his knowledge - holding it close and treasuring it up in their hearts. Instead, not only did they ignore God's decrees but then also gave their approval to others to do the same.
They were once the bride of Christ...but now they are adulteresses. They were once lovers of the truth but now entertain themselves at the table of the enemy...wiping their mouths and declaring their innocence - all the while insisting that they are not "hurting anyone".
"All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD." (Prov 16:2)
"But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath...for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger." (Romans 2:5-8)
"But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea." (Matthew 18:6)
God will not be mocked. We cannot deceive him - even when we have deceived ourselves. If we do not hold God's word up as the standard, our relationship with Christ will suffer. And so will our homes, our churches and the world around us. The world has been chipping away at God's truth since that infamous day in the garden and that will never cease. We need to stand guard and stand firm to make sure that we are never the ones standing there holding the hammer.
"My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call understanding your kinsman; they will keep you from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words." (Proverbs 7:1-4)
Lord, have mercy on us! Reveal your word to us and help us to keep it close to our hearts so that we would not be deceived - and in the process deceive others. Show us your ways! Help us to remember that, while you are a merciful, loving, compassionate God, you are also a holy, righteous God who will judge us and our actions. You will not be mocked and the consequences for twisting your words and truths will be your wrath and anger. Thank you, Lord, that, when we come to you with repentant hearts, you are faithful and just to forgive us - accepting us in perfect love as only a perfect Father can.