Monday, March 5, 2012

Are You Going Through the Motions?

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. Hebrew 4:12-13 (NASB)

As I was reading Hebrews 4 recently, I was struck by the commentary on today's verse. It reads in part, "Some...were merely going through the motions of belonging to Christ. Intellectually they were at least partly persuaded, but inside they were not committed to Him."*

This got me to thinking...how many who avoid His Word do so because they are going through the motions of Christianity and are not fully persuaded to embrace the gospel because of the changes it will bring? How many have a form of godliness and yet do not avail themselves of the power of the cross? 

I am aware that many Christians struggle with reading the Word of God. I think at times we would rather be doing something else and find reasons not to pick up the Bible and read and study it. However, this is not the norm for the Believer who has a growing relationship with Christ.  

The growing Christian desires to read the Word and impart its truths to their heart. There is a genuine love for those truths and a sense of loss and what I would call loneliness when too much time has gone by without reading and meditating on the Scriptures. 

The Word of God is intended to prick the heart and the conscience of the reader.   The Word of God makes us transparent before Him.  It is from the Word we receive conviction and from reading the Bible that the heart is laid bare. It is precisely because of that transparency that many avoid a daily Bible time. It is much easier to hide behind a mask of Christianity than it is to actually be a Christian.

Being a Christian means that you must change, and the change is total and complete. The change is intended to take you as you are and transform you into someone else.  That is the meaning behind Romans 12:2; a total and complete transformation from who we were at the moment of conversion.

The Word truly does cut through the baloney that comprises so much of today's "christianity" and that makes people uncomfortable.  You see, we all want to look changed on the outside so behaviors are changed and the appearance of conforming to Christ-likeness takes place.  

Often enough truth is absorbed through Sunday sermons and perhaps a Bible study or small group to aid in surface changes, but there is little depth to this kind of Christianity.  The hard truth is that so many people do not truly want to be changed; they are comfortable with who they are and the lives they lead.  Surface change is enough and they are in a very real sense just going through the motions.

Internalizing the Scriptures will reveal shallow beliefs and expose the heart of unbelief.  The reality is that a person knows that there is no hiding the truth from God or from them about what they believe under the light of God’s Word so they simply avoid its convicting truths.

Please don’t avoid the Truth, cease to avoid the Holy Spirit and His convicting power. Return to the Word and let it affect your heart and spill over into changing your life!


*John MacArthur Study Bible, commentary on Hebrews 4:12, New King James Version of the Bible 

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