What is normal? A three bedroom, two bathroom house? Two kids, two cars, and a dog? Going to college? Working hard to establish a great career? I bet we could all agree on many things we could call “normal” but who decides what “normal” is? The media and our society, that’s who.
Twenty years ago it would have been crazy to walk through the mall to see a 20ft tall picture of a woman in nothing but a skimpy bra and underwear. Now it’s “normal” because we are used to seeing it. Ten years ago it was crazy to show homosexuals kissing on TV. Now it’s "normal" because we see it all the time.
For us Christians, we have a difficult road ahead of us. You see, the world wants to dictate to us, what is ok and acceptable and what is not. However, there is one huge problem with that:
God doesn't care one iota what the world says is normal. He created the entire universe for HIMSELF and for HIS glory. (Romans 11:36)
This world is not for us and our whims and ideas, but for his GLORY and his PURPOSE. He gets to decide what is good, what is right and what is acceptable. That is just the way it is.
This is not always an easy truth to accept. In fact, everything in us wants to have a part in deciding what is best for us. Don’t we? From the very beginning when we see Satan tempting Adam and Eve in the garden he says: “Did God really say?” (Gen 3:1).
Or in other words:
“God didn’t really mean that.”
“That might be a good suggestion, but don’t try to tell me there aren’t other good ways of doing it.”
“God might have said that, but he doesn’t really want what’s best for you. He is a mean, unloving God who wants to keep you away from the best this world has to offer.”
Satan is sneaky and he gets us at our weakest; thinking we know what’s best; thinking we can have the blessings of God, but still set the rules for our own life. However, we have been given the Bible, the divinely inspired, PERFECT Word of God. It is meant to guide every single aspect of our lives from how we interact with our neighbors to how we spend our money to what we do with our time.
I would guess that 99% of the people reading this blog would agree with me on this point, but here is where I’d like to challenge you. If we spend most of our free time immersed in the world and only spend an hour or two on Sunday hearing the truth of God’s Word, do you really think we will look much different from the world? The truth is that our normal will probably look much more like the worlds version of it, rather than God’s version of it. If we are going to combat the strong current we are up against, we need to know and study the Word of God often and with fervor.
How do we expect to live lives for God if we have no idea what the Bible says about a godly life? How can we make sure we are attending a church that preaches the truth of the Bible if we never read the Bible for ourselves? How can we expect to model our lives after God’s design if we don’t know what his design is? How can we have strong marriages if we don’t know what God says about loving each other? How can we choose the right priorities if we have no idea what kind of life God calls Christians to live? How can we stand against compromise and temptation if we don’t have the power of God’s Word? Jesus defeated the lies of Satan by using God’s Word as his sword. We need to do the same. But how do we expect to battle if we never pick up our swords; if they sit dusty and lying on the shelf?
This is a call to action; to pick up your Bible; to get comfortable wielding that powerful sword; to become familiar with its truths, and promises. The Bible needs to be the foundation of every single aspect of our life. God's Word is what decides what is normal and what is not. If we call ourselves Christians, then there really is no other way. There is nothing more powerful and world changing than the Church equipped and going out in love with the truth and authority of God's Word. That’s when lives start changing. That’s when radical changes start happening in the world. That's when God's kingdom comes "on earth, as it is in heaven." Don’t you want to be a part of that?
"Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth." - Deuteronomy 11:18-20
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." - 2 Timothy 3:16-17