2/26/2009 - Going Beyond Biblical?

Quiet Time 2-26-09:  Going Beyond Biblical?

As a Christian, I believe that the Bible is God’s inerrant Word and it is the second greatest gift to us, with His love, which includes salvation, being the greatest gift.  I believe the scriptures should be the basis for all we believe, say and do.  But the Christian faith and walk needs to go BEYOND BIBLICAL.  “Going beyond” doesn’t mean to skip over or go around or leave behind.  “Going Beyond Biblical” includes all of the Bible, leaving out nothing, but is more than knowing about, more than understanding, more than believing; it also includes the spiritual, relationship dimensions which are necessary to be a Christian (becoming more like Christ).

Why do I bring this up?  Yesterday, I participated in Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of Lent which carries us to the celebration of Easter.  To the best of my knowledge, Lent is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible.  Lent includes prayer and fasting, which is certainly biblical, but Lent goes beyond biblical and provides an opportunity to make Easter personal.  During Lent we have the opportunity to sacrifice (fast or give up) something as a reminder of the sacrifice Jesus made for us by dieing on the cross for our sins so that by believing in our minds, accepting in our hearts and confessing with our mouths, we can have everlasting life.  This year for Lent I am intending to give up myself.  I want there to be less of me and more of Jesus.  If this actually happens the evidence will be seen by others and felt by me.

I have known for long time that fasting is biblical and I have in recent years “participated” in fasting during specific times or events.  But it was not until earlier this year that I committed to a corporate fast at Community Christian School that fasting became spiritual and personal.  Previously, fasting had only been a religious act; even though I knew it was biblical it did not go beyond the biblical and become spiritual and personal to me.  This time I more fully surrendered to God and the fasting allowed me to better hear God which has allowed me to be more obedient to Him.  Through this obedience I have seen God work through me in circumstances that have changed lives.  This gives me a hunger to fast.  (Hunger to fast - that is a paradox that can be added to the “frightening love” I shared last week.)  I look forward to fasting in the future and I thank Wendi Patterson for sharing the book Fasting by Jentzen Franklin which is helping me better understand the process.

It is interesting that the lost think the Bible is for “Christians” and that a large number of “Christians” see the Bible simply as something others need to know about to get saved.  Of course that is far from the truth.  The Bible is to be read over and over, to be understood, to be in our heart and minds so that it can be used as God intended, such as being the sword of the Spirit.  Have you ever heard someone say “they just don’t get it”?  Well, with the Bible, you have to “get it” and keep getting it if you are going to go beyond it.

I’m probably sounding a little “preachy” and that is not my plan, but I’m sharing what God gives me.  “Going Beyond the Bible” is probably misleading, what I want to get across is that personally I see a difference in being saved and being a Christian.  To me, being saved means you have accepted Christ as your savior, being a Christian means that you have accepted Christ as your savior and that you are trying to become more like Christ.  It is saddening that there are many that claim to be Christians that have neither truly accepted Christ as their savior and definitely are not becoming more like Christ.  So what I am really talking about is not “going beyond the Bible” but “going beyond salvation”.

I realize that by writing and sending this that I may put myself up for ridicule and judgment, but I ask that instead you will pray for me to be able see any error of my ways and to have the courage, strength and wisdom to become less of me and more of Christ.  I do welcome any insight or guidance you may have.

I normally include scripture reference with my Quite Time writings, but while there is certainly scripture reference for the content, in “going beyond biblical” I send these words without scripture and pray that the Holy Spirit will use them.

On second thought, I can’t do that; here is some scripture:

Matthew 17:20-21 (New Century Version)
Jesus answered, "Because your faith is too small. I tell you the truth, if your faith is as big as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. All things will be possible for you. That kind of spirit comes out only if you use prayer and fasting.”

Isaiah 8:20 (New Living Translation)
Look to God’s instructions and teachings! People who contradict his word are completely in the dark.

. . . make smart choices, love everybody, be a blessing, I love you and have a great day.