Before you think I am being heretical, I want to ask you to please read the entire post, so you understand where I'm coming from. And I can't take credit for the wisdom behind this title. That goes to my friend, and fellow spiritual warrior, Tami. We were having a discussion about when it is appropriate to hammer home Scripture when counseling a fellow Believer.
I'm sure you've known people in your social or church culture who are strong and faithful Believers; people who you would have no problem going to when confronted with a spiritual crisis. They are centered in Jesus and knowledgeable in the Word -- you respect their counsel and can always count on them to have a strong foundation in what God's will is for the life of a Christian. They are steadfast in their faith; trustworthy and sensible in their advice.
You know that they will be able to offer guidance from a Biblical perspective and back it up with the appropriate Scriptures. If you are grounded in your faith and solid in your relationship with Jesus, and need Scriptural support to help you make the right decision, then they're the go-to guys. They will supply you with multiple Scriptural references that will show you a clear path to the right resolution for your situation.
That's where the title of this blog comes into play. Scripture will always give one God's truth on a matter. But depending on the state of the Beloved's mind, heart, and spirit, they may not be ready [or able] to receive God's Biblical instructions at that time. Correcting with Scripture may not be the answer to their problems at this particular stage of their faith walk. That's where our mercy and patience must come to bear.
Yes, the Bible says that All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, but if one is on the verge of brokenness, is rebuking or attempting to train through the Word what they need right then? At those times they just need to hear and feel and see Jesus.
The Word is never to be read out of relationship with the Father. But what if you feel you are out of relationship with Him? That you can't find Him and are having serious doubts about your connection to Him? Remember that the Bible also says, Don’t be pulled in
different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer
throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with
overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ. So
keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real,
honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy,
merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of
God, praising him always. That is a multi-layered picture of residing with Father God!
Here's another thing to think about ... I think that it is important to understand where your spirit is seated when you read the Word, or it is being quoted to you. Are you seated in a spirit of fear, or anger, or rejection, or brokenness, or vengeance? Do you think that might make a difference how you receive [or respond to] the Word? Your spirit must be in right relationship with the Father in order to recognize the supremacy of the Word.
The Word is ALWAYS a doorway to a personal relationship with the Father. If you are stable in your life and faith, then the more you hear the Word, the more you hunger for it because it is life-sustaining. But sometimes our Brothers and Sisters are simply in need of the Presence of the Father before the Scripture means anything to them. Sometimes they need to be encouraged to spend some time at His feet to learn that their crisis comes from operating out of their own power instead of seeking His power in their lives. And sometimes they need to be brought to their knees before His throne in repentance before we can participate in their restoration. And that's why their time with the Father is so important. Relationship must come before the Word can mean anything; and when that relationship has become broken or fractured, the use of Scripture can be to no effect -- like putting a band-aid on the crisis or situation.
Please know that I am not down-playing the Word of God! It is vitally important and the Bread of Life to all Christians. I am simply saying that we need to be sensitive to the spiritual state of our brethren before deciding if the timing is right to introduce a litany of Scripture as the answer to their problems. Let me be clear ... there will be an opportune time when Scripture will be important to back up what they've heard from the Father -- it will be their lifeline and their continual support in their journey with Him. But it is important when helping a Believer [to transcend a crisis] that we let Scripture be the Light to their spirit and not a weight that pulls them further from the Father.
Psalm 23:4 Lord, even when your path takes me through the valley of deepest darkness, fear will never conquer me, for you already have! You remain close to me and lead me through it all the way. Your authority is my strength and my peace. The comfort of your love takes away my fear. I’ll never be lonely, for you are near.