Tag Archive: Sufficient


OldRuggedCross_B&WMost will readily acknowledge that people lie, and we might even admit we too are prone to talebearing from time to time, yet somehow there’s this strange belief within each of us that says our feelings will never lie. But nothing could be further from the truth. Feelings lie more than any of us probably care to admit. 

How many times have we heard, “Go with your heart”, “Trust your gut”, “Let your heart lead you”, etc.? Yet, God’s Word very clearly reminds us that our hearts are far from trustworthy. They are self-centered, deceitfully wicked, and naturally bent toward getting what they want. Jeremiah 17:9.

Feelings are far from objective. They are fickle and focused on keeping all the attention on themselves. As Christians, we often struggle against our natural emotions. Many times we have a godly desire to faithfully follow the Lord, yet find ourselves having to push our natural emotions out of the way. One author correctly compared feelings to a room full of crying babies. If you were to continually hold them, the babies would be satisfied, but at the end of the day you would be completely tired out and the babies would’ve only learned that crying will get them the attention they desire. Sure there are appropriate times to hold a baby, but just like  parents must train their little ones, so too we must learn to train our fleshly feelings. If we spend our entire lives holding or indulging our feelings, we’ll become nothing less than a helpless, hopeless slave to them.

Praise the Lord we do not have to rely on the world’s methods to do the training! Instead, we have the eternal and magnificent power of the Holy Spirit and the marvelously sufficient Word of God!  Jesus desires all His children be sanctified (set apart) by the truth of God’s living and active Word.(Psalm 119:9John 17:17)  He has not left us as orphans to figure it out on our own. He has graciously given us His Holy Spirit to daily and powerfully transform us into His image. (John 14:18-26;2 Corinthians 3:18)  First, we must be honest and admit that our fleshly feelings don’t always tell the truth, that they only have their best interest in mind.  Then we must continually capture our thoughts (and emotions), nailing them to the cross of Christ, knowing only Jesus can cleanse us, oftentimes even from our foolish feelings.  (Matthew 16:24;2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

The world spends literally billions of dollars a year to produce in people certain emotional connections to it’s philosophies, methods, and products.  Why?  Because it knows very well that once we’ve attached an emotion to an idea or product, we’ll have a very difficult time letting go.  Oh, how true this is!  May we let the Lord Jesus Christ break these attachments, allowing us to finally enjoy the freedom and liberty we have in Christ!  Freedom from the flesh! Freedom from Satan! Freedom from Sin! Freedom to keep in step with Jesus, knowing soon we’ll be able to see Him face to face, with only godly feelings flowing from Heaven’s throne, filling our hearts and minds! What a glorious day that will be!!!

Until that day, may we say like Paul, “I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

“The LORD knows the thoughts of man, that they are vanity. Blessed is the man whom You chasten, O LORD, and teach out of Your law…” Psalms 94:11-12

“O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walks to direct his steps.” Jeremiah 10:23

“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ; if so be that you have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Ephesians 4:17-24

“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” 2 Corinthians 3:17

“If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36

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“MIRROR, MIRROR, ON THE WALL…”


Most would readily recognize a queen talking to herself in a mirror about her own beauty as prideful and foolish. So why is it that so many have been duped by the popular psychological doctrine of self-esteem which in essence teaches the same prideful notions of self-adoration?

Possibly part of the reason is because of the psychotherapeutic community’s stellar job of making their field appear more scientific than it really is. Another could be the lack of discernment in many who trust almost any teaching as long as it’s called “scientific”. Interestingly, in the minds of many, once a belief receives the stamp of approval from “science”,  it somehow moves out from the realm of fiction (or hypothesis) and into the world of facts and, it seems, is no longer open to scrutiny.  As the adage goes, “Perception is reality.”

But what if the real research and observational science contradict the popular belief of something? To go a step further, what if the Bible contradicts the idea? Arguably, two of the most popular and influential ideas in today’s world; two that use “science” as their shield  and cleverly rule over our self-centered, post-modern society are evolution and clinical psychotherapy. When dealing with either, the Christian is unconditionally obligated without pause to examine them under the scrutiny of God’s sufficient Scriptures. As we stand on His Word, we need not fear.  The truth of God’s creation will always confirm, never contradict the Bible.  The problem occurs when someone gives himself permission to use God’s Word in conjunction with man’s ideas.  Here is where the road splits.  Also, here is where a clever debater will raise up a straw man hoping to cause as many as possible to make a sharp left turn when we should stay straight on the narrow way.

“You see,” an orator might argue, “we don’t use the Bible for fixing a car or building a skyscraper, so clearly there are writings and teachings by men that require us to go outside the Bible. ”  This is foolish at best, and detrimental at worst.  No one would say that we don’t find some of man’s discoveries and teaching useful as they pertain to our day-to-day lives on planet earth.  The problem comes when we make the unnecessary leap of holding to those that lay claim to answers exclusive to the Word of God.  The Bible clearly states that it is sufficient for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3), so if any doctrine in these areas contradicts the 66 books of the Bible, a born-again believer must throw them out.  We do not first and foremost need men, rather the Holy Spirit and His Word in these matters.  However, this attack to turn a person from trusting God’s Word is not always easy to detect. Most often they are subtle and unannounced, claiming all the while to be benevolent in intent.

Why not announce your full intentions?  Why such subtly? Simply stated, it’s not always advantageous to attack your opponent head on.  A good strategist will come at his enemy in a variety of covert ways, but the goal is always the same- overtake and destroy.  If I were to stand in front of a Bible-believing congregation and plainly teach that we don’t need God’s Word for all areas of life, many would hopefully correct me on the spot, asking me to step down.  However, if I begin to teach a contrary view to the Bible concerning the history of this universe (evolution) or the nature of man (pop-psychology, self-esteem), all the while invoking “science” to make my claims, many might feel ill-equipped to disagree. Why? Because they feel “scientifically” under equipped to do so.  This reason alone reveals that, at some level, they have been convinced that the “science” in these historical and sociological areas is superior to God’s Word. Once a person has been convinced of the insufficiency of God’s Word, he will undoubtedly be susceptible to even more science fiction, much of which is only covered in a thin veneer of so-called facts. Once a person has bowed the knee to the superiority of man’s ideas to life and godliness in any area,  the battle and even perhaps much of the war has been won.  Once the door is unlocked, allowing in man’s vain philosophies, a person has, in essence, given permission for any and all foolish ideas to enter his heart and mind.

Anytime anyone says that we can add false doctrines to God’s Word, whether claiming to be spiritual or scientific, we are in actuality moving ourselves off the bedrock of the Bible onto the sinking sands of sinful men. The question is simple.  Do we really want the Rock or are we satisfied with the sand?

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker…” 2 Timothy 2:15-17a

Below is a current article providing one of the many examples where the facts diverge from one of today’s most popular teachings.

Dark Side of Self-Esteem

“The media recently reported “new” research findings to the effect that rewards often backfire and self-esteem is not the wonderful, uplifting personal attribute once thought. As a result, schools are rethinking their teaching and classroom management philosophies…

“For almost two decades, research done by people like Roy Baumeister of Florida State University has shown, as conclusively as social science research is capable of showing, that high self-esteem is associated with anti-social behavior. Think, for example, bullying. It appears that the higher one’s self-regard, the lower his regard for others.  People with high self-regard believe themselves to be entitled. What they want, they believe they deserve to have. Because they deserve what they want, they believe they deserve to have.  Because they deserve what they want, the ends justify the means. Think, for example, Bernie Madoff.  They are never wrong; therefore, they are right to act on whatever idea they have. Think, for example, Adolph Hitler.”  (excerpted from http://www.onenewsnow.com/Perspectives/Default.aspx?id=1545284).

     For the next several posts, I plan to share some of the largest and most colorful plastic jewels that I had picked up while in the world.  After becoming a born-again believer it took time for me to begin understanding that there were many things I had picked up and was still picking up from the world.  These jewels were easy to find, and get ahold of simply because they were and are so popular and pervasive.  The first in this series of blogs is the popular notion of right brain/left brain psychology which is still main stream in numerous educational resources and couples self-help articles and books. 

Right brain/left brain psychology entered the main stream somewhere in the early to mid 1980’s and can truly be labeled science falsely so-called. Many in the neuroscience fields know this concept has little data and much assumption surrounding it, yet many Christians have unfortunately clung to it as a precious jewel.  Every time the saints accept worldly philosophies in lieu of God’s Word, both our walk and our witness are affected.  One man put it like this, “The cause of Christ is not discredited by failure to keep up with modern science (which has nothing to do with spiritual reality), but by the substitution of “science falsely so-called” for God’s unchanging truth. This is a modern abomination.” Dave Hunt, TBC Newsletter- “Science Falsely So-Called”, Feb. 1, 1989.

There are few topics that are held with such passion as that of popular psychology.  It would be one thing to say that the world won’t let go of it, but unfortunately most of today’s Christianity is spell-bound by its teachings, raising many popular Christian psychologists up to a priest-like status that is almost untouchable even by the Word of God.   After all, you need a degree to become a psychologist so how could someone who only knows God’s Word ever be able to correct a psychologist?  Yet many go to psychologists for the very reason they should be going to our Lord and Savior- for counsel.  This article will not be an attempt to critique popular psychology and the love many Christians have for it, but since right brain/left brain thinking has its home in this general area let me say just a couple more things pertaining to psychology in light of God’s Word.

Did you know that psychology is the number two field of study both in Christian and secular universities alike?  It is interesting that no matter what bookstore you go to you will more than likely find more books on counseling and psychology than you will on biblical Christianity.  To say the least, psychology is very popular among both Christians and non-Christians alike.  Did you also know that the Lord never ascribes counseling as a spiritual gift in the Bible?  He does give some to be teachers, pastors, and some to be apostles and evangelists.  Some have the gift of helps, and others have the gift of tongues and prophecy.  And others have the gift of healing, yet nowhere does God reveal to us that He gives anyone a specific gift called “counseling”.  (Romans 12:7, 1 Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 4:11) With such a big draw and such an apparent need, why are the Scriptures silent on a gift of counseling?  It seems the Lord has perhaps overlooked the needs of us living in the 20th and 21st Centuries. Perhaps this is why Godless men like Abraham Maslow and Carl Yung were raised up.  Perhaps they were raised up to assist us poor, needy Christians who didn’t know how to properly give or receive counsel for almost 2,000 years prior to their arrival.  Or perhaps there is another answer. 

Is not God Himself called the Counselor, and does not the Holy Spirit indwell all believers?  (Isaiah 9:6, John 14:16-17) Is not the entire body of Christ commanded to draw along side one another to bear each other’s burdens, helping the weaker for the strengthening of the whole body, which is fit together and supplied by the love of Christ?  (Romans 15:1-2, Galatians 6:2-3, Ephesians 4:11-16, 1 Corinthians 12:18-27)  Does not the Word of God claim to be sufficient in all things pertaining to life and godliness?  (2 Peter 1:1-3) Then why should we go to the muddied streams of human psychology that was invented by Godless men, to try to glean a few nuggets of truth that will minister to hearts and minds? 

“But you have not so learned Christ; If so be that you have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: That you put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”  Ephesians 4:20-24

 “Is Christ alone sufficient?  Is Christ all that we need?  Unfortunately, often we do not realize that Christ is all that we need until He is all that we have! 
 
Would we be complete and content with only Him?  Christ is not only my Savior; He is also my Satisfier because Christ is fully sufficient to meet every one of my needs.  Nothing else will satisfy but Him because He is the Living Water (see John 4:13-14; 7:37) and the Bread of Life (see John 6:35). When I endeavor to find my satisfaction in any other person or thing, it is like trying to drink from a broken cistern that can hold no water (see Jeremiah 2:13). 

“Is Christ alone sufficient?  Is Christ all that we need?  Unfortunately, often we do not realize that Christ is all that we need until He is all that we have!

Perhaps God’s greatest desire for us is to recognize our need of Him and find our satisfaction and sufficiency in Him.  If there is a “formula” for living the Christian life, it is simply: Jesus Christ plus nothing equals everything!”  Jerry Benjamin, “Simply Singular- Is Christ Prominent or Preeminent?”, p. 18.

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