There are things that are constant in life. The sun rose today, will set this evening, and will rise again tomorrow. Whether you are a man, woman, young, or old; Catholic, Protestant, Jewish or Atheist; Black, White, Hispanic or Asian; the rising and setting of the sun is a daily occurrence in life. We have no human power to stop or alter this principle of celestial mechanics. Even if we wanted to change the daily transit of the sun, we cannot. As long as the earth turns on its’ axis there will be sunrise and sunset: this is an incontrovertible and unchangeable fact.
Even though life is full of constants, men become consumed by the desire to change things. The first individual who desired to change the order of the universe was named Lucifer, the most beautiful and powerful being ever created. Somehow, he came to believe that God was limiting his freedom of expression. He wanted to do “his own thing”, he wanted to change things to suit his progressive ideas. We find part of his story in Isaiah 14:12-15 “How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning!
You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world. For you said to yourself, ‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north. I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.’ Instead, you will be brought down to the place of the dead, down to its lowest depths.” Lucifer’s desire to alter the order of God cost him everything he had, yet he continues to strive against God to this day. We know him as Satan, and he drives humans to rebel against God, His established order, and His Word.
Let’s Do the Twist – my own thing!
Things did not work out well for Lucifer, not because God hated him or desired to spoil his fun, but because he desired to become his own god. He wanted to change the status quo and do what he felt was right. He transmitted this idea to Eve, who shared it with Adam. “Does God really mean what He says, or is it open to interpretation” he opined to Eve. We know how that worked out! Solomon well stated in Proverbs 16:25 “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”
People of this world are fixated on doing exactly what Lucifer did. They rebel against God, His established order, and His Word. They believe the Word of God is open to their own interpretation. Peter wrote “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. (2 Peter 1:20-21) Given the nature of the spirit that is at work in the world, it is not surprising that men twist the scripture in order to excuse their rebellious behavior. What is surprising is that many who say they are Christians attempt to change what the Bible says, or ignore it completely when it does not support the lives they choose to lead.
The Word is Truth
God’s Word says “I am the Lord, and I do not change.” (Mal 3:6), and again “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas….” (Heb. 13:8-9) God and His Word cannot be changed any more than the sun he created. Why would we think that our own interpretation of His Word will lead us to happiness and ultimate success. It may not be popular to say that God “says what He means and means what He says”, but it is immutable fact.
Jesus, the most successful man and greatest theologian alive, said this to God about His followers ” They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” (John 17:16-17) Jesus view of success is living in the truth. Not any “truth”, but THE TRUTH, the Word of God. Where do we find the Word of God? THE BIBLE!
Jesus Lived by the Word
Jesus never ignored, added to, or manipulated scripture in order to live a lifestyle contrary to the will of God revealed in His Word. He had many opportunities to do His “own thing”, yet always chose to do God’s thing. Hebrews 4:15 tells us “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” We must resist the temptation to ignore or attempt to change what God says in order to “fit in” with the world. We may be in the world, but we should not be of the world.
Jesus said “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” (John 17:14) He knew that the only way to help us succeed was by giving us the Word. The same word He gave to His first disciples is applicable to us today. We must be fully committed to living lives of respect and obedience to the Word of God as written in the Bible.
When Satan tempted Jesus by twisting the meaning of scripture He responded “It is written, Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God”. Let’s do what Jesus did: live our lives by every word of God. Not what we want it to say, but what it actually says. When we do so, we will experience the same success that Jesus did: A constant success that visits our lives as certainly as the rising and the setting of the sun!