A new book was released this week by Lysa TerKeurst , and I want to earnestly caution believing friends against running out to get it or hopping on Amazon to order it. She is an exuberant writer and speaker and has experienced great triumph over intense difficulties in her life, but these things alone do not make her a sound Biblical teacher, and that should be our top priority when we are studying the Word of God.
In her latest book, “It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way”, she states,
“We will be victorious because Jesus is victorious. Victorious people were never meant to settle for normal.”
Referencing 1 Cor 15:57 she says,
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Sounds awesome, right? What if your life IS normal? What if God’s plan for you is to be a postman, accountant, Kindergarten teacher, orphan, widow, childless spouse, or an amputee?
VV. 54-58 give us a broader, more accurate picture. Paul is speaking about our *eternal* life. We are not promised victory in our earthly life. We may have triumphs – for which we should praise and glorify the Almighty God – but this is not primarily a promise for our mortal lives. This is called eisegesis – inserting your own personal thoughts, hopes, and self into Biblical text, rather than proper EXegesis: that is, the drawing out of the truth that God has already established for us.
Countless Christians live with overwhelming discouragement in their spiritual walk because they are told they should be victorious *now*, that things would go better for them if they had more faith, that even if trials come, they will have peace if they simply TRUST GOD. When leaders put this burden on a believer without proper Biblical teaching, the weight is often too great and people give up. We don’t have peace because we muster the strength to trust God. We have peace when we realize we are lost, wrought with sin, desperately in need of a Savior, and governed by a sovereign God who works all things for His glory – which is to be our purpose also.
1 Cor 10:31, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Rom 11:36 says, “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to Him be glory forever.”
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward, you will receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
In a PDF entitled “How to Hear God’s Voice”, Lysa declares:
”Every day, God speaks to us. Sometimes He invites us to draw close and listen as He reveals Himself, His character, and His direction. Other times He calls us to participate in His purposes. Still other times He simply whispers to remind us of His amazing love for us.”
Where, when taken in context, does Scripture say this? Where does Scripture say we need to be hearing from God as the PDF asserts? (It doesn’t.)
She goes on to say:
“God will never speak to us or tell us to do something that is contrary to His Word. But unless we know Scripture, we will not be able to discern whether what we are hearing is consistent or not with the Word.”
If this is the case, all we need is the Word. We do not need to be seeking extra-Biblical revelation because we are then, in fact, ADDING to scripture, which God says is complete.
Proverbs 30:5–6 cautions us not to add to God’s words:
“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.”
Deuteronomy 4:2 (and Deut 12:32) warns us not to add or take away from God’s commands:
“Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you”
We have all of the instruction we need, and do not require more.
2 Pet 1:3, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence”
When we seek personal revelation, we are seeking instruction outside of God’s Word, and these notions are subjective within our emotions and circumstances, and therefore not to be trusted. Our words and thoughts cannot be equated with scripture, and we must, therefore, do away with this practice of contemplative listening. Just read your Bible, unless it’s an audio version of the Bible. Listen to that, and you will never mishear God!
Eph 5:11, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”
Col 2:8, “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”
[Contributed by Jodie Jensen]