Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast Episode 099 Editing God
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast
Episode #099 – Editing God
Thank you for entrusting and investing your precious time with me to grow in Jesus together. I am blessed to be back with you to discuss more ways to live with eternal perspective.
This week I saw something that I couldn’t ignore. It saddened me so much that I had to create a podcast about it.
As Christians, we should strive to become more purposed in creating lives that honor and obey God. Living with eternal perspective means growing in our desire to follow God’s word more clearly daily; not because we should, but because as we draw nearer to Him, God draws nearer to us, causing us to crave Him more. Yet how many people profess to be Christians and do not read His word regularly? If we don’t read His word, how can we readily recognize when His word is being misinterpreted or mishandled?
The only way to confidently navigate life with the assurance that we understand the word of God and His requirements of us is to pursue relationship with Him through Jesus. Because we desire to know and be like Him, we simply must make time read and study His word with a hunger to understand, recognize, and apply it.
Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it pierces even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
The Bible is not a collection of spiritual words written by men. It’s not just a collection of thoughts. The Bible is alive; it is a purposed gift to us from our Heavenly Father. God’s word is living, active, and life-changing. God’s words are power and supernatural strength. Sharper than a double-edged sword, these living words actively discern who and what we are, and are not. Scripture penetrates to our core, both morally and spiritually, discerning the good and evil within us, understanding the thoughts and intentions within us before we do.
God’s word demands that we either choose Him or choose to walk away. It does not leave us where we are unless we decide to ignore it and reject Him.
Without the word of God alive within us through the Holy Spirit, we are walking in darkness.
How does the Bible define darkness? Satan.
Satan is the prince of the power of darkness. Whenever God’s word speaks of darkness, it is most often referring to the devil, his demons, and his kingdom. The power of the prince of darkness is real. Spiritual darkness can control the mind, emotions, actions and words of non-believers.
What holds power over Satan and the darkness of his realm?
God’s holy word.
His perfect, unedited word.
God’s word is inspired. It is inerrant. It holds authority from God Himself.
When Satan attempted to tempt Jesus, the Lord used God’s powerful, living words against him, answering with the authority we read in Matthew 4:4. “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Jesus is our perfect mentor. He was able to withstand the temptations of the devil because He knew scripture, He utilized the power it held, and He obeyed it.
We must read, know, and study God’s word, but we must also rely on it.
Even Satan knows scripture, but he does not obey it.
Proverbs 30:5-6 tells us, “Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.”
Although the Bible was written by 40 authors over a period of time, there are no contradictions in the words. There are no inconsistencies. Every prediction made so far has come true, or, we know by faith, will come true. Without God’s holy and divine inspiration, the Bible could not exist.
2 Timothy 3:16 tells us, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable.” The very word, inspiration is the foundation of truth undergirding Biblical scripture. In the original Greek, the word inspiration was a compound adjective. The word, theopneustos (thapaneustos) comes from God (theos) and (the verb pneo) (panow), which means to blow or a breath. Through the understanding of the original Greek definition, we learn that the word, inspiration literally means “breathed by God.”
Each of us with a growing relationship with God through Jesus knows what it feels like to be inspired by God to do, say, or to produce something. For example, although the podcasts I write and produce are not scripture, I very prayerfully create each one. I know that my work is inspired by Him, and anything worthy, or honoring to the Lord, comes from Him and is for Him. Although my words are not perfect, I trust that He is guiding me. Any mistakes would, of course, be my error, yet I feel Him guiding me with topics and the scripture to be presented each time a podcast is released.
I can only imagine what it was like for those who contributed to the Bible as God worked in and through them in a much deeper way. What sacred work was set before them. The very breath of God moved through the writers to inspire and create a masterpiece God would present to the world as a bridge for relationship and His glory.
Through a profound and sovereign method, God moved human writers to pen His scripture. Through the Holy Spirit, He exhaled His thoughts and words into them as they wrote. We understand that scripture is God-breathed, recorded without errors, and is confirmed as authentic. How beautiful it is that God’s life-filled, everlasting words were brought to life under the writings of mere mortals created by Him. God lovingly worked through them, gifting them, allowing their distinctive personalities to be connected to His holiness and sovereignty as the style of the writers remained true to their unique perspectives, yet without error by the grace and supreme power of our Heavenly Father.
Matthew 5:17-19 says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them. For I tell you truly, until heaven and earth pass away, not a single jot, not a stroke of a pen, will disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. So then, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do likewise will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever practices and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
As the verses I just read say, “not a single jot, not a stroke of a pen will disappear from the law until everything is accomplished,” the words prove yet again that scripture is God-breathed and inspired.
Did you know that in Hebrew, there is a tiny mark that looks like an apostrophe? It is called a jot. This smallest letter in the alphabet is very easy to omit. Although it seems to be an insignificant mark, the tittle is critical for distinguishing between letters. Jesus is telling us in Matthew 5:17-19 that even the smallest and seemingly insignificant biblical teaching or prophecy must be fulfilled.
God's word is perfect and holy. It needs nothing added or subtracted. It withstands, and is proven, over the test of time. Read and know His word so you can recognize when others are misinterpreting or misquoting it.
There is a trend in our culture that highly concerns me. Have you noticed the number of prosperity preachers and influencers who twist God’s word to make proclamations and promises that clearly do not convey the true meaning of scripture? Have you recognized how they bend scripture to suit their purposes (or that of our deteriorating culture), clearly following the darkness of this world through the advertising, indoctrinations in our educational system, and entertainment while shoving God’s word aside? I am sickened and saddened by this trend that worsens daily and how many mutely accept this moral and ethical decay without standing more firmly for the truth of God. As our Heavenly Father is pushed away, the power of darkness moves in to penetrate all areas of society and the home.
Last week I saw a post made on social media that concerned me because it is not the only one of this type. It seems that more people are misunderstanding, misquoting, or mishandling God’s word to suit what they desire or believe without attempting to understand the true meaning of the message they are conveying or how far it strays from what the word of God actually says or teaches. Often times, it fits the agenda and emotions they “feel,” helps them get the acceptance of others, or gain the ease of not needing to change and grow themselves, so they eagerly use what affirms them.
The quotes weren’t the first I’ve seen like this, but bothered me more because it is happening more frequently. People often do not look for, or notice, the errors and deceit in what is being presented as God’s words, yet are far from His actual truths.
Listen to a few examples of what I am referring to.
1 Timothy 6:16 says, “He alone can never die, and He lives in light so brilliant that no human can approach Him. No human eye has ever seen Him, nor ever will. All honor and power to Him forever! Amen.”
How powerful that verse is! Just reading the verse aloud fills me with worship right now. Our magnificent Heavenly Father is so far above us, so far from us, yet extends Himself for and to us in love, mercy, and undeserved grace. I recently saw the scripture I just read used as a quote to reference an online post that said, “God isn’t looking for winners; He’s looking for fighters. He doesn’t see if you won the fight, He looks to see if you can fight the fight!”
How in the world can the author of this believe that it reflects the 1 Timothy 6:16 scripture in any way? Did they write scripture references on a piece of paper and reach their hand into a bag, grab a verse, and match it with their musings of the moment?
Another posting referred to Hebrews 11:1, which says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” This is such a popular verse that almost everyone, whether they know God’s word or not has heard it. Someone used this verse as the reference for this post: “You stayed in the ring regardless of money, jobs, what you had, what you lost, who left you, who stayed.”
As I sit and shake my head again at how the person connected the reference verse with the words they posted, I can’t believe that people didn’t call them out. This is clearly changing the meaning of God’s words and using God’s words way out of context.
God needs no editing.
The last verse referenced in this particular post was Psalm 126:5, which says, “Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.” The verse from Psalm 126 was used for this post, “Keep on walking, swinging, singing, crying, screaming, laughing. Keep On! Your blessing is on the other side of your suffering.”
This scripture verse doesn’t promise us what the poster declares. This verse refers to the Israelites, who were in captivity, but their pain and sorrow turned to joy when they returned. When reading the Bible, we see that God rescued His people when they were humbled. Through this, the joy experienced was so much sweeter. God promises us that He can bring good out of tragedy, and that as we cling to Him through times of grief, we can find joy again. This verse doesn’t promise that we can keep on doing as we please and God will provide us with a blessing when we’re finished.
At the end of the post, the person writing said, “These are the people God needs today.”
I’m not sure if this poster wrote this mess or if they copied the work from someone else. It doesn’t say. But, please, if you are going to repost something by another person, check out the references first! Better yet, read the Bible. If you know God’s word, you can recognize when something does not seem right. We need to know what is sent from our Heavenly Father because we know Him.
The world is changing and much is happening right now that is setting the course for our future. Much of it is dark and uncertain. But God never is. He is our light, our hope, our truth. When our minds, eyes, and heart are focused on Him, we can face anything. Knowing and obeying His word settles our spirit, connects us to Him, and alters our attitude, words, thoughts, and actions. We won’t be perfect, but we will be perfectly prepared to bring all to Him. We cannot handle everything; He doesn’t want us to. He has made a way and He calls for us to walk in it, allowing Him to carry us each step of the way.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work.”
Earlier, we focused on the truth of God breathing life into scripture. Here, we also see that God has given us His thoughts and truths in written form for instruction, conviction, correction, and for training in righteousness. His desire is that we use His holy word in unedited form, just as He presented it to us in order to mature us completely, so we will be fully equipped for every good work He assigns to us, so that we are enabled to live our lives with a heart and mind set on eternity right now.
Heavenly Father, The Great I Am, our loving, omnipotent, holy Father, Creator of the Universe and everything within, how do You set Your eyes upon us? We are so far from You and so far beneath You. You lovingly and generously present Yourself to us through Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the power of prayer, and in Your holy word. You are the giver of great gifts. Help us not to turn from them or alter them to suit our purposes. You need no editing. How can the created surpass the Creator? How could we presume to carry wisdom above Yours? Father, we thank you for the mercy and grace You bestow on us. I am so sorry for the ways we break Your heart, the ways we disappoint You. Yet You continue to love us deeply, equally. You continue to whisper worth and abundant love to us and yearn for us to turn fully to You, to allow You to guide and carry us in Your powerful arms. May we see Your word more clearly, follow it more closely, adhere to it with an awareness of the power and purpose it carries because we adore and reverence You, because we desire to obey and please You. We ask these things in the powerful and holy name of Your son, Jesus. Amen.
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I pray this podcast draws you nearer to God and helps you cling to Him, despite any circumstances in your life. Until next week, keep looking Up while focusing on new ways to Live With Eternal Perspective.