“But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:8) “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.” (James 1:26)
“But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (1st Cor. 9:27) “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Romans 7:25)
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9) “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” (Jer. 17:10)
So, which one is it, which one describes us, what are we to do with these and many other verses that do two things to us, cause us joy and cause us grief. It is no wonder that all, and here I will use an absolute, born-again believers have doubts, we are torn asunder, our hearts are deceitful, yet God will judge us according to it. We are to keep our bodies under subjection, yet with the flesh we serve sin, we can do nothing of ourselves, yet we will be rewarded for what we have done.
I do not believe that many who know Jesus Christ as Lord consider these verses, or contemplate them in depth, no, they are content to know that they are loved and that an eternity in His presence awaits them. I do not understand any longer how someone cannot desire to know what I term the deep things of God, why they would not want to know the answers to questions that only He can answer.
I find joy in reading about Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and all that have served Him with their entire being. I enjoy reading Tozer, Newell, McGee, Ironside and a slew of other authors, now all long gone on to glory, from times when men of God stood firm upon the convictions of the truths of the Scriptures that was revealed to them by the Holy Spirit, but I have much difficulty indeed with the pastor who continues to offer no more than the milk of the Word, of men who profess to have been saved for decades who cannot expound upon the Scriptures in depth, of those who say they love Him, but do not seek His face.
“When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.” (Psalm 27:8)
I listen to few of the excuses these men have offered, and over time not one of them seek me out any longer. This is not to say that I am better than them, more learned, closer to God, I did not even finish tenth grade and lived a life of great sin for decades, but when I yelled up at the sky in frustration one day, “Use me,” He answered, and His face have I sought ever since.
But I cannot keep my body under subjection, my flesh is still my greatest enemy, my tongue spews words that should not be uttered, and many times my mind wanders where it should not go. I am saved, of this I stand in the assurance of the Lord’s work on the cross, my acceptance of it and all the Scriptures say of Him, but the battle vexes me greatly at times.
He is too big, there is more to Him then I can comprehend, and those verses that fools call contradictions I see as questions I have no answer for, truths that have yet to be revealed to me.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28)
I need that rest, perhaps you do also.