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Friday, October 8, 2010

A Scalpel in His Hand

12-13God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon's scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God's Word. We can't get away from it—no matter what.
(Hebrews 4:12-13)

God means what he says!  What a declaration of truth that each of us will do well to truly embrace in our lives!  I believe that we limit God by what we believe about what he says.  We often interpret the promises of God, given specifically to us as believers in his Word, by our life experiences.  For example, if we have never really been cared for by a loving individual, we likely have not experienced a life without worrying about every little thing that comes our way.  We have not learned what it is to "not worry" by casting all our cares on another (as God tells us to do with him).  So, the promise of casting our cares on him, because he intensely cares for us, really doesn't carry any realistic meaning to us.  It is a nice concept, but "foreign" to our interpretation of how life has worked for us in the past relationships we have had.

What God says goes - no ifs, ands, or buts!  His promises are true.  His commandments are certain.  His outline for our life is laid out in clear detail - we can count on what we find in his Word.  The truth of God's Word is more powerful than anything we can find in this world - more reliable than any word that comes from human source.  Yet, amazing as it may be, we really do embrace human words so much quicker than we often embrace the Word of God!  Let someone criticize our choices, and we either become defensive, or we crawl inside ourselves and pity ourselves.  We allow those words to affect us deeply.  Why is it that we don't allow the Word of God to be our "gauge" by which we interpret life?

His Word cuts through everything - unbelief, fear, bitterness, pride - you name it, his Word is capable of slicing through to the core of our being.  Don't lose sight of what our writer is telling us in this passage.  The Word of God is like a surgeon's scalpel.  A surgeon does not take up a scalpel to bring injury - although the slicing seems like an abusive, hurtful action, its intention is to bring health.  It exposes what requires exposure - without the action of the scalpel, the surgeon would be limited in his treatment of the diseased part.  

Look at what it says about the purpose of the Lord's "scalpel" - it is to lay us open so that we can LEARN and OBEY.  His purpose in speaking the Word into our hearts is to first cause us to learn - learning begins with listening.  We cannot learn if we do not first hear.  We cannot hear without first being brought to attention.  The scalpel of God's Word brings us to attention - then the Great Physician can begin his work of helping us to learn to live by his commands and to trust in his promises.

Obedience is the target of his Word applied in our lives - skillfully applied to the areas of our lives where we need the greatest amount of healing.  Where there is a lack of trust, he is applying his Word to cut away at the past hurts that cause us to no longer trust.  It is painful at first - we don't want to give up the decaying tissue of "mistrust", but it must be removed before trust can be replaced.  As with dead tissue in a wound, or a diseased organ in our body, it must be removed before health can return.  It is the surgeon's scalpel that takes the bad tissue away, exposing only the healthy, nutrient rich tissue that will begin to regrow health in that area of our body.  God exposes the areas where we need to learn and obey - sometimes through one application of the Word, and at times, we need repeat visits to the Great Surgeon in order for healing to be complete.

Learning involves being opened.  Obedience involves being healed.  One is the process of the scalpel applied, the other is the process of the growth of spiritual health in our daily walk.  Neither is easy, but both are extremely necessary.  It is likely that God is targeting some area of your life today with his skilled "scalpel".  As he does, your first inclination is to run!  No one really enjoys "surgery", but without it, we allow the disease of our flesh to bring further decay and disease in our lives.  We will do well to embrace the Surgeon's scalpel - his skilled hand has only our healing in mind.