“The sum of Your word is truth,
And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.” Psalm 119:160
The whole counsel of the word of God gives us balance, the stability we need so that we are not “tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” (Ephesians 4:14).
Church, we are currently being bombarded by some strong ‘waves,’ and too many are unfortunately losing their footing.
The enemy’s tactic is to swing the pendulum to an extreme either way. He doesn’t care, as long as he distorts the truth of the gospel.
So, we can swing to legalism (which the books of Galatians and Colossians, for example, speak to the issue of freedom from) or licentiousness* (“turning the grace of God into” a license to sin-Jude 1:4, which the book of 1 John is a good rebuttal of).
Depending upon which ‘group’ you’ve been exposed to most of your life, you undoubtedly have been influenced by one of these extremes, and even now as you are growing in the truth of His Word and His love you may still be experiencing the hold of some faulty thinking. This is why having our minds washed with the purity of His Word is so important.
Continually exposing ourselves to the Scriptures as a whole and being led by the Spirit and seeking Him above all else, keeps us walking in freedom, in the sweet spot between the two extremes.
“Teach me your way, O Lord that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.” Psalm 86:11 ESV
What if the act of obedience that we are brushing off as legalism and refusing to do is that which God is actually calling us to? Or on the other hand, what if ‘our freedom’ is actually turning our backs on His call to deeper relationship and godliness and sanctification and holiness and POWER? Both extremes cut us off from His POWER.
So how do we protect ourselves from these deceiving extremes?
The answer to keeping the balance is to immerse ourselves in His Word, the whole counsel of God, being diligent to present ourselves as workmen who need not be ashamed, handling accurately the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15), that we are protected from being misled by persuasive arguments (Colossians 2:4-8).
“Sanctify** them in the truth; Your word is truth.” John 17:17
– Ask the Lord to search your heart today (Psalm 139:23) and show you areas in your life that you have allowed the grace of God to become an excuse for sin or where you have gotten sidetracked from the purity of intimate relationship with Him by a commitment to just following rules. Repent and follow Him fully.
-Resolve to know His word and His truth and act upon it wholeheartedly. He works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose (Philippians 2:13). Allow Him. Follow close.
-Immerse yourself in His Word and obey in the power of the Holy Spirit.
“..so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.” 2 Corinthians 2:11
*licentiousness (Strong’s #766): “Lasciviousness, license, debauchery, sexual excess, absence of restraint, insatiable desire for pleasure.. perversion in general, 1 Peter 4:3, 2 Peter 2:7.”
**Sanctify (37) hagiazo= To make holy, sanctify. To consecrate, devote, set apart from a common to a sacred use…. Spoken of persons, to consecrate as being set apart of God and sent by Him for the performance of His will.
Zodiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament.