That Old Story
by Beverly Brown, Set Me Free Ministries Prayer Team Coordinator
If I’m friends with you on Facebook, you might have noticed I posted last week’s blog twice, because I didn’t want anyone to miss it. I believe that Stephanie hit on one of the big problems facing the church today—deception.
Some of you might be old enough to remember singing the words to an old hymn, Tell Me the Old, Old Story. I love that hymn, and I still sing it, but I’m afraid we can get so comfortable with that “old story” that we stop reading about it. Instead, we just listen to others retelling of it. God exhorts us in Psalm 119:11 to hide His Word in our hearts that we might not sin against Him. That’s not just good advice; it’s critical advice!
I don’t know if you have noticed, but there are many conflicting voices out there—and I don’t just mean the church vs. the world. No, I mean the church vs. the church! It was just a year ago that I found myself in the midst of such conflicting voices. It wasn’t a place I wanted to be, but it was a place that God had allowed me to be, and I had to find my way out. And so, as Stephanie described in her blog last week, I began to “dig.”
My dig started by listening—listening to both voices, which were so diametrically opposed. And then I began to read. I read books and articles by various authors who either defended one voice or the other, and then I weighed each of them against Scripture. What I discovered wasn’t always black and white. I read authors who, although they did not blatantly contradict Scripture, recommend or made reference to those who did. In some cases, I got on websites to see what links authors recommended. Believe me; you can learn a lot about someone by seeing who they “hang around with,” so to speak!
When I felt I had dug down deep enough to have some answers, I was faced with some difficult decisions. Would I compromise my beliefs for the sake of comfort and to maintain the status quo? Or would I stand for the truth as revealed in Scripture and risk alienation from those I had counted as friends and even counselors? I chose the latter.
As I said, it is now a year later. I wish I could say that everything turned out great, and everyone lived happily ever after. But the reality is that I lost some very dear friends as a result of my decision.
One of my favorite devotionals is Renewed Day by Day by A.W. Tozer, a man well ahead of his time. As I was sitting down to write this blog, I was reminded of the March 13 entry that so blessed me just a year ago as I was in the midst of my “dig.” I want to share just a portion of Tozer’s wisdom with you: “Suppose we take the position of compromise that many want us to take.… Tolerance easily becomes a matter of cowardice if spiritual principles are involved, if the teachings of God’s Word are ignored and forgotten.”
Don’t ever stop telling the old, old story of Jesus’ love. But don’t stop reading the story either. Hide His Word in your heart that you might not sin against Him.