A devotional thought from Christian George for “Submitting to the God Who Speaks”
Fishing can be messy business. I’m not talking about sport fishing, the “catch and release” kind of fishing. Rather, it’s the “catch and eat” kind of fishing that can often take your appetite away. If you’ve ever cleaned a fish, you know that a sharp knife and a steady hand go a long way.
Sometimes God’s got to cut us in order to clean us. The author of Hebrews understood this. He wrote that Scripture is “sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow” (Heb. 4:12). In other words, Scripture never stops on the surface. God’s Word goes to the core of us and tells us the truth about God and ourselves in a way that leads us to repentance for sin.
When we encounter the Word of God, it exposes our shortcomings and penetrates our hearts. It also shows us the areas in our lives that need trimming, modifying, or amputating. Nothing is too hidden from God’s sight that His Word cannot uncover. No secret is too secret. No sin is too private. That’s why the author of Hebrews included the next verse, “all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account” (Heb. 4:13).
It is a blessing to be dissected by divinity, to have our sins laid bare for us to confess. And even though the cleaning process may be messy business, the author of Hebrews would have us thank God for His surgical skills, for “the Lord disciplines the one He loves” (Heb. 12:6).
Pause and Reflect
• Read Isaiah 49:2. In what ways does God’s Word make our words “like a sharp sword”?
• What’s the difference between God’s discipline and His punishment? Does God ever punish His children for their sins (see Gal. 3:13; Rom. 8:1)?