When Self-Help Isn’t About Self

wordAll Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Scripture is about God, not us. What God wants to say about Himself to you is more important than telling you what to do. We often look at God’s Word as a self-help book. We use the concordance to look up key words so that we can cull through all the verses that include the one word that describes our situation or what we think we need (or need to get rid of).

God can speak to us through His Word in any way He chooses, so even when we’re looking for something specific that we don’t need, He can pour into us in ways we don’t expect. We can’t wait to seek Him until we think we’ve figured out how to seek Him. Our need for understanding or perfection will paralyze us. We need to seek Him the best we can.

So, am I contradicting myself by saying we shouldn’t go to God’s Word with certain intents but we should go to God’s Word with any intent? I’m just saying God, in His sovereignty, is able to work through our intents, even when ill-willed or misguided. However, that doesn’t give us the excuse to neglect the purity of our intent.

God wants us to seek Him. He wants us to know Him. He wants our humility, and when we seek Him only for the answers we think we need for ourselves, we aren’t humble. We will always wrestle with our selfishness. I’ve actually grown to appreciate the need for such wrestling, because it’s not a one-time choice. It requires continual yielding, recognizing who I am in relationship with God. He is God. I am not. I am His.

And His Word is a gift. Get to know Him through His Word.

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. (Hebrews 4:12-13)

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