#7: Scripture changes E–V–E–R–Y–T–H–I–N–G
You must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ, assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness – Galatians 4:17-24 (ESV)
We say that Scripture changes things, that it changes us. Honestly, I wasn’t really sure how that worked. Up until I came to EQUIP Boot Camp in 2009, time in Scripture made me feel badly about my sins; but I completely missed the better part.
The better part is that when we spend time sitting before God’s Words asking for Him to give us ears to hear, He does. Sunday school doesn’t teach us to hide God’s Word in our hearts because we are capable. They teach that because God is capable.
It’s a scary thing to lay aside our old self. I mean, I understand its logic, what it wants, the things that make it feel safe and entertained. To lay all that down takes a lot of humility. That’s a task so many individuals and groups have struggled with: giving up our pride to become poor in spirit before our Creator who loves humility and loves us.
When we do that, it doesn’t guarantee that things come easy. The flesh doesn’t just give up or play nice; but there is rest and strength to be taken from the Father’s hands when we lay down the old self. Day by day. Stumble by stumble. Verse by verse. Faith by faith. Prayer by prayer.
EQUIP Boot Camp taught me the power of Scripture, and the transformation that happens when we surrender to it.
Being open with you, one of the reasons I struggled to surrender to Christ was that I didn’t think He could change my desires. I thought that maybe it wasn’t possible for my heart to love Him enough to give up an eating disorder, to give up my plans for my life, let alone my emotions.
But one of the most beautiful and mysterious things happens when people surrender to God: He puts His Spirit and a new heart inside them.
In God’s sovereignty, that transformation looks different for different people; but it is promised in that surrender.
To my utter shock, the Lord took away the suicidal thoughts from my mind and my desires seemingly overnight. But they came back later in college. He didn’t take away the eating disorder either.
Does that mean that He isn’t good? No.
It means that in His grace, God has given us opportunities to need Him, rely on Him, and hope in Him.
Job asks a central question ‘early’ on in his suffering: Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity? Job 2:10b
In so many ways, I feel compassion for parents. There’s so much to teach us children that it seems overwhelming to know what things to do to prepare us for life in this world.
The difficult truth is that no one can predict what trials or struggles a person will face in their lifetime; but learning HOW to study your Bible equips you for every one of them.
It’s the thing that kept me through the big things, like diagnosis of chronic pain, broken relationships, and crippling fears. It’s also the thing that keeps me in the little things, like what I’m going to eat today, cleaning my room, and smiling at strangers.
Scripture truly does change everything. If you (or students you know) would benefit from a week dedicated to studying God’s Word this summer, apply to EQUIP Boot Camp now! Applications are due February 1 (staff applications too).
Joy Knight was a 2014 intern, with degrees in English and Music. She of course loves good books and music, is a minor-league foodie and enjoys the outdoors. She started working fulltime on the Transform staff September 2014, where she seeks opportunities to serve the students and users of Precept through writing and other projects.