First of all let me begin with a confession. I love naps. I do. And I am pretty sure I am not the only adult out there who enjoys sneaking in an hour or two on a weekend day just for an extra boost. And today was one of those days. Now the reason I mention today’s nap in particular is because of what preceded the nap as far as my to do list and what occurred during it (Don’t worry, you can keep reading. It wasn’t anything too weird).
I knew prior to the nap today that I was procrastinating (not like me at all). I still had some work to do on some sermon prep and a nap seemed the best way to accomplish the work at hand. But to tell you the truth the sermon was kind of stressing me out. I was planing on doing a topical sermon based out of a specific text which is really not like me at all..but all the same it was the plan. However, and here is where the fun part comes in, during my nap I had a dream regarding my sermon prep (extra strange because I can rarely remember my dreams). I was reminded in said dream that I am not a topical preacher, but rather a story teller who loves to reveal and retell the story told in scripture so why was I wasting my time trying to craft a sermon outside of who I am?
I was reminded that the power of scripture is not in my ability to pull out subject directed challenges or moral lessons, but rather the power of scripture is Scripture. Scripture is the drama of God’s redemptive plan unfolding in the pages of the all-time greatest adventure story ever told. Why would I try to distill it down to a simple topical study when it has so much power within the stories of God’s action contained within? I love how Charles Spurgeon once put it, “The Word of God is like a lion. You don’t have to defend a lion. All you have to do is let the lion loose, and the lion will defend itself.” There is not much I have to do with the Biblical story other than let it loose. Hebrews 4:12 puts it another way, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” The story of God is powerful enough in and of itself. To be it’s servant means not that I try to put it into my box and bend it to my will, but rather to serve the story of scripture faithfully in letting it go.
The best part about all of this? The drama of Scripture is the revelation of God. If scripture is rightly revealed and the story is let loose, God breaks in. So maybe that is the point of all of this. We don’t try to put God in a box through topical distillations of his character and action. In the same vein I think we also have to be careful with His word…after all, it is a sword.