Tonight as I put my son to sleep he wanted me to sing him a song. One song turned into two, then three, and finally we ended with Jesus Loves Me This I Know. On Sunday I took Josh to see the new Thomas the Train movie at the theatre-his first time going to the movies-so one of the songs he asked me to sing was the Thomas song. Now, I’ve heard that song far too many times in my adult life, but for the life of me I couldn’t remember all of the words. So what did I do? I made them up. After the song, though, Josh told me I did it wrong and proceeded to sing for me the correct lyrics.
I’ve been seeing all kinds of neat little things about the Lord and our life in Him through my kids lately. While I sat there tonight with Josh as he sang the song to me I thought of the way many Christian leaders major so heavily on “sound doctrine” and getting people to watch out for heresy and false teaching. So much emphasis is placed on the negatives with so little time given to revealing Christ to God’s people. And the product of such teaching is not a people who intimately know their Lord so much as it is pews full of stuffy doctrinarians whose only concern is crossing every “t” and dotting every “i” of scripture and watching out for those who don’t.
Forgive me if that sounds harsh, for I don’t intend to be. I just believe that if you know the real thing you are not likely to be fooled by the false. The best thing for any of us to do is to know the Lord Jesus-personally, intimately, and deeply. To know the Lord in practical, every-day reality is better equipment than ten years’ worth of studies at the best seminary in Christendom. If you know the Lord, and He is real to you and He is your all, then, like with my son, when someone comes along singing the wrong song, you’ll just know. You won’t need any man to teach you, for you will have an inner sense coming from His anointing which dwells richly within. That is God’s way. Man’s way is to try to protect spiritual life with sound doctrine, but I’ve yet to see it work. The best way to ensure sound doctrine is simply to have a healthy spiritual life. Walk with God. Then when the time comes, you will know what you need to know.
The Lord is so real, and He is so enjoyable. He is abundantly rich and clearly available to us all. It strikes me as strange, those who would over-emphasize the place of “teaching” and “sound doctrine” to the point that it obscures the simply reality of God dwelling in and with His people. Take a glass of water, for instance. Can you tell me all about the molecular structure of the water in that cup? No? But you can take that glass in your hand and drink the water, can’t you? You enjoy it’s taste, and you are refreshed by the life it gives you. Experiencing the Lord is just like that. You don’t need to understand all the deep mystery of the Trinity in order to enjoy the fellowship of the Father, Son, and Spirit that is going on inside your heart right this moment. Doctrine and theology is all good and fine in its proper place, but don’t think you have to have your mind all wrapped around God before you can taste and see that He is good.