I recently introduced my husband to my favorite book, The Hiding Place, and we haven’t been able to stop talking about it since we listened to it together on our holiday road trip.
What I love about the Ten Boom family is their lack of fuss. They simply read God’s Word and sought to apply it even while their home country decayed in the WWII German occupation. They intimately knew God’s voice and leaned on Him for courage.
The Ten Booms knew they held no value to the Nazis. They weren’t young, rich, or cutting edge, just one wrong move away from prison or worse. They fixed watches for a living and loved the disabled people, the strays, the beggars, the homeless, anyone who knocked with need. In aligning their view of other image-bearers with God’s, some of them paid the ultimate sacrifice for their diligent obedience to the Lord.
Wanting Ears Tickled
For all the things that will be hard next year, there is something that will be all too perfectly easy for us. It will be easy to skate around the Bible instead of studying it. Even silencing it by listening to the believer’s three worst enemies instead.
1) The Deceiver subtly seeks to feed us lies, or even half-truths, suggesting we question God’s goodness like Eve did. He’ll try to make us ashamed of both Christ and the words of His mouth.
2) The World blasts anything that will sell for its own fat profit and cleverly hide the true price tag.
3) Our Flesh will crave the things the world offers because of its raging appetite.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires.”
2 Timothy 4:3
It’s easy to accumulate teachers who tickle or scratch our ears because we don’t even have to leave our couches to hear and read them.
The Worthiest Voice
But God’s Word equals the brightest light and the source of sound doctrine. Our God is sufficient for our needs, and He speaks the raw truth. Our ears need it in an enormous amount so we can discern everything else we hear.
I’ve seen the slow fade in my life. By giving my time, attention, and priority, I twist up the volume of other platforms. Perhaps of gifted writers who weave things that sound good, are mostly true in some contexts, and who emphasize the trending mantras. I have to be wary, lest I’m desensitized to deceptions cloaked in lovely prose. Humans are good at convoluting truth, one catchy phrase at a time.
Am I tuning into any influencers/teachers/writers/celebrities/church leaders who speak into my own fleshly desires? Who are easy to look at and promise enlightenment, but serve sickly-sweet flattery and feel-good stuff? I never want to stay informed of the culture at the cost of opening my heart to deception.
Can we endure sound doctrine? The Piercing Lamp, volume turned up?
Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”‘Tis So Sweet to Trust In Jesus, –Louisa M. R. Stead
We would do well to follow in the footsteps of the simple Hollanders from The Hiding Place, just obeying what “saith the Lord” in daily tasks and stewarding opportunities for sacrifice with courage. Sound doctrine was their light in the hellish concentration camp. Sound doctrine spoke louder about their value than the guards who called them only by their prison numbers. Sound doctrine gave strong promises of God’s care and kindness in the absence of their basic human rights.
In war-torn hunger, Jesus still proved the Bread of Life. While they had threadbare blankets in the cramped barracks, His Word is called a fire. When Corrie and her siblings were weak, His Word is known as a hammer. Their earthly bodies shriveled, but God’s Word stood as a mirror to their precious souls. They were defenseless, but the Nazis could not take away the Sword of the Spirit.
It’s so sweet just to take Him at His Word.
As we venture into 2022 — be it easy or hard times — take up this Light. This Mirror. This Sword. Let’s delight in rather than wander from His commandments. Refresh ourselves with the accuracy of God’s own account of Himself. Turn up the sound doctrine so we can see our path.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.”Psalm 119:105