Episode #166 Word Check Part 2: Everything in the Light of God’s Character and Nature – Significant Stories

5 Minutes Read

Rest More Resolution Podcast

From Today's Episode:

Welcome! We're in our Significant Stories Series and today's topic is Word Check Part 2: Everything in the Light of God's Character and Nature.

Step 6: Where and how does this story line up with God's character and nature?

Jump back to Episode 161 for Step 1


Resource: Who God is and What He's Like


Philippians 4:6; Matthew 6:25-30; Matthew 4:1-11; Psalm 91:11-12; Deuteronomy 6:16

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God, please show me where and how does this story line up with your character and nature, and will you show me that in the word?

Here's the episode transcript

Hey friends, it's Jen. Have you ever noticed that sometimes we can think the Bible says things that it doesn't say?

I'm so excited to be continuing this series with you and sharing a resource to help each of us recognize and reject lesser stories.

If you're just joining us now, I encourage you to go back starting in episode 161. I'm walking you through a workflow that I use and that I've been able to share with many other people to quickly identify if a story is a lesser story or a greater one and how to kick out a story that doesn't belong in our lives.

And today we're on step number six, which is asking the question, where and how does this story line up with God's character and nature? (Which is on display in his written word.)

The reason that this is important is that sometimes we misunderstand the Bible. Question five is looking at, okay, where and how does this line up with scripture, with what it says in the Bible? But when taken out of context, what the Bible says can be misapplied to be different than what the Bible actually means.

We need to look at the whole of scripture, the whole of God's grand story, and at the whole of God's character and nature.

Now, an example of this is coming from my own story that I'm processing with God about this area of anxiety. And there are many places in the Bible where it tells us not to be afraid or not to be anxious. I quoted one last week from Philippians 4:6, “do not be anxious about anything.”

And Jesus also says this in Matthew 6, “therefore I tell you do not be anxious about your life.”

Now, it's true, I do not need to be anxious.

But I have misapplied that scripture to my life in judgment, in condemnation, in criticism.

And part of how I know that is because I can look at a circumstance and recognize that I feel anxious and tell myself, I shouldn't be anxious about this. I can know the Bible says, don't be anxious about anything.

And so I get judgy against myself. I beat myself up. Oh man, I know, I'm not supposed to be anxious, but here I am again.

And even though those words are in scripture, I'm not applying them in the full context, even of the verse, because both of those passages are talking about how God cares for us. In Philippians, we don't have to be anxious about anything because with prayer and supplication and thanksgiving, we can give our request to God.

In Matthew, we don't have to be anxious about our lives because we can see how God cares for the flowers in the field and the birds in the trees and know that he cares for us so much more than he cares for these.

That context and that awareness of God's character causes us to draw near.

But if I don't take in that full context, if I don't look at does this story I'm telling myself line up with God's character and nature, then the story I can tell myself about this anxiety, is the Bible tells me I shouldn't feel this way. And I do. Bad Jen. Man, you're just messing up. I can't believe you're still struggling in this way.

And so my response to that, the influence that story bears on my life can cause me to actually walk in more anxiety.
I'm now anxious that I'm feeling anxious than I'm not supposed to be.

It can cause me to take more of that burden on myself instead of releasing it to the Lord.

Another example about why it's important to know how the Bible applies to our lives actually comes from when Jesus is being tempted by Satan in those 40 days in the wilderness.

We see this in Matthew 4 , when Satan is tempting Jesus, trying to get him to sin. And in verse six, Satan actually quotes the Bible to Jesus. It's Psalm 91:11-12. When Satan himself says, for the scriptures say, “he will order his angels to protect you and they will hold you up with their hands so you won't even hurt your foot on a stone.”

And Jesus responds. In verse Matthew 4:7, the scriptures also say, you must not test the Lord your God. and he's quoting Deuteronomy 6:16. If Satan had the guts to try and quote scripture back to the living word of God, trying to confuse him by using the words of scripture, you better believe that's an attempt he's going to make on us. That's part of why this is so important.

To look and say, okay, well, I think this story lines up with this part of scripture, and so I'm taking it a step further.
How does that line up with the fullness of scripture?
How do I approach that in light of God's character and nature?

And so that's what we're doing today. Maybe you're picking a whole new story, or you're just joining us. Or maybe it's a story that you've been processing along these few episodes here. Whatever that is, hold that story up to the light of the word and ask God to show you not only if it lines up with the Bible, but if it lines up with God's character and nature.

That dialogue that you have about yourself, the things that you say about who you are, those identity statements, the concerns you have, worries that go along with that story…

How do those things line up with who God is and what he's like?

Because he's faithful and constant. And if you need resources to help you identify those things, check the link here in the show notes. I have a resource created for you to help you identify some of those key aspects of who God is and what he's like.

And so here's our question:

God, please show me where and how does this story line up with your character and nature, and will you show me that in the word?

Have a good talk.

And if you've been encouraged by this content, please share it with a friend and help them grow in their conversational relationship with God too!

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