Many believers today will love to have supernatural experiences like Peter had at the mount of transfiguration. In fact, some still look for supernatural experiences and practises. As a people, we are so hungry for a new move of God that we have wrongly abandoned faith, reason, sound doctrine and common sense in order to grab hold of anything that even appears to have the mark of the mystical upon it – hoping that it may be the beginning of a new move of God.
Our zeal and enthusiasm for the supernatural has, to a great extent, placed us in a very dangerous position. If we continue to reach out and accept every new supernatural manifestation that comes along without thinking, reasoning, questioning or testing it according to Scripture, we will find ourselves in the same predicament, being deceived again and again like Apostle Paul said, “tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine”.
Contrary to what some have implied in recent days and years, shifting your mind into neutral is not a sign of spirituality. There is a wrong notion that if you examine or scrutinize a new doctrine, a new teaching, a radical statement, someone’s visit with Jesus or an angel, that you are in rebellion, unbelief and sin.
Letting your mind slip into a state of neutrality, non-involvement, or detachment is not a sign of spirituality; it may be a sign of absurdity. God gave us our minds. The Holy Spirit doesn’t come to remove our minds; rather, he comes to illuminate our minds. True spiritual people should have a quick, intelligent, sharp mind. Illumination and enlightenment is what the Holy Spirit brings us.
Our minds however, become an important factor in our lives because through them we make decisions. We generally become a sum total of all the decisions we have ever made in our lives. What we know, what we have discovered, what we gather as information plays a pivotal role in our lives, negative or positive. We are moved in the direction of our belief, OR how our minds interpret the information given to it. Solomon advised that we guard our minds with all diligence and assiduousness because out of the minds are the issues of life.
Knowing this about the mind, we become responsible for the information we allow into our minds. No matter what information gets into our mind, the mind will always interpret whatever information it has. The interpretation of this information (right or wrong) then forms the basis of how we live our lives. We choose or reject things based on the information received.
We are exposed to two forms of information when we become a Christian. First, is the information already resident in our minds when it comes to world issues. This is passed down by genetics from our parents and we continue to display the attitudes of our parents but to different degrees and percentages. I will like to classify this as the wrong information, compared to the information that we will be getting from another avenue.
The other information we can get comes from God, classified as the right information. By gathering this information, we will generally gravitate towards thinking like the owner or source of the information. This is engendered by the saving grace through Christ Jesus.
Once we accept Jesus into our life as Lord and Saviour, acknowledging that He rose from the dead, we are initiated into the family of God, resulting in access to the “right” information, because the Holy Spirit will be present to enlighten us.
Let’s us call the right information SPIRITUAL FOOD (which fulfils our deep need for more understanding of God) and the wrong information PHYSICAL OR FLESHLY FOOD. The SPIRITUAL food comes as a result of a continued intake of BIBLE DOCTRINE…it’s not just any food that one assumes is right but the TRUTH (your hunger to know God will drive you towards the truth).
There will always be a conflict due to resident information present in us and the new information that will come (that is, the right information). A lack of the right information will always give rise to and opportunity for the wrong to express itself.
II Peter 1:19
Peter tells us that as great as his experience was on the mount of transfiguration, there was something more sure and steadfast for him to build his life and faith upon. It is as though Peter says, “As great as the experience on the Mount of transfiguration was, it was fleeting and temporal. I have a word that is more sure and enduring than my experience on the mountaintop. This is a word that you can count on to be reliable forever!”
Notice that Peter calls the Word of God “a more sure word of prophecy.” This was the phrase used during his day to describe the writings of the Old Testament. They were called “the prophetic word”. This is actually a reference to the scriptures of the Old Testament.
MORE SURE is taking from the Greek word which refers to something that is certain, stable or immovable. This gives the ultimate picture of stability and reliability. By using this strong and stable word, Peter is telling us that the Word of God is far superior to any supernatural experience which man could attain, or to any contemporary prophecy that man could give.
The Word is immovable and dependable. You can count on it. Jesus said Heaven and Earth shall pass away, but My Word shall not pass away. You cannot build your faith on your experiences, because experiences come and go very quickly. They are not as concrete, stable or reliable as the written Word. This is the reason why Peter calls the Word of God “A MORE SURE WORD OF PROPHECY”.
TO TAKE HEED ONTO is from a Greek Word referring to a person who has a fixation upon something. Paraphrased as “if you are going to be consumed by and being preoccupied with something”, then turn your thoughts toward the Word and develop a preoccupation and fixation upon it. If you do this, you will do well.
The Word is like a light that knows no end; it keeps on continuously shining. Its brilliance floods our murky sight and muddy perspective with clarity and it meets the need of our parched and thirsty spirit. Just as you would turn on the table-lamp at the end of your sofa in order to illuminate your room, you must reach over, pick up the Word of God and allow its light to flood your being, suppressing the wrong, fleshly information or food.
Christians are to be hungry for this spiritual food. If we are to be light bearers, allowing the Word of God to dwell richly in us then Peter advises that, we MUST observe that:
Knowing this first that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 2Pet1: 20.
PRIVATE: idios – this describes something that is of one’s own self.
INTERPRETATION: epilusis – the act of losing or releasing something.
Combining the two words, it describes something that is loosed or released from one’s own self or “at will”. It gives an idea of something that is self-projected. Literally, no Old Testament prophet ever sat down to write prophetic utterances and scripture simply because they just wanted to. They were moved or inspired by the Spirit of God.
The word idios, is a Greek word from which idiot was coined.
This then projects an implication here that those who do attempt to loose, release, self-project or force these experiences turn out to be rather idiotic. Getting the right information, which is our spiritual food thus becomes the challenge of today’s Christian.
The Word of God is surer than the loads of “spiritual” experiences we have today. The Word remains the only avenue and source that can bring about change in our lives. We are not to get our private experiences and understanding and seek to get endorsements from the Word of God but rather to draw out truths from it, no matter how much it affects us.