Inspiration: how can one little word be at the center of so much controversy? Iíve had this topic on my list of ídevotions to doí for two years but when I came to it I seriously considered skipping it and going on to the next one. Nearly a year ago I got into a lot of trouble by questioning someone who I thought was a friend on his view of what the word inspiration meant. He made a statement that I didnít wholly agree with. When I asked him about it, instead of just answering me, he became indignant. Iím a fast learner and figured out right away I was not supposed to question his view on anything so I let it drop. Even so, it caused me a lot of problems and heartbreak later and I lost a friend. Therefore, I submit this topic to you with much trepidation. Iím sure I will get a lot of email on this one and thatís fine. I welcome your comments and will try my best to answer each one (if I can). But please note: Iíve done a lot of research on this topic and itís not likely that your comments are going to change my views. (But I wonít get mad at you for trying! Iíve always believed in Christians being able to disagree agreeably!)
2 Timothy 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"
Many bible scholars would have us believe that the words inspire/inspiration can only be used in connection with the verse 2
Timothy 3:16. Some of them say that the men who wrote the scriptures were just human beings being used as a mouth piece by the
Holy Spirit. And a few even say that (and I nearly quote here) God did not permit human will to interfere with the writing of the scripture.
If this is so, then this is an instance of God taking away the will of man. I'll let you decide if this really happened or not. Do you
think God took away Paul's natural human will while he dictated his New Testament letters?
There is no denying that the bible is the inspired word of God. The word "inspired" comes from a Greek word meaning "God-breathed." The question is: is that the only meaning for the word "inspired." Is that the only way the word "inspired" can be used? No doubt, God inspired men of old to write the Holy Scriptures, but does that mean He cannot inspire people to write anthems today because that would make them equal to the words written in scripture? That is what I have been told. I feel these are very good questions and worthy to be discussed.
1. To affect, guide, or arouse by divine influence.
2. To fill with enlivening or exalting emotion: hymns that inspire the congregation; an artist who was inspired by Impressionism.
3.a. To stimulate to action; motivate: b. To affect or touch:
4. To draw forth; elicit or arouse: a teacher who inspired admiration and respect.
5. To be the cause or source of; bring about: an invention that inspired many imitations.
6. To draw in (air) by inhaling.
7. Archaic. a. To breathe on. b. To breathe life into.
1. To stimulate energies, ideals, or reverence: a leader who inspires by example. 2. To inhale.
Above are some dictionary meanings for the word inspire. As you can see, there are many. The general idea, however, is to exalt or lift someone else to a higher plane of existence or to touch or motivate them in some way. This is what God did to the men who wrote the bible. He "breathed" His Spirit into them so they would be motivated to write what He wanted them to write. He inspired them in a special way. I'm not belittling that special inspiration of God on those men. I'm saying that we can still be inspired today. I asked this same person who told me the word inspired could only be used in this one scripture if he had never been inspired by the word of God and he told me, "no." I stood there totally amazed. That's when I gave up on that conversation and left the building. I'm so sorry but the word of God continually inspires me. There is something wrong with anyone who reads John 3:16 or Psalms 23 and isn't inspired! How many, many times have I sang "Amazing Grace How Sweet The Sound" with tears streaming down my face? What would you call that? Emotionalism? I call it a song that was inspired by God. No, the words to that song are not equal with the words of the bible, but I believe the author was inspired to write the song. While the words of the bible were inspired by God, that is: the men who wrote the words had a special breath of God breathed onto them so they were enabled to write those words, we can then be inspired by the word of God. We can be inspired by the word of God because it is inspired. And remember, every word is the word of God. Unlike the songwriter who has only been inspired with the idea or a few rhyming words and the tune to a song or the painter who has been inspired with a thought or a picture in his head, the bible is God's own words. If a songwriter has been inspired to write a song, like Amazing Grace, then that song is going to inspire the people who hear it. Because the bible is the inspired word of God, it is going to inspire everyone who reads it with an open, searching heart. (Why else would God inspire it in the first place if not to uplift, bless and inspire His people and draw them to Christ?)
Job 32:8 "But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding."
Oops! There is that word "inspiration" again, used in the bible and this time not in 2 Timothy 3:16. This scripture in Job tells us that God has given all of us a spirit within us and through the inspiration of the Almighty, He will give us understanding of all things. All we have to do is tap into this spirit that we have in us, God is right there ready with His inspiration to give us understanding if we'll just ask! Sometimes scholarly men try to intimidate us with a degree or a Greek word but just remember, "There is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." Always ask God and pray and He will give you the understanding you seek. I know everyone doesn't agree on this subject and I respect your right to disagree. I trust you will not become angry with me because of my point of view as some have and we will remain friends!
What inspires you? Who inspires you? Take a moment to ask yourself if you have taken time to allow the word of God to inspire you to action lately. Has your church, your pastor or your church choir moved or inspired you in any way? Are you going to church with a worshipful spirit or do you only go out of habit? You can't expect to be inspired by the songs if you aren't listening to them or by your pastor's message if you aren't paying attention to him. You can't expect to be inspired by God's word if you're only reading it so you can say you read the bible though this year. And what are you doing to inspire others to live a better life? What kind of example are you setting for those around you? Are you trying to live on a higher plane? Are you walking in the footsteps of Christ so you need not be afraid to inspire others to live as you live and follow you? If you have been inspired by the word or by someone else, you have been blessed; if you have been fortunate enough to be an inspiration to someone else, you have been especially blessed.
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