As I write this, I am assuming you are familiar with the meaning of the word theology: “The study of the nature of God and religious beliefs”. In this blog, I am not going to write about theology. I am going to write about “but-ology”. Don’t ask Siri, she will not know the meaning of that word. In fact, it took her a few seconds to determine it was not a word, and she substituted another phrase, so you can be sure that what I am writing about is not in the dictionary, as of now anyway. Here is my definition of that word: “No matter what is said in front of the “but” it’s what comes after the but that is important”. “But-ology” is living after the “but” which is what we believe, where we choose to live, or what I REALLY want to do. In other words, “but-ology” is living after the “but”. Here are a few examples:
I sure do like these blogs, “BUT” they are too long.
I would like to donate to Crossway Ministries, “BUT” I barely make enough money to pay my bills.
I know that Jesus loves me, “BUT” you don’t know what I have done.
I know I can depend on Jesus, “BUT” what if I have to suffer in the meantime?
All of that forgiveness and grace may work for some people, “BUT” not for me. I have been hurt way to badly and too much!
In these examples, where do most of us as believers live? Have you ever thought how big these “BUTS” can be? A “but” that keeps you from donating can rob you of being a help to someone who is seeking to find a Biblical solution to their situation. Or to rob you of allowing Jesus to embrace you, and to tell you His love for you is unconditional. His door is always open no matter the bumps, no matter the bruises. And what about being afraid to depend on Jesus and trusting Him with your situation? You are missing out on the peace that comes when we finally realize we can’t fix that person or problem, no matter the suffering it causes. And to be honest, I can’t even describe to you the relief and peace that comes when we finally trust God with the hurts we have encountered as we live life. These “BUTS” become huge when they keep us in bondage to ourselves and others that have been the cause of our situations.
Where did “but-ology” begin? Where sin began-in the garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were the first to embrace “but-ology”.
Now, THE serpent was more subtle and crafty than any living creature of the field which the Lord God had made. And he [Satan] said to the woman, can it really be that God has said, you shall not eat from every tree of the garden? And the woman said to the serpent, we may eat the fruit from the trees of the garden, Except (BUT) the fruit from the tree which is in the middle of the garden. God has said, you shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. But the serpent said to the woman, you shall not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing the difference between good and evil and blessing and calamity. [Genesis 3:1-5] (AMP)
There are two big “buts” here. One is from Eve. What follows her “but” is a misunderstanding of what God has really said. He did not say they could not touch it, He said not to eat it. The second big “but” comes from Satan, “But you surely will not die.” These two “buts” changed everything for the worse not the better. When Eve failed to hear the truth of what God had said, she was ripe for the lie from Satan that came after his “but”. Eve lived after the second “but” and we know the rest of the story. They tried to hide from God. How did that work for them? Then they tried to cover up their unbelief and the blame game began.
Where are we living before or after our “buts”? How big have our “buts” become?
It is possible to live by faith. Two examples from scripture of men who were living by faith in God after their “buts” are Habakkuk and Paul.
Though the fig tree should not blossom, and there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail, and the fields produce no food. Though the flock should be cut off from the fold, and there be no cattle in the stalls. Yet (BUT) I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. [Habakkuk 3:17-18] (NASB)
BUT, we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you. [2 Corinthians 4:7-12] (NASB)
These men lived by faith in God after the “but”. They lived by faith not their feelings. Faith in a God they knew personally. One that had shown Himself strong on their behalf over and over again.
How is your situation? Are you afflicted, perplexed, persecuted, struck down? Is your “fig tree” not blooming, and no “fruit” on your vine? In your situation, are you willing to live with this? BUT G0D____________, and you fill in the blank. This could become your new but-ology!
A warning about living by faith in God. Just because you make this choice, it does not mean your circumstances will change, “but” you can be changed. A great time to start might be today, when you make a choice by faith in Jesus, who lives inside you, by declaring that you are not going to live by your old “but-ology”. “But,” and this is a big “but” only because He has given us everything for life and godliness, your day might just be a little different than yesterday.
At Crossway Ministries, we are allowing God to use us to expose flesh and “but-ology”. Give us a call, visit our website: graceheals.org, or go to our Facebook page. We are here to help, so bring your “buts” in!!