Well-meaning people tell us that the Christian gospel will put us in charge of life, will bring us happiness and bounty. So we go out and buy a Bible. We adapt, edit, sift, summarize. We then use whatever seems useful and apply it in our circumstances however we see fit. We take charge of the Christian gospel, using it as a toolbox to repair our lives, or as a guidebook for getting what we want, or as an inspirational handbook to enliven a dull day. But we aren’t smart enough to do that; nor can we be trusted to do that. The Holy Spirit is writing us into the revelation, the story of salvation. We find ourselves in the story as followers of Jesus. Jesus calls us to follow him and we obey – or we do not. This is an immense world of God’s salvation that we are entering; we don’t know enough to use or apply anything. Our task is to obey – believingly, trustingly obey. Simply obey in a ‘long obedience.’

 – Eugene Peterson, The Pastor

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