STUCK! Chapter Two: Who Sez?

13 Jul

In this chapter we want to deal with what is perhaps the most foundational question one can answer. The question is “What is the authority for your life?” To ask the question another way, “Where do you get your beliefs, priorities, truth?”

If my authority is my own opinion, or the beliefs of my friends, or what the majority thinks or feels, my spiritual life is in a lot of trouble. My opinions are always changing, my friends don’t seem to have a clue what they believe most of the time, and the majority is so frequently wrong! I need an unchanging, reliable, trustworthy source for my total life. And that should be the Word of God, the Bible.

And here is the problem for a lot of Christians. For many they see God’s Word as part of their Sunday go-to-meeting outfit, a necessary accessory to their ensemble. They carry a big Bible, preferably black, under their arm as they attend church. Or, for many today, it’s simple an app on their phone which they can pull up to follow the preacher (or check their email when the sermon drags).

But in our heart of hearts we know the Bible is much more than a religious rabbit’s foot. And reading the Bible should be much more than checking what amounts to some to be a daily holy horoscope. We need to see the Bible for what it truly is: God’s instruction book for the believer. It tells us how to live, what to avoid, how to think, where to spend our time, what our mission is, how to deal with temptation and sin, when to engage others with the gospel (and when to walk away), why there is suffering and why this (whatever catastrophe I’m going through at the moment) is happening to me now, etc.

We Christians must repent of our poor views of the Scriptures and wash our minds with the truths of Psalm 119 about the cruciality of the Word of God. We have been deluded into thinking that the Bible is there only to comfort us at funerals or to provide an encouraging verse when we send a birthday gift to a nephew or to crochet or decoupage or frame a biblical statement for display in our home. We read in Hebrews 4 that “the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (v. 12 KJV)

When we mentally shelve the Word of God, turning to it only in dire emergencies, we are doing great harm to ourselves. God’s Word is meant to be studied, meditated on, and carefully applied to every experience we face this day. We assume that a surgeon doesn’t need to run to his anatomy textbook so he can find and do surgery on one’s appendix. That knowledge should be innate with him, second nature.

But that’s not the case with the believer and his Bible. It needs to be our constant reference, our daily sourcebook for wisdom and insight, our road map for how we are to navigate our today.

Of course, there are some strong reasons why the believer might want to avoid God’s Word. We don’t naturally want our lives to be cut up by truth, to be pierced by the One who knows our hearts, to have our thoughts and intentions read by God Himself (Heb. 4:12). But we know that that is exactly what we need if we want to follow the Lord with a whole heart.

God’s Word convicts us of sin. It will cause us to face our temptations and either plead with the Lord for strength to resist them or cowardly give in to the promptings of our own evil desires or the enticements of our supernatural enemy.

The Bible will require of us our most diligent mental, emotional, and volitional engagement. Far from being an easy-to-read book, the Bible will insist that we work hard to quarry its meaning. Do you think that you are no longer a student simply because you’ve earned a high school or college or graduate degree? Think again. If you’re a follower of Jesus, you have become a life-long pupil in God’s school — and there is a world of homework to get done!

1. Read Chapter Two “The Believer’s Authority” in m book DocWALK. Take notes on both wrong views of the Bible and correct ones.

2. Carefully go through all of Psalm 119 this month. It’s the longest chapter in the Bible, but gives us amazing statements about the Word of God.

3. Begin an email Bible reading program with several friends. I’ve been doing this for years and it has been a great encouragement in my life. Choose a book (for example, Ephesians) and read chapter one this week each day. On Sunday send a brief thought to the group of something the Lord gave you from that chapter. Then on Monday begin reading chapter two. And so on.

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Posted by on July 13, 2022 in STUCK!


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