Have you ever downloaded a new computer program that was not user-friendly without an instruction booklet? We spend countless hours surfing and clicking in an attempt to master the unreachable. After screaming in frustration, we search for an instructor to show us how to comprehend and navigate before we can benefit from the program. Finally, with no instruction book, and no instructor, in frustration we succumb to defeat and toss the whole computer out the window.
God’s Word and Christianity are much the same. How many times do we fervently read scripture only for the words to fall flat? How many times do we come upon a situation which seems unreasonable?
We need the Holy Spirit to help the Word come alive, not only in our hearts, but also in our minds. In Acts 28:26-27, Paul quotes the prophet Isaiah, “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.” For this people’s heart has become calloused…” Opening our hearts to God’s Holy Spirit will soften the callouses of our lives and enable us to understand the deep meanings within the scriptures. Seeking mentors who are grounded in the Word will help us navigate through the Word to apply it to our lives.
Taking the occasional inventory will help keep us moving forward:
1) Do we pray before/during/after reading scripture?
2) Does our close circle of friends/relatives pull us to God or away from God?
3) Does our local church (pastor, elders, and teachers) point us first to God’s precepts (His Word) or to their own theology?
Before we throw out the computer, disregard the bible, or throw away our lives; seek His guidance for understanding life’s navigation. Asking the Lord beforehand may save us tremendously in the end!
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
“For you shall go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall make a name for the Lord,
an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”