Nudges | Three Questions on Direction | The Importance of the Bible
“And so you cancel the word of God in order to hand down your own tradition.” Mark 7:13
“I know what the Bible says, but I think—” Have you heard that? Maybe you’ve even said it. This phrase is becoming more common and more accepted, even within the church. Self-determination is the god of our culture and it’s showing up in our view of God’s word. The premise is that the Bible is nice and all, a sweet storybook with good lessons kind of like Aesop’s Fables, but we can’t take a 1st century book literally in our 21st century world. However, the first-century religious people were already using this line. Instead of cancelling commands, they were adding them. Both are equally wrong and Jesus called them out. He calls us out too when we think ourselves progressive. The word of God is the word of God and we can’t tamper with it.
To walk in fellowship with God, our decisions must pass the scripture test. Even the instructions that were directed to particular people at a particular time are useful to us because they contain important principles we can apply to our situations. The goal of obeying scripture is to draw closer to God. A deceitful, rebellious child is still loved by the parents but cannot enjoy their fellowship until he is willing to listen and obey. He can expect nothing but chaos and discipline. So it is with God. We cannot enjoy His presence, feel His pleasure, and know His heart when we respond to His written instructions with “I know what the Bible says, but I think—” We can expect nothing but chaos and discipline. No one has the right to add rules or ignore the ones already there. God has spoken, and He expects our decisions to align with His.
Final Thought: In every decision, our first question should be: “What does the Bible say about it?”
Prayer: Father, I’ve said or thought something like that first sentence. Some things in your word are hard to accept. But you’re God, I’m not. I recommit myself to upholding all of your word and aligning my life with its truths. In Jesus’ name, Amen.