In his book, Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer comments “What a tragedy that in these dark days we have left the seeking to the teachers.” His reference point was that there had been a significant decline in Bible literacy in his day. I have been seeing that accentuated even further in our day. I hear men talk about their favorite book of the Bible and their Bibles appear to be brand new; nearly untouched. I hear men talk about their lack of knowledge of the scriptures with a wistfulness that breaks my heart. It is often difficult to engage others in dialog on scriptural matters because of this discomfort and lack of knowledge. Frequently when that conversation is accepted, there is an obvious lack of understanding because there is only anecdotal and often misquoted references.
In the times in which we live, understanding God’s point of view is critical to navigating the barrage of attacks on traditional religious beliefs. In 1 Chronicles 12:32 the men of Issachar were called out as men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do. There are a lot of extreme statements being made in the name of the Christian faith that have done little to promote the cause of the faith which we hold so dear.
We go to our churches and want the pastor / priest to tell us what the Bible says. It is far easier to go to church for an hour on Sunday morning, get our lesson from the scriptures in an hour than to spend time studying the word of God and listening to what the Holy Spirit would have for us. God wants a personal relationship with each one of us. In order to do that we need to give Him the opportunity to speak into our hearts. There are two primary ways He will speak to us. One is through the written word … the scriptures that were inscribed by men guided by the Holy Spirit. The other is by direct communication from the Holy Spirit as we read the scriptures. Yet a third path is when our hearts are set on Jesus Christ the Holy Spirit will frequently bring to our mind truths and guidance that is in line with scripture. We’ll know when that happens because our knowledge of the scriptures will validate the thoughts brought to our minds. Knowledge of the scriptures is essential for victorious Christian living.
We should not forget the model of the Bereans. Even as the Apostle Paul was teaching them, they went to the scriptures to see if what he was saying was true. We ought to be exercising that kind of diligence in understanding the scriptures and weighing what is spoken from the pulpit, heard on the radio or written in books. Even what I’ve written here, should be weighed against scripture.
Go ahead … I challenge you to open your Bible to make sure what I’ve written here is true. Let’s not leave the seeking to the teachers. Rather lets be seeking the truth of God and be open to having the Holy Spirit use the words of scripture to prick your heart. God wants to speak to you personally.