God’s Word, Not Bible Studies and Books

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”  Psalm 119: 105

I was reminded of light’s importance this morning as I stumbled down my dark hallway.  Thank goodness there were no Legos lurking in my path. (If you’ve ever stepped on a Lego, I am sure you understand:)

A light would have been helpful.  I could have clearly seen the vacuum I left in the path as well as my daughter’s wayward clothes hanger.   Instead of stumbling through the shadows, the light would have allowed me to see these obstacles and easily step around them.

I need light to guide my path today and everyday.  Without it, I maneuver through the darkness, using shadows, outlines, and assumptions.  Even if I see the obstacle, it’s usually too late to avoid it.

We need light.

And, God gave us light to guide our paths:  His Word.

God’s Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. I bet you’ve heard this before: “God’s Word is a light” along with “read your Bible everyday.”   Me too.

But, this morning that truth has taken a new hold in my heart.  I love reading books about the Bible.  My Kindle is overflowing with books about the gospel and growing closer to God.    I also love Bible studies.  Chatting with the gals and listening to someone share God’s word is good for my soul.

Please don’t hear what I am not saying:  Books and studies aren’t bad.  God speaks to me and “lights my path” through the Scripture and insight found in both.

Still, these books and studies are not God’s Word.

While they’re wonderful and helpful, I need His word.

Why?

Rewind…Earlier this year I was preparing for a mission trip to Honduras.  Our church packed a container containing clothing, toiletries, and other materials.  We collected donations, filling the container from January to May.   We shipped it to Honduras in early June.  In July, 17 team members distributed the supplies to eight church plants as part of an existing church planting ministry in San Manuel, Cortez.

After we shipped, I heard that someone for whom I have great respect criticized the mission. He was citing some articles about short-term missions.  I Googled and found similar, maybe the same, articles.  After reading the articles, I read a book: When Helping Hurts.  I also read portions of Toxic Charity.

All three are great resources. All three are biblical.

Did these resources increase my awareness and stewardship?  Absolutely!  I learned much from both books and the Gospel Coalition’s articles.

But, when I relied on these resources and one person’s opinion, I made a wrong turn.

I should have sought God’s word.  I should have prayed.  I did neither.

I opened the door wide for Satan as I lost touch with God’s voice, listened to man’s voice, and began to doubt our mission.

God brought me back around in route to Honduras, reminding me that he called me to go:

Mark 28: 19 – Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

Mark 16: 15 – He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”

I answered the call and went.  I am not in charge.  He is.

I realize it’s September, and the mission trip was months ago.  Yet, God just brought this full circle for me this morning as I read Psalms.

He reminded me to read His word and pray. Those are my direct connections to Him if I want to know Him more intimately.

After I’ve read His word and prayed, I feel free to open my Bible study, digging deeper into who He is.   To seek wise counsel, gaining new perspective and uncovering my blind spots.  To read the latest book, understanding God’s story in a new way.

Saturate yourself in His word today.   Allow Him to light your path, so you may bring Him glory.

Links:

  • If you’d like further information on the Bible as authoritative, this podcast from the Journey Church in Marietta is a great resource.
  • If you’re thinking…”I’d love to read the Bible, but I don’t know where to begin,” consider using a Bible reading plan from YouVersion or reading through Colossians with the Good Morning Girls.

As always, if you have questions or would like additional guidance, please comment or email.  I’d be happy to help!

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