“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’” John 8:31-32
I met my husband when I was 15. I know, take a deep breath if you have high schoolers, but it can happen and often it works out. Our relationship began as a great friendship. I went to public school and he went to a private school. He told me he was on the stock market team at his school and began to show me how to read and understand the Wall Street journal of which he really knew nothing. Of course, there was no stock market team either, but let’s just say I was young and gullible. He turned page after page and would appear happy or upset with the numbers he was showing me, explaining how his team was either winning or losing. We often have a good laugh about it now.
Unfortunately, I have been gullible about other things in my life…friendships, financial decisions, even silly things like recipes that sounded good, but tasted awful and looked very unlike the picture.
I also have read Christian authors and listened to Bible teachers, where I may have started down a path that could lead me astray. Then something leaps off of the page or in the hearing that doesn’t align itself with God’s Word, and I put down the book or turn off the teaching immediately. Certainly, there could be something of value in some of the things they’re saying, but if any of it does not align itself with the Scriptures it could actually be dangerous.
How can we discern what is not of God if we don’t study His Word for ourselves? It seems so much easier to have someone else explain things to us. Spoon feed us, if you will, like a babe. Praise God, I was only 15 and made no investments based on my then-boyfriend’s (now husband’s) interpretation of the stocks! I would certainly have made decisions based on false understanding. Why? Because he himself was giving me false information.
The personal study of God’s Word is our most invaluable Christian practice. I must practice the study of the Word. Read it slowly. Look at the Word’s definitions, other passages, the whole context of the passage, and then ask for Jesus to meet with me.
The only way I can know false teaching is to know God’s Word. That indeed will set me free! Free from what? Free from a path not based in truth. Free from unknowingly sinful ways. Free from sharing with others something that could draw them away from Christ and not to Him.
My newest pleasure: to listen to God’s Word being read to me on my phone or computer. Try it! When you want to be spoon fed, listen to the Word. It will change what you hear and spur you to dig into your time with the Lord with renewed passion.
“Father, may I seek Your Word above ALL others. I desire both to be Your disciple and to be set free from all things except Your truth. Amen.”