August 27, 2008

That's the Book for Me

As we've been talking the last couple of weeks, the most common question I get concerns how to hear the voice of God and/or how to discern His will for our lives. For the serious Christian or anyone who believes in God, any discussion on hearing God's voice has to include the role of the Bible.

The Bible contains 66 books which were written by over 40 authors over the span of two thousand years. It is consistent in all its writing. In the Old Testament alone, there are more than 300 prophesies which point to the coming of the Messiah, the person who would save the world from their brokenness, their sin, and its consequences. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ, through his birth, life, death, and resurrection, fulfills all of them. Astounding!

Jesus affirms the scriptures, and the Bible confirms its own authority as a tool for direction. Paul, a Christ-follower and inspired author of many books of the Bible writes, "All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking,correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (From the second letter to Timothy, chapter 3.)

In considering questions of direction, anything that we are told, heard, or believe, must be in line with the teachings of the Bible, as this is the primary way we can hear God's direction. The Bible is truly His love letter to us, giving us direction in how to live, and it points us solely to Jesus Christ as God's perfect and only payment for our sin.

This Bible truth, along with a heart attitude that is the foundation of wanting to follow and obey what He says, is the beginning- and sometimes the conclusion- of hearing God's voice regarding any matter we place before Him. Sometimes, we desire additional confirmation and direction from God. This can also come from our own prayer, as God will speak to His children who seek Him; wisdom from wise counselors; and lastly circumstance. All four ways can reveal God's voice and will to us, but no voice truly from God will ever contradict what we find in the Bible.

We'll continue on next week about why we receive wise counsel as part of our decision making process. But in the meantime, let's be thankful we have God's wonderful love letter to us and that we can find so much about Him and how we are to live within its pages!

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