Jump Start # 2679
2 Corinthians 5:7 “We walk by faith and not by sight.”
The other day I was scanning through some of our Jump Starts to find some to read for our Monday podcast. If you haven’t checked that out, you might want to. Every Monday, as part of our Heaven Bound Podcast, I read a Jump Start from the past. We call it, “Jump Start Rewind.”
While I was walking through the Jump Starts, and there is a volume of them, over 2600, it made me think of our verse. Every day, except holidays and weekends, for the past ten years I have written a Jump Start. Every day. It’s a good exercise for me and I hope it’s helpful to someone out there. As we look at the Bible, it is easy to make the assumption that God did a similar thing. Every day He was talking to the prophets. Every day He was talking to Moses. Every day Paul was getting messages from above. We might think that way. And, now, you and I do not get those “daily” updates from Heaven. We might think that the people in the Bible had an advantage that we do not have. Had we only lived back then, God would have told us everyday what we needed to do. But, it’s not that way at all. The Biblical record does not support that idea.
First, there are long gaps of time often between chapters within the same book of the Bible. The book of Judges, for instance, covers around 400 years. If God was speaking just one sentence or verse every day for 400 years, the book of Judges ought to contain more than 146,000 verses. It doesn’t. Especially, in the prophetic books, there can be long gaps of time in which God did not reveal any messages.
Second, God was not speaking to every person directly. Even back in the early days of Genesis, God was speaking to the fathers of the family. Later God spoke to the leaders, such a Moses, the Judges, the kings and the prophets. God did not speak to every house on every street in every village in Judea. In the N.T. God spoke through inspiration to the apostles.
Now, this is important. Why should I expect God to speak to me personally, when He has never done that to the rest of His people throughout history. God has not spoken to each person personally. God speaks to us, but it is through the Word of God.
Third, what God says, especially in the New Testament period, is for all people. Again, the common thought among so many today is that God will tell me which house I ought to buy, and God will tell my neighbor about a new job he ought to take and God will tell the guy across the street that he needs to step up his act with his family. Every person getting a personalized and daily update from Heaven. Sounds wonderful, but then, why the Bible? Just put my Bible on the shelf and wait for those memos from Heaven.
Our verse today helps with all of this. Walking by faith, means just that. It is a journey of trust. It is believing God and having to use some faith. Not much faith is necessary if God is directly telling me everything that I need to do. Do I move? Do I take the job? Absolutely I ought to pray about those things. I should seek advice of godly people on those things. But, in the end, God is not going to whisper or even shout, “Yes.” God speaks through Jesus in these last days. And the word from Jesus is in the Bible.
That means you and I have the same message. It’s the same for us as it is for the people in Europe. It’s the same for us as it was for our great grandparents. It’s the same for us as it was for those early disciples long ago. Our faith is wrapped around the words of the Bible. We stand upon the Bible as the foundation of our faith. The more of the Bible that we know and pour into our hearts, the greater and stronger our faith will be.
When people believe that God is telling them things directly, it gives a little more confidence and credibility to what they are doing. Who is going to go against God? How can you argue with someone’s decision when God told him to do that? However, since God isn’t saying these things directly, then the person stands or falls on his own with the choices he made. Why did you move your family so far away from everyone they know and to a place where there is no decent church that follows the Bible? Well, “God told me.” No, He didn’t. That was just a dumb idea of your own and now you have to live with the consequences. Had you followed the Bible, you would have understood how valuable godly fellowship with other Christians are. You would have taken into thought the feelings of your family. You would have consulted with the shepherds of the congregation. Instead, you were chasing a wild idea and you stuck God’s name to it so it sounds reasonable when it really isn’t. And, what if that new job out there doesn’t work out? What if you want to move back? Are you now going against “the will of God?”
Peter tells us that everything that we need for life and godliness has been given to us. We don’t need daily messages, like Jump Starts to keep us going. We have the word of God. We don’t need direct messages. We have the word of God. We don’t need things so personal and pointed that they only apply to me and no one else. We have the word of God.
When God spoke in the Biblical times, whether directly, through visions or dreams, it was understood that this was a divine message. Folks who think that God is talking to them directly today do not have that understanding. It might be from God, they think. Or, it might be just a weird dream. Sometimes a person can so want something that he assumes God does the same thing. So our pursuit of things becomes God’s pursuit of things, in their mind.
The message today from Heaven is your Bible. It’s the same message as yesterday’s. It will be the same message a tomorrow. Grab that Bible an go through it as if your life depended upon it, and it does. Know it. Read it. Think it out. Whether you are single or married. Whether you live in the city or a rural community. Whether you are working or retired. The message is to walk by faith and do what the Lord has said in His word. We have to put some application to the principles of God’s word. We have to decide just what does righteousness and holiness look like. We have to decide how to live the message of the Lord.
Jump Starts, they help me to think the right direction. God’s people got along just fine before Jump Starts and someday when I stop these, they will get along just fine without them. Now God’s word is another story. We must have that Bible, even though there are not fresh, new messages every day.