A third century monk called Anton lived as a recluse and hermit in the Negev, near what we know as Egypt today. In time the monk developed a following among his day’s prominent personalities who often wrote (but don’t ask me how the mail was delivered) to seek his wisdom and prayers regarding personal decisions. Even the Emperor Constantine, so say historians, sought his counsel.
One day one of Anton’s disciples expressed surprise that even kings and emperors would ask for his advice. Anton, replied, “Think nothing of it. What the emperor writes is not even worth mentioning,” contending that there is only one letter really worth reading, that written by the hand of God. “We call it the Bible,” said Anton.
In recent days a rash of books have been published all of which purport to have revealed great spiritual truths through numbers in the Bible, or through an assortment of weird approaches to the simple truth of this book.
What stops most of us, however, from gaining the insights from this book is not a divining of mystical, hidden truths, but an ignorance of its teaching and precepts.
If you want to discover God’s plan for your personal life—and this book says He has one for you, as unique and distinctly different for you as your DNA or fingerprint is from everyone else’s on planet Earth—then you need to learn what this book is all about. In a real sense the Bible is like a roadmap, or a GPS unit. Both a roadmap and a sophisticated electronic device that identifies your location precisely by fixing on satellites in space are valuable only if you choose to follow their direction.
When someone, however, chooses to ignore what a map or compass says, preferring to rely on “gut instinct,” they may well be in for a wild ride. The Bible gives you a fix on absolutes which are unchanging as is the North Star or the North Pole—ones which remain the same regardless of the weather or the vagaries of human opinion. It tells you who God is, who you are, and how you get through life without falling on your face.
Yes, it says, “Do this!” and “Don’t do that!” just as any one would do, were he to tell you how to get through a jungle and come out safely on the other side. The negatives of this grand old book are not to inhibit you or keep you from finding happiness but to guide you through the hazards of life.
But how do we find His personal direction for our lives? In either clear statement or principle, you will find direction in this book for every decision you will ever make in life. “Whoa!” you may be thinking, “that is a pretty inclusive statement.” Obviously, this book gives many clear statements of what you need to do to find purpose in life. This includes the Ten Commandments and the hundreds of clear statements of do’s and don’ts, but far beyond that, it gives you principles by which you can guide your life and your relationships.
In one of my boyhood favorite books, written by Nordoff and Hall, when the Bounty was shipwrecked in the South Seas and the lives of the men aboard were being destroyed by hatred and disease, someone finally remembered the old Bible in the hold of the ship, went back and got it and began reading it to the men. Sobered by the truth of this grand old book, they began to follow its teaching and to live as God intended them to live. It will do the same thing for our messed-up lives today.
Resource Reading: Proverbs 2
Text: I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11
GUIDELINES with Harold Sala – October 27, 2017