Have you ever traveled on a road trip and gotten completely lost on the way? Back before we all had a personal navigator in our pockets, travelers had to use a book of maps, called an atlas. Even then, one might have to admit to being lost and, regardless of embarrassment, stop and ask for directions.
The Christian life is like a road trip, and we need a comprehensive guidance system if we hope to successfully navigate our way through life. Thankfully, God has given us a book of maps — His inspired Word.
The first spiritual discipline that every believer needs to add to their daily journey is a regular study of the Scriptures. With a humble heart to understand and a fervent desire to apply God’s Word accurately, a believer can confidently navigate the twists and turns of life.
The Psalmist David essentially referred to God’s word as a GPS system when he wrote in Psalm 119:105, Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Throughout history, believers have relied on Scripture for guidance and direction in times of confusion, discouragement, persecution and sorrow. For instance, when the people of Israel left Babylon and returned home to Jerusalem, they needed spiritual guidance. God sent Ezra to lead them through incredibly difficult days. How? For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statues and rules in Israel (Ezra 7:10).
Those verbs study, do, and teach are the framework for our own personal discipline of approaching the Scriptures today. A comprehensive study of Scripture leads to personal application and provides the wisdom to communicate the truths we learn to others.
Jesus modeled this for us during His time of temptation. He didn’t perform a miracle to defeat Satan, but turned to the Scriptures for refuge when Satan brought attacks against him. With each temptation from Satan — food, protection and fame — our Lord responded by quoting passages from Deuteronomy. I often wonder how successfully we would handle temptation if all we had was the Book of Deuteronomy?
It’s obvious that Jesus saturated His mind and heart with the Scriptures, memorizing passages, meditating on their meaning, and most importantly, using them in real life situations.
Just as you would not attempt a road trip without a guidance system or map, don’t run the race of faith without the best resource possible — your guide for life — the Bible. Let me encourage you to begin this new year by setting time aside to read and memorize God’s Word. Let the inspired words of God fill your heart and your soul and stir your spirit as you walk with Him each day.