… people want very much to hear from God until they actually do. In other words, if God said right now, “Andy, I need you in the slums of Detroit by the morning.” and I saw the fire leaving my home and headed towards Detroit, would I follow? Is certainty really preferred to ambiguity? Are we comfortable in our ignorance? How crazy would it be if you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt where you were supposed to go?
—Andy Burns, #58/366 – Numbers 8-10 – Thinking on These Things.
I shared the first line also on QBT.
This thought is significant for several reasons.
One, we’re never satisfied with what we have (i.e., the all-sufficient Bible). We want a personal, specific, earth-shaking communication from God.
- Is it laziness, so as not to have to study the Bible and apply its wisdom to life?
- Is it selfishness, like wanting a parent’s attention to the exclusion of other siblings?
- Is it pride, to be able to brag to others how God talked to me?
Whatever it is, it is sin, this desire to hear a personal word from God. And people make it up today (example: Pentecostals, and evangelicals searching for a specific will of God), just like the prophets of old did.
Two, Andy above goes to the heart of the will of God for us. The Lord wants us to be somewhere. He wants us to go with his message. There’s no such thing as a stay-at-home Christian. We are sent by the Master, outliers on business. We are out-there people, or as Andy says “supposed to go” to some point or place outside of ourselves, stepping out of our comfort zones, reaching out to the lost.
Three, Scripture is more than sufficient to our need. It is exactly what we need. It is tailored to our need. And what is that need?
- Salvation and forgiveness of sin.
- Knowledge of the First and Last.
- Exercise in godliness.
- General wisdom and specific instruction.
- Preparation for eternity.
- Resource for ministry.
- Content for proclamation.
But we are dissatisfied with the Bible. It’s too much work and it goes where we’d rather not. Hence, the search for another word that might cancel out or modify God’s written will. We’re looking for an out, an escape from obedience, an alternative to the cost of discipleship and the death of the self. And we will look until we find it. Or invent it.
Thanks to Andy for a thought-provoking post.
Bottom line: If you pick up your Bible and read it, you are “actually” hearing from God today.