If I attended a wedding and, sitting in the pew listening to the minister, heard and watched him turn to the couple and say, “The most important thing is communication, through the good and the bad, communication with your spouse is the most important thing.”
I would say a silent “Amen”.
But if I then heard and saw the minister continue by handing them a book and saying,
“Here is a biography of your spouse. Whenever you wish to find out what they’re thinking or how they are going to react, simply read this and you’ll know. Everything you need to know about your spouse is right here.”
I would…along with most everyone in the ceremony, wonder at the mental health of said minister. And perhaps THEN someone wouldn’t be so silent. Someone (probably NOT me) might stand and say, “Why don’t they just talk to each other…isn’t THAT a better way to get to know someone; a better way to communicate?” Then, of course, there would be a general hub-bub and the wedding would end in shambles with at least one member of the wedding party, along with the minister, crying and running off.
But seriously, how ridiculous would it be if anyone told me or you that the best way to get to know someone we love, or communicate with someone, is to read about them? Especially when they are there and can be DIRECTLY communicated with. And yet, many Believers & Followers of Jesus do that exact thing.
I just heard someone (a faith-filled Believer & Follower) say they had so many questions and found themselves lost…so they searched the scripture for answers to their very specific questions. Now hear me, this person is by all observances a very wonderful and strong person-of-faith…but part of me wanted to step in and say, “Why don’t you just ASK Him?”
Also hear me when I say, the Scripture is a Holy Book, it is sacred because of its place in our lives as Believers & Followers, it is a great place to find precedent for questions and answers about life. HOWEVER Jesus says in the scripture (and Paul underscores what Jesus says) is that we now have direct access to THE PERSON in this great BIOGRAPHY: God Himself. All questions, all love, all thanks, could be directed PRIMARILY and DIRECTLY to Him.
The argument many Christians give, AGAINST this idea, is that I can’t trust the voice I’m hearing is God’s – when my “filter” is “human” and “sinful”. In other words, how do I know it’s God speaking and not just my own voice or imagination? How do I know I’m not justifying my own agenda and giving God the credit?
The answer? Faith.
The theological argument that says I can’t trust that I’m hearing God speak is one I’d like to try on Moses, Elijah, King David, Joseph, Daniel, Paul…etc. In other words, I’d like to hear from the WRITERS of the scripture about their process in hearing God. Surely these guys were hearing through a human and sinful filter as well...how did they know, or did they, that God was speaking and they weren’t just their own voices?
We, as Believers & Followers, don’t always make use of the Spirit like we should. It is the Spirit, not the Scripture (according to Jesus) who leads us into all Truth. It is through Jesus, not the Scripture, that we have access to the Great Throne.
The Scripture has purpose, it is Holy and Sacred, it is our primary text, as Believers & Followers, regarding who we are and who He is. I also realize that the Spirit of Jesus the King will speak in any way we will listen, and for some that is through the scripture. But that should not be our ONLY way to know God, and should not be an excuse for unexercised faith. It should not be an excuse for NOT praying/speaking directly to the One who leads, teaches, provides, protects and loves us. I know far too many people who would far rather use the scripture as a rule book than actually have a real conversation with God, who is far more merciful and gracious than they are comfortable with. I know far too many people who use the scripture as a “Magic 8-Ball” because it’s easier than trusting their spiritual ears and eyes...because getting to know God in THAT way may compel them to change.
I don’t want to get to that final WEDDING FEAST myself (not sitting in the pew, but standing beside the King) and find that I don’t even recognize His voice, as He holds my hand. I, for one, will put the Spirit’s voice first. I choose to hear Jesus sing, and I want to know His Father…personally.