2 Tim 3: 16-17.
All scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto good works.
Reading the above scripture makes it very plain that the written word of God is a blessing and a tool of the Holy Spirit to fashion and shape our lives in our walk with the Lord. But if we use the Bible as a substitute for an intimate relationship with God we remain unchanged and as a result border on religious behaviour.
The Bible is the sword of the Spirit, the word of God (Heb: 4-12) and only the Spirit of God can quicken it to me and make it living.
Jesus rebuked the religious Jews of His day when He said in John 5: 39-40 “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me, and ye will not come to me that ye may have life”.
The early church did not have a Bible or New Testament to refer to. They became the New Testament by the inspiration of the Spirit. Jesus said “My sheep hear my voice!”. Do I see the difference between a proceeding word from the mouth of God, and the written word which is a dead letter except the Holy Spirit quickens it to me!
Just like the Pharisees, I can have a knowledge of the Scriptures without the life and become a religious hypocrite: God forbid.
How I need that intimate relationship with the Lord, hearing His voice on a daily basis, walking under His instruction through the challenges that this life throws at me.
No man, no circumstance can take from me the privilege Jesus has given to me in hearing His voice, to receive that peace that passes all my understanding.
They can put me in a prison cell, they can take my Bible from me, but they cannot stop me hearing His voice and enjoying His presence in the most difficult of circumstances.
A verse of a song comes to mind…..
In this world all I see is confusion and strife,
The voices are many that would control my life.
But clearly He bids me to trust Him and pleads,
To follow Him only where ever He leads…
May this be our portion…to the Glory of God!