On Sunday mornings this summer, Heritage is exploring different myths commonly believed within Christianity during a “Mythbusters” teaching series. The week after each topic is taught from a biblical perspective, this blog will further dive into the issue at hand. We pray that this teaching series and the blog article that accompanies it will serve to be a resource as you reach your world for Christ.
By: Heather Templeton
Photo: Heather Michele Photo
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws.” Psalm 119: 105-106
At first glance, this myth might sound correct. After all, the Bible is the living, breathing Word of God, right? Wouldn’t that mean the closer we follow each of its precepts, the more likely things will go well with us?
In a nutshell, no it does not.
We covered the myth “A Valley Means a Wrong Turn” a few weeks back, and I highly recommend listening to that message as a precursor to this one. It sheds some serious light on why we cannot and should not believe that the Christian walk is free from hardships or difficulties.
That enlightenment lead me to this subject, which at first I will admit perplexed me a little; I’ve inadvertently lived this way a good bit of my life.
Growing up, I was the “good girl.”
The one who listened.
The one who studied hard in school.
The one who never snuck out.
(Nope…not even one time.)
The one who prided herself on making good decisions, graduating college (the first in her family), and going on to get stellar jobs.
The one who never partied. Never drank. Never stepped outside of the biblical “blueprint” of rules that guided her life.
On the outside, all of that sounded pretty ok. I mean, who wants their kid to purposely make bad decisions? Or turn away from the Lord for a season? Or even worse, denounce the Christian walk as the path for them altogether?
The problem lied deep within me.
It wasn’t so much what I was or was not doing.
It was the heart behind the way I was living my life.
I lived with a crushing fear of making the wrong decision.
Oh, I loved Jesus. I wanted to serve Him, and I wanted more than anything to one day hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” And I still want those things.
But my heart was controlled by fear.
I would agonize over job offers, scared that if I took the “wrong one” I would not recover and my career would be over.
I worried about moving certain places or doing certain things, and deep down always tried to listen for whether or not that particular step was on the path I believed was all laid out for me.
These fears drove me to nearly lose the man I would spend my life with.
I was terrified to be with the wrong person.
I thought if I married the wrong man, I would immediately recognize it and live in misery for the rest of my existence.
My internal battle was raging, and fear was winning by a long shot.
I had to take one day at a time and constantly told myself that I needed to keep persevering and it would all become clear.
I remember a very specific moment where I immediately knew that the Lord was with me. I was alone in the stockroom of the retail store where I worked, and I was completely overwhelmed. I poured out my heart to my Father and let all of my fear spill out.
“LORD, I can’t do this anymore. I’m terrified of making a mistake, especially with this relationship…I can’t keep going this way. I need Your peace, that peace that passes all understanding, to come over me now.”
Immediately I felt peace and relief like a wave wash over my entire body. The fear was gone, and I felt a freedom like I had never experienced before.
I dove wholeheartedly into my relationship and never looked back. Richard and I were married seven months later and now, after eleven years, we love each other even more than the day we were wed.
So why am I telling you this?
The Bible is more than the living, breathing, Word of God.
It IS God.
John 1:1 states that, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
When we open the pages of Scripture, it tells the story of HIM.
Jesus said He would never leave us, nor forsake us.
No matter the fears, no matter the doubts, no matter the pain.
He is with us, walking through each moment of our lives with us, leading us closer to Him through everything we face IF WE ALLOW HIM TO.
We cannot look at the Bible as some step-by-step manual to follow to a T.
That is the very definition of legalism, and also denotes a level of perfection that we simply cannot achieve.
We will always fail.
We will stray from this “blueprint.”
And when we do, what happens next?
Do we need to earn our way back to the Lord?
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
Jesus is the Light that we are to follow in the darkness of this world.
He gave us Himself, the precious Word, to guide us and lead us into a deeper relationship with Him.
When we focus on Jesus, on His character, and getting to know HIM, He lights our path and walks through all of the good and all of the bad that we experience in this world.
Through our trust and growing our relationship with Him, we will come to know Jesus on an intimate level.
We will trust Him with our all.
And we will KNOW He is there. No matter what we face.
He longs to know each and every one of us this way.
Get to know Jesus.
Dig into the Word, memorize it, pour over it, and hide it deep in your heart.
It is, after all, our Armor, and the Light unto our path.