HOW DO WE NAVIGATE IN THESE DAYS?
Whom should you trust and follow? Many, many leaders have led their sheep into false doctrines. That is really the fault of the teacher, but also the mistake of each member. We can read about the church in Berea in Acts 17. It is written that the Jews there were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica. They received the word with all readiness and they searched the Scriptures daily to find out if the teaching was right. I believe that is like a recipe for us as well. We must ourselves read the Word. There has been a great fight for getting the Bible in your own language. The Catholics didn’t want their members to read the Bible and it was therefore read in Latin. People that wanted to translate the Bible were killed. In Norway the Catholics got their own Bible less than 100 years ago. The Catholic Bible has seven more books than the Bible for the Protestants. We read in psalm 119:105 that His word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I like this comparison. That means that we have to read it often. It refers to a path and a path is narrow. It also talks about a foot. We cannot see the whole picture, but have to take one step at a time.
We must navigate by using the Word of God.
God has chosen teacher and preachers to teach us from the Word of God. We can receive revelations from others, but everything should be tested. I become quite skeptical when preachers come with a lot of viewpoints without referring to the Bible. Where do these viewpoints come from? The Bible must be read as a complete book and I warn you: “Do not take on verse and make a theology out of that one verse.” 2. Corinthians 5:17 says that if you are in Christ, old things have passed away and everything is new. This is true, but some pastors use this verse to go against Christian counselling. That becomes wrong. We are new creatures in Christ, but we do have a soul and a body in need of healing and deliverance. 1.John 1:9 says that if we confess our sins, Jesus will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. In the fifth chapter we read in the 18th verse that whoever is born of God, does not sin. If we do not understand the fact that we are spirit, soul and body, this might look very confusing. We cannot sin in the spirit. The Bible says that we see in parts and we need each other to see more than our own part.
I live in Sweden and we are going to have an election very soon. How should we vote. I will naturally not tell you how to vote and give you names of recommendable parties. I will only ask some questions. Did you read the program of the different parties? Does the party you like stand up for Israel? The Bible says that those who bless Israel, will be blessed. Does the party hold Christian values? Does the political party defend abortion or will it defend mid-wives and doctors denying to kill babies? Do they believe in marriage between a man and a woman or is it fine to marry one of the same sexes? Will the political party defend life by refusing to kill severely sick people? Which party allows Christians to be Christians? Some parties want to get rid of Christianity. You might add more questions yourself. You have to decide what is most important to you.
If the Word of God is not important to you, you might easily navigate in a wrong direction. You will also make mistakes if you focus on the wrong destination. Jesus was saying: “Follow Me!” Our focus should be on Him. Some people do not believe that God is good and they think that they have to take care of everything. We read in the third Epistle of John, the second verse that the writer wants Gaius to prosper in all things and be in good health. A correct picture of God is important in order to navigate correctly.
Jesus walked on the water and He encouraged Peter to do the same. Peter did well in the beginning, but then he focused on the waves and the result was that fear gripped him and he was afraid to sink. The same thing could happen to us. If our focus is on the problems, we might become fearful and we get out of course. The Lord is saying: “Trust Me.” He has promised never to leave, nor forsake us. We are not promised a life without problems, but He has promised to help us.
The Bible is actually saying that families will be divided. It is not something God desires, but sometimes you have to make decisions that members of your family do not like. I know of people that do not vote for the party they want in fear of criticism of family members. My father cried in sorrow when I chose to get baptized as an adult. I really loved my father, but he should not be more important than God. People could become idols and we are not supposed to have other gods. We are not supposed to go against our family because we are wounded or want to revenge, but because of a holy conviction, built on the Word of God.
What do we do when we find it difficult to make a decision? I seek the Lord. I ask Him to lead me on the right path. I ask The Holy Spirit to give me a verse from the Bible. I do not make decisions when I am emotionally unstable. I do not want my emotions to guide me, but my spirit.
If you find it difficult to hear from the Lord, I want to ask: “Are you close to Him?” I would also ask the Lord if there is something blocking and what it is.
WE NEED A MAP AND A COMPASS IN OUR WALK WITH THE LORD HERE ON EARTH.