What the Bible Cannot Do

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
—Romans 15:4

The Bible is not like some generic piece of mail addressed to “Occupant.” No, the Bible is a first-class communication from God directed to you. The Bible is the primary way we discover God’s will for our life. But as wonderful as the Bible is, there are some things it cannot do for us. In fact, the Bible is only helpful when we use it in the way that it was designed to be used. There are three things the Bible cannot do in helping you discover God’s will.

First, the Bible cannot predict your future. You cannot pick out a random Scripture verse and simply claim it as the outcome of your particular situation. That is misusing Scripture, an attempt to try to make God do what you want Him to do in your particular circumstance. God did not give us the Bible to predict our own personal future. Do not try to use the Bible as a sanctified horoscope to tell you what is going to happen in your particular circumstance. It was never meant to predict our future.

Second, the Bible cannot answer our every question. Some people try to use the Bible as a theological encyclopedia to answer every question we have about life in general or our life in particular. As a pastor, people ask me difficult questions all the time. And most of them start with why? Pastor, why did God allow my boss to fire me? Why did God take my mate? Why did God allow my child to be killed? Why do ungodly people prosper while godly people suffer? Perhaps you have your own questions. Think about Job. He certainly had questions. After losing his health and his possessions and his children, he asked God, why? God says, “Job, all you need to know is that I am in control. I am working out My plan. Even if you could understand it, I choose not to reveal it to you right now.” And it is the same with us. God rarely answers our “why” questions, but He does remind us that He is in control. Do not try to use the Bible to answer your every question.

Third, the Bible cannot provide specific direction for every decision we face. If you are looking to the Bible to try to tell you every step you are ever going to take, you will be disappointed. For example, you can search through Scripture, but if you are looking for what vocation you ought to choose in life, you will not find the answer in the Bible unless you have a penchant for fishing or tent making. It’s just not in there. Or you may say, “God, show me the person I should marry.” And you know what? Unless their name is Paul or Peter, you’re not going to find that name in the Bible either. The Bible does not give us an answer for every specific decision we will face.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Bible Tells Me So?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

 

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