Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
–2 Timothy 2:15
Would you agree that a car is a useful mode of transportation? On a cold winter day, it sure beats walking! But if you try to use a car to cross the Atlantic Ocean or to fly over a mountain, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. A car is helpful in getting you from one place to another as long as you use it the way it was intended to be used.
It’s the same way with God’s Word. God’s Word is helpful in discovering God’s will as long as we use it the way it was designed to be used. There are some things the Bible cannot do for us.
Sometimes people try to use the Bible to predict their future. Haddon Robinson told a story about a Christian man whose wife was near death. One morning, before visiting his wife at the hospital, he noticed a promise box full of Bible verses on the kitchen table. He pulled out a card and read the verse on it: “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live” (John 11:25). The man was so encouraged that he pulled out a second card: “I will not die, but live, and tell of the works of the Lord” (Psalm 118:17). The man went to the hospital and said to the nurses, “God told me today that my wife is not going to die.” By the next day, his wife was dead, and those nurses were left to assume that God couldn’t be trusted to keep His promises. Don’t try to use the Bible as a sanctified horoscope. God didn’t give us the Bible to predict our future.
Sometimes people expect the Bible to answer every question they have about life. Usually, their questions start with why: Why did this happen to me? Think about Job–after losing his health, his possessions, and his children, he asked God why. But in the book of Job, God never answered the why question; He answered the who question. He assured Job, “I have a plan I’m working out. And even if you could understand it, I choose not to reveal it to you right now.” God rarely answers our why questions, but He does remind us who’s in control.
Finally, sometimes people expect the Bible to provide specific direction for every decision they face. But if you’re looking to the Bible to tell you every single step you ought to take, you’re going to be disappointed. For example, if you’re wondering what vocation you ought to choose, you’re not going to find the answer in the Bible unless you have a penchant for fishing or tent-making. The Bible does not give specific direction for every decision.
Today’s devotion is adapted from “The Bible Tells Me So?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Haddon Robinson, Decision Making by the Book (Grand Rapids: Discovery House, 1998), 19.
Scripture quotations are 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.