When I was younger and fitter, I used to do a fair amount of overnight hiking. I was a member of Boy’s Brigade and the leaders taught me how to read a map and use a compass. I learnt many bush skills and how to constantly take my bearings in the bush, so I wouldn’t get lost.
My love for getting lost in the bush expanded somewhat when I got my drivers licence. I was able to go further distances to explore. In fact, I kept a large tool box packed with camp oven, cooking and eating utensils, basic seasonings etc, so all I had to do, was throw it into the back of my truck, load up some food and away I would go.
My map reading skills crossed over into skills to read a street directory. I knew how to follow the signs to where I was going. With a little preparation, I could easily go interstate, and along the back blocks and by ways to places I had never been before.
But, the maps, the signs, the street names, were markers along the way. They were the pointers to where I was going. They helped me to enjoy my journey. They helped me get to my intended destination. I could have decided to go my own way. I could have said, “Nahh, I’m not following these directions!” And in doing so, become lost along the way, or ending up somewhere in the opposite direction to where I was intending to get to.
The Bible in many ways is the same as the street signs, The map we are to follow. The instructions and directions about the way we should go. But, the Bible its self is not our destination. It points to God. It tells us about God. It tells us about those who went before us – those who followed God, followed Christ and accepted his great salvation. And it tells us about those who didn’t. The Scriptures tell us about the God who came and lived among us. Who walked and talked, breathed and ate with us. And the Scriptures tell us about the God, who took upon himself the sins of the world.
Our destination is God. Our pursuit is God. We are to aim to have a relationship with God. While he is the God of the Bible, we don’t have a relationship with the Bible. For the throne of God, is not the Bible. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not contained in the Bible. I love reading the Scriptures. I love finding out more about the God who saves us. I need the Bible to do this. The more I read the Scriptures, the more I learn about his great love for us.
But, I am in relationship with the God of the Bible. I experience the communion of God through the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit continually draws me to the Father. Continually points me to Christ. Causes the word of God to be a reality in my life. The word of God encourages me to seek the God of the Bible. And so I pray to the God of the Bible and seek his face. The word of God tells me to eagerly seek the Holy Spirit and his gifts – especially prophesy. So I seek God, and seek the ongoing empowerment of the Holy Spirit, and his gifts, especially that I may prophesy.
Friends. Let us be informed by the Scriptures. But, let us always be a people who seek the face of God, and seek his ways, and not our own.