I am becoming more and more aware of the fact that some new or not compleatly solid Christians are searching in various places looking for answers. This comes from the hunger placed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit to want too be filled with knowledge and understanding.
When we are new, one of the first things that happens is a great need to know the things God will reveal, we tend to have an unquenchable hunger to want too learn all that we can. This is a wonderful thing, but it brings to mind Paul talking to the church about his wanting to teach them about the meat of the faith. But in reality they could only handle the milk. Nobody gets it all or from being in a hurry. Remember that each time you read scripture you may find new meaning. It is because the Holy Spirit will show us things when He knows we need them. Paul was a Pharisee and grew up knowing much. His knowledge was on the level of a PhD. But he was lacking until he studied with Jesus [Galatians 1:17]. It was then that Paul understood what God wanted from him.
Please understand that this isn’t about being uncaring towards anyone. I want all Christians to have a better understanding of what our faith is about. The issue I’m addressing here is this; If you have a hunger for the word and want to learn with all your heart, then there are a few things you can do to make it more rewarding.
1. Read Scripture, this should always be the first thing you do.
2. Obtain a very good commentary on the bible. Matthew Henry has a great one. Although Henry believed in the post tribulation rapture, and that the Pope is the anti Christ, I don’t but, I believe he is right on about many things. B.H. Caroll also has great commentaries, if you can find them. Just don’t rely on your own understanding all the time. We’re human and all make mistakes.
3. Find two or three people that you know are grounded in scripture and seek advice from them. This is probably the hardest part. Because sometimes someone can seem to have all the answers and may not really be speaking from the Lord.
If the person teaches anything that goes against the bible they shouldn’t be listened to. That is why reading scripture is so very important, we must be in prayer to see what is from God and what is from man. If a Pastor/Teacher says something like God wants your best life now or give to my church and He will bless you 100 times over. That person isn’t speaking for God, but for their own gratification.
Having more than just a few teachers or mentors can become very confusing. It can make your brain seem to freeze up sometimes. It can be easy to receive conflicting messages and cause some to leave the faith. Because a person can say; well why should I follow this stuff when these people can’t even agree. It’s important to remember that we can be wrong about our insight, especially if we put to much emphases on a person and not the Lord. As always be in prayer about these things, it’s important that you receive solid, spirit filled advice.
Having a relationship with God is no different than with any other person. You have to work at it in order for it to become solid. The difference with God is that there is no greater thing you can do. It’s a lot more then just being shown what you can’t do. It’s also about living in His perfect will which is the greatest relationship you can have.
God’s peace, Dan Beliveau