Have you ever wondered how our astronauts control those multi-million-dollar space crafts we send into outer space? It may not be as complicated as you think.
First there must be a plan for space flight, the purpose of the mission if you will. Then the astronauts are chosen and undergo intense training. By the time their selection and training is complete, the Central Control Station (Mission Control) has already laid out a space flight pattern and drawn up written instructions for the astronaut to follow step-by-step from lift-off to a safe landing.
When the astronauts take off and head out to the open skies, they are to take these instructions to follow to successfully fly the space craft in and out of orbit. Without the written instructions there is potential for fatal error. If an astronaut decided to throw out the instructions given to them, he or she would be placing not only their own life in danger, but the lives of the rest of the crew as well. Hence, it is of utmost importance to follow the instructions written for the flight. By following written instructions enables the mission to be possible.
If this sounds like a segue to a Biblical principle . . .well it is! However, the illustration is not as important as the principle we need to apply. Yet, to be clear, we are the space travelers (the Christian) and we not only have a lot of other travelers that travel along with us, but we also have others that are in need of traveling and don’t know it. All to often, travelers have something that creeps in called “shortcut-a-nidus.”
This typically happens when leaders, seasoned volunteers, and even pastors choose to rush the work and act of the Holy Spirit of God and His word in their ministry’s, their lives, and the people that He places in our trust to mentor or disciple.
The Bible has long been the bestselling book in the world. The Guinness Book of World Records estimates that more than 5 billion copies have been printed for 2.3 billion Christians. For contrast, the Quran has printed just over 800 million copies for 1.8 billion Muslims. The Bible has probably been translated into more languages than any other book that we know of. Approximately 704 languages to be exact Yet, as more and more people have Bibles, why aren’t lives being changed? Equally, since the advent of Covid-19, we have witnessed a shift in church attendance and online sermon production. According to a 2019 Pew Report, approximately 49,719 sermons are shared each week by 6,431 churches. Yet, it seems that our world is struggling spiritually, morally, and may I suggest psychologically. Again, why aren’t we seeing lives of the 7.3 billion worlds citizens changed as we all wish?
Maybe you are familiar with some of the following excuses:
- Is it because it is hard to understand?
- Is it because there is no one to teach it properly?
- Is it because the language and precepts are too old for our generation?
- Or maybe many think they are a good person, and they already know what the Bible says.
The reason that there are not as many lives being transformed as there are Bibles is because so many people will go to Church and say “Amen” to the Pastor’s sermon, but they go out and live for the devil the rest of the week. They hear God’s word, but do not practice it in their lives. God writes on each of our heart’s a distinction of right and wrong. But He does not make us perform it. He leaves that up to us to deal with and even gives us His Holy Spirit who is an earnest steward to remind us of God’s direction for us, mostly found in His word, the Bible.
God has given us an instruction book for living out our lives on Planet Earth. He has already designed a pattern for life. Everything that we need to know is found in our instruction manual, the Bible. Yet, many may argue that the Bible is still hard to understand. Although each of us is given a conscience to help us distinguish between right and wrong, there may still be lack of understanding God’s word.
Why? Because the Bible is a spiritual book with spiritual wisdom and principles written in it. It is a book inspired by God, about God, for God’s children. You might say it is God’s Autobiography. We find how He reveals Himself through His Son Jesus Christ. Thus, a person who is carnal or non-spiritual (humanistic) will not understand it (1 Cor. 2:1-16).
Jesus told us in John 15 that if we abide in His words, His words will abide in us. His words cannot abide in us unless we have a relationship with Him. And in order for a person to have a relationship with Christ, he or she must be re-born. (see John 3). That is the first step in our instruction manual. You might say that is where you are selected for the mission.
Secondly, when we hear God’s word, we are accountable for what we hear. With knowledge comes responsibility. James reminds us:
“Therefore, lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.” ~ James 1:21-23
The Bible teaches us that we are to receive His Word and do His Word. What happens when we fail to apply God’s Word?
- We jeopardize our own spiritual growth.
- We jeopardize our opportunity to allow God to minister through us to others.
- We grieve God. He freely gives of Himself for us, why should we refuse His counsel.
In the book of Hebrews, we have this extortion:
“Therefore, we must give the more earnest heed to the
things we have heard, lest we drift away.” ~ Hebrews 2:2
At Heart for Lebanon, this is the very goal that we seek to give more earnest heed for those that we serve, whether Syrian Refugees, marginalized poor Lebanese families or even the friends and partners that choose to invest with us. Not only is the Bible important, but what the Bible says about missions is important.
Here are some practical guidelines to think about:
- Pray before you read or listen to teaching. Ask God To show you His word and to help you apply it.
- Practice daily principles God shows you in His word. Get your eyes off what others are doing wrong and look at you.
- Place yourself under regular teaching: go to a home fellowship, Ministry class, and or service.
- Praise God always for what He shows you, even when it is convicting.
- Produce yourself. Give your life away, share your testimony and heart with others.
Inspired by 1 Cor. 2:1-16Also take time to also read Matthew 7:21-27.