Some believers want to choose a few words out of the Bible and live by them. For example, they want to pick out healing and prosperity as their Scriptural foundations. Today, we hear some of us saying they are healing/ prosperity preachers – what portion of the Bible supports it? Today, we sign boards written, “Crusade, crusade or revival, revival, healing, prosperity and deliverance”, which we use to attract attendance. What portion of the Bible supports this? We like to pick out some bits and pieces from the Bible as our Scriptural foundations.
And often people who pick and choose the Scriptures they want to live by are not too eager to find Scriptures about holiness, consecration, evangelism, judgement and the love of God. However, faith and prosperity, holiness, consecration, evangelism, judgement and the love of God all work together to develop a mature spiritual man. All these areas enumerated come together to develop man spiritually.
This case of picking out only bits and pieces amounts to sketchy, half–knowledge which is dangerous – this is why people carry out dangerous missions. For example, we are not consistent in our doing because we never wait to hear from God before we say what we are saying, before we do what we are doing, before we go where we are going. We allow sense knowledge to rule us.
Our knowledge of the Bible must be broad and holistic. Don’t make the Bible say what you want to hear. Don’t bring in what you think you need to hear. This is about what God has to say to you. Respond to Him in dialogue. That means it is as much about listening as it is about speaking. Open your eyes and your heart to hear His voice. Singing praises, write your thoughts in a journal, dance or prostate yourself before Him. Pray. You can read and think and pray all day but unless you live in God’s Word as well, you will miss the point. The Word helps man walk with God, receive from God and fulfil God’s will on the earth.
Those people who choose the Scriptures they want to live by are not eager about such other areas as holiness, consecration, evangelism, judgement and the love of God. However, these other areas and the love of God work in concert to develop man spiritually. The Word helps man walk with God, receive from God and fulfil God’s will on earth. But all that they want is merely to receive from God. They often pray – ‘God, give me, give me…’ It is true the Word of God talks about receiving from God. However, we cannot give out to others until we ourselves have received something from God.
We cannot rely on bits and pieces from the Bible to develop into strong, mature Christians. We need the whole counsel of God – all the bits strung, fastened and laced together in our lives – for us to develop into a strong spiritual man. Faith is important to our spiritual development because the Bible urges us to live by faith (Romans 1:17). However, we must also live a life of love because faith works by love.
Sometimes it seems that people who are preoccupied with faith – who talk faith, claim to live faith and know faith – do not seem to have much love. They boast about their knowledge of the Bible. Knowing facts about God does not change our relationship with Him. Our relationship with Him can only change us when we have taken God’s Word to heart and truly made it part of us. It will by its very nature change us. But since faith works together with love to be effective, strong faith is impossible without love.