The Bible is Insufficient

Five-Minute Friday Post: CHOOSE

If you know me, you probably think I have lost my mind. God’s Word is a wonderful gift, and it is a vital part of my day. However, as John Piper said, “By itself, the Bible will not keep us on track.” (John, Piper, “How Does God Lead Us in Daily Decisions?”)

We have to make many decisions and choices in life that are not clearly defined on the pages of the Bible. There is certainly more than sufficient instruction about managing and using our wealth, the things we should be putting into our minds, and how to be a good son, daughter, husband, wife, or employee. But God’s Word doesn’t tell me which job to take, where to live, or what SUV to drive. It doesn’t describe what I should eat for breakfast. (If you are curious, it will be oatmeal with brown sugar and golden raisins.)

Piper goes on to say, “…the Bible doesn’t give explicit guidance for every one of those little decisions and, therefore, something more has to be said if we’re to walk in right paths in those decisions, as well as the ones where the Bible is perfectly explicit.” Much of the answer lies in the heart and our responses to God’s Spirit.

The Heart is Fertile Ground

God looks at the heart. God tells us where our treasure is, there our heart will be also. I can know the rules, and understand the truth, and even know what is wise and still choose the wrong things or say the harmful words if my heart and attitude are not softened by the love of God and the Spirit of God. We all have seen children who disobey, and we have disobeyed our parents as well. When asked why we disobeyed, our answer betrays our heart. Our choices are heart-driven.

Informed Without Relationship

I know my wife likes flowers. It is information I can gather by looking at our flowerbeds. It is clear from the seed and plant catalogs that start arriving in March each year. She likes going to various gardens when we are on vacation or even in our travels in Dane County. But knowing her passion is only a small part of the total equation. I can choose to joyfully participate in her passion, or just acknowledge it and move on. Relationships require choosing participation. This is true when it comes to what God has said. I can know what he has said, but choose to stop there.

It is certainly possible to know and even quote scripture and not understand it or apply it from the heart. I like Piper’s reminder: “You can’t over-intellectualize the Bible. You can’t over-spiritualize your private experience with God. It’s both/and, not either/or. It has been in my experience, and I haven’t found the two in conflict but tremendous complements for guidance in life.”

How to Identify a Follower of Jesus

A follower of Jesus has heart-focused trust in God. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.” Proverbs 3:5-7

All scripture passages are from the English Standard Version except as otherwise noted.

Five Minute Friday

This post is part of the weekly Five-Minute Friday link-up.

How Does God Lead Us in Daily Decisions? Episode 1760 March 23, 2022