FINDING GUIDANCE THROUGH BIBLICAL STUDY
Everyday, people all over the world are confronted with decision making, some easy, other not that easy; Christians are no different, like any other person, they are faced with making decisions on issues that can affect, alter or redirect their lives.
In the Old Testament, great Kings such as David, often relied on God to help them make decisions and take actions (2 Samuel 5: 17-19). Throughout the Bible, we learn that God never left His people without Guidance and instructions. From the Stars to the Church Epistles, from the 10 commandments He gave to Moses, to the spoken words of Jesus-Christ, God made sure that in times of doubt or trials, His people always had a way to know what were His intentions and instructions. It is God's Desire that mankind refers and study His word for guidance.
- Why must one refer to the Word?
God made it clear that His children ought to meditate His word days and night, and observe what it says. The benefit of doing so is success and prosperity in all ways. There are great benefits in observing the word of God; Jesus-Christ, our great example often referred to the word to stand firm and make sound decisions. (Luke 4:4-10)
II Timothy 3:16 and 17:All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect [fully equipped, complete], throughly furnished unto all good works.
Can it be a better reason to turn to the Bible? While many people across the world are looking for signs of heaven and proof of God in all the wrong places, Christians have scriptures that are directly inspired by God, what more credential can one need?
The dictionary defines Inspiration as follow:
- Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity.
- The condition of being so stimulated.
- Divine guidance or influence exerted directly on the mind and soul of humankind.
The word Furnished in verse 17 is the Greek word Exartizo, which means to furnish Perfectly. God inspired Paul to write the Church epistles for three reasons:
- Doctrine = the true standard
- Reproof = Corrects Practical Error
- Correction = Corrects Doctrinal Error
John 10:35:...and the scripture cannot be broken.
What better way to ask for guidance and perfection than a Godly inspired and unbreakable word?
- How to condition yourself?
Romans 12:2:And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.
The word Conformed is the Greek word Suschematizo, meaning to conform one's self (i.e. one's mind and character) to another's pattern, (fashion one's self according to). A first approach is not fashion ourselves to what the world wants us to be or think, Christians should know what the Word is worth and why to turn to it.
The word Transformed is the Greek word Metamorphoo, and it means to change into another form, to transform, to transfigure. Sometimes, the world’s way of dealing with things seems so much appealing and easier, but it doesn’t mean that it is God’s will. The word Renewing is the Greek word Anakainosis and means complete change for the better.
Once we have decided that our decision-making will be based on the Word, we must change our mind process from the World Solving methods and decision-making, and accept the necessary transformation that conforms us to God for a better change.
II Timothy 2:15:
Study to shew thyself approved unto God,a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
This is a clear scripture that underlines the necessity of studying the Word for us to stand firmly on God’s Word. The word Study is the translated Spoudazo and means to exert one's self, and give; In other words, to Exercise one’s self, and make an effort with conscientiousness. The word shew is Paristemi, meaning to present or show such as in audience. Finally the word Approved is Dokimos, meaning accepted, pleasing, acceptable.
As we can see, studying the Word is not a one-time affair, but a continuous practice that requires meticulous effort for the buildup of character that is presentable and acceptable in the eyes of God. Only if we are aligned with the Word, Transformed to be receptive and diligent in our studies, will we be not only favorable in the eyes of God, but our minds will be filled with His Word, which will allow us to easily incorporate the meditated word for guidance in our daily activities.
- Who shall do it?
The Word also encourages us to help each other grow, help each other study the Word, correct mutual mistakes and support one another in making the right decisions.
We all had the experience of somebody helping us make the right decision when we were witnessed to and encourage to be born again.
On the same principle, we must understand that one cannot learn unless he or she is taught. Just Like the Ethiopian Eunuch said to Phillip, "How could one understand unless he is taught?" (Acts 8: 29-31), on the same token, how can one teach unless he or she studies and understand first?
II Timothy 2:24 and 25:
And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.
The word teaches that giving is receiving, and that before we can be leaders, we must first be servants. One of the best gifts I have received in my life is the teaching of God’s Word, it saved me, but also allowed me to make the necessary changes in my life, as well as making better decisions. As I long to offer to others the same gift I have received, I realize that my understanding of the Word to be shared strongly depends on the ability to study and rely on it as much as possible. In the verse above, the word Acknowledging is the Greek word Epignosis, and means "precise and correct knowledge. We cannot offer precise and correct knowledge unless we commit to study and understand the Word. The opportunity to help others make better choices according to the word is another incentive to study it.
- What to do in time of doubt?
The Word of God is rarely more useful that when we are confronted with a situation that requires a difficult choice. Those are the times when it begs to be opened and study. This is when we put the Word to the test. The word Prove is the Greek word Dokimazo, it means to test, examine, prove, scrutinize (to see whether a thing is genuine or not). The Word of God is our standard, so when we feel unsure about a situation or a decision, we ought to compare it to what the Word says, this is when our studies and understanding pays off. We can also search for stories and example that resembles ours, in order to see which principle was applied under God's guidance. It could be that a situation is composed of 2 decisions, one Godly, the other not, the word tells us to test all things, and hold on to the godly decision or solution.
2 peter 1: 20, 21Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost
This is the important statement to remember, and the first thing to remember is to go to the word first if we don’t know what to do. We do not make our own solutions, and then ask God to bless those decisions, or interpret the scripture so it will meet our agendas.
Realizing that by studying the Word, we will undoubtedly find true Biblical guidance. Life is so much better when we have a manual that tells us what is right or not, even better if God is the author of that manual. We have such a manual, and the opportunity to make better decisions in life, find Biblical solution for our daily living, and grow in wisdom and understanding; in the footstep of Jesus-Christ, acceptable in the eyes of God, and better example for our fellow friends and family.