Guard Your Heart
“In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”
The writer of Hebrews asks his audience, why they are still spiritually malnourished. It seems that, just like the modern-day Christian, they have not devoted themselves to reading the Scriptures to gain understanding of God. If we do not take the time to know God we will never know good from evil. I realize that this sounds drastic, but it is a reality. How can it be that even a person who reads Scripture much of the time can fall prey to the lies of this world? It happens more times than you can imagine. There are many Bible studies with flawed theology because it is more palatable that way. How much more vulnerable then, will the malnourished Christian be to twisted theological claims?
It is a sad fact, but it is a reality, that the vast majority of professing Christians spend very little time in the Word of God. The latest study by The George Barna Group reveals that a paltry 6% of Christians in the U.S. actually believe in the inerrancy of Scripture. In my own experience, I have seen a trend of “mega” churches who no longer gather in groups to study the Bible. Do not get me wrong, some may have programs to encourage their congregations to read the Bible in 30 days or to breeze through it in a year. How does one learn about the character and nature of God, however, when speed-reading various pieces of Scripture? I am not sure how deep a person can go if there is no serious contemplation of the Word.
In many larger churches there are numerous small groups that are encouraged to gather to have adult versions of “play-dates” in an effort to bring a sense of community. It is true that community is at the center of the Christian faith, but the word of God should be a priority and it does not always seem to be. On the other hand, there are organizations like Bible Study Fellowship International, who have made great strides at filling the gap for those who seek not only God, but community as well. Sadly, even wonderful groups like BSF have fallen from grace in the past couple of years, as they began to allow cultural morals and ideologies to seep into the purity and intent of the faith. A Bible study group is only as sound as its facilitator.
This is the apostacy that Jesus warns of that will come about in the last days (Matt 24:9-14). People do not want to hear about the real Christ and his demands on our lives. They want the easy way (Matt 7:13), the way that endears them to the cultural norms around them. There is less friction that way.
God laments that His people are destroyed for lack of knowledge and it is true (Hos 4:6). Without the true knowledge of God, there is no other way to understand who he is. Without an understanding of God, we will not understand our desperate need for Christ and our lives will reflect the culture around us instead of shinning the light in the darkness. There is no other way to understand good versus evil, or what is right as opposed to what is wrong. The lazy and the misguided will be led to spiritual destruction. Check yourself Christian; who are you believing and what do they truly stand for? Guard your mind and focus on the Truth.
1. Set aside 15 minutes first thing in the morning, while you are fresh, to worship and focus your heart on God. Read God’s word before anything else and seek his character in what you read.
2. Tonight: Read a Psalm or a portion of a Psalm and ask God to speak to your heart to understand the intent of the writer.