13 For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.
When I first read this verse this morning, I kept pausing after it before I read on and had to keep coming back to it. This verse pierces my heart because I believe it is one of man’s biggest stumbling blocks today. At least in my part of the world, many have come to me and said, “the bible was written by men.” I believe this is such a cop-out to deny God’s Truth. Certainly, yes men put a writing utensil to a medium and recorded the words we now read in the book entitled the Holy Bible. We can even go as far to say that man wrote the Ten Commandments since that which is in the bible is a transcription of what was inscribed on the stone tablets by the finger of God.
The reason I think I get frustrated with the “man wrote the bible” disclaimer is because it prevents people from actively seeking out God. Our relationship with God isn’t a result of us reading the bible. Us reading the bible is a result of our relationship with God! Us believing the bible is a gift of faith and belief that He gives us because we desire to be closer to Him. We are putting the cart before the horse and it stops us dead in our tracks. Yet we say, “man wrote the bible, so why should I believe it?” The fact is you shouldn’t believe the bible because man wrote it, you should believe it because you want to have a relationship with God.
What inspires us to read the bible? It isn’t us or others that tell us to do it. It is that burning desire in our hearts that God places there as a result of our relationship with Him (whatever condition it might be in). If we seek out Him, the rest will come in time. Similarly, what inspires us to listen to someone teaching or preaching from the bible? Our desire to develop our relationship with Him. If we don’t want these things then listening and reading is pointless: a waste of time.
Our society is inundated with books about the bible, books about God, and even (dare I say) plenty of people telling others about God. All of this information is great, but sometimes we let all these things actually drown out and dilute what truly matters, our relationship with Him. If we want to know what He wants in our lives, why do we go to others to learn about Him? Why don’t we ask God directly? I think sometimes we are afraid of His response. Our worldly experiences cause us to pause at the fact that He might reject us, that He might not reply, that he is going to “make us” change our ways. We worry about all these things and it pushes us away. I’d like to rephrase that: we push ourselves away out of fear. Yet His perfect love casts out all fear. If we let our fears based on our interactions with humans get in the way, then we are comparing God to humans and reject that He is God in the first place.
He wants us to take that first step of faith. That faith like a mustard seed. That’s all it takes. “God, I want to know you. I’m not sure of what I know or don’t know, but I do know I want a relationship with you, my Creator.” If we trust that He will reply and trust that He is a loving God that will not reject us if we seek Him out, the reply will be a resounding celebration in Heaven.
What fear is holding you back from taking that step?