I see truth in the words of the Old Testament prophet Amos who wrote (Amos 8:11-12), “Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord GOD, "That I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the LORD, But shall not find it.”
How can this be true? The Bible is still a best seller and is available in thousands of languages. From experience, people are just not getting into the Bible and letting the Word get into them. They are reading every other “self-help” book on the market and let their Bible collect dust. There is a big difference between praying to receive God’s insights and actually seeing God’s insights in print.
I’ve spoke with many people who believe that they are praying, meditating and contemplating to a “god” who gives them comfort and peace. I don’t have a problem with this discipline, as long as reading a passage of the Holy Bible is part of it. Seeking God and His everlasting Peace through prayer alone is like leading yourself on a path without a map or compass.
Jesus spoke about a wide path that leads to destruction and there are many who travel on it (Matthew 7:13). He implies in later passages that there are leaders who contradict God’s Word, but they stand and proclaim themselves to be God’s spokesperson.
Jesus says in Matthew 7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”
The key here is to DO the will of the Father. But how does one know God’s will if His Word isn’t read?
Joshua wrote (Joshua 1:8), "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
There’s that word DO again: “observe and DO all that is written” in God’s Word. Not what the guy on the radio says. Not what the best-selling author says. Not what the guy who speaks at the big mega-church on TV says. “DO WHAT IS WRITTEN.”
I like what happened in the book of Acts where Paul and Silas were teaching. After they taught it says (Acts 17:11), “they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” They did not trust the messenger. They searched God’s Word DAILY to make sure what was being taught by Paul and Silas was true.
Here lies the problem. We are so eager for some new and fresh teaching, that we wander off the path in our search, and get caught up in a snare of a believable leader who tickles our ears with fancy talk which is not based on God’s Word. I spoke to a former follower of cult leader Jimmy Jones who told me the first thing Jones did to control the flock in the 1960’s, was to throw out the Bible.
People are, as Paul says in 2 Timothy 3:7 “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
A good leader should be pointing his or her flock to the Truth of God’s Word. A good leader should be pointing to a saving knowledge of God’s Grace. A good leader should be pointing to Jesus and then get out of the way.