‘In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God. And the Word was God’. (John 1: 1)
It’s strange how God lets you remember conversations that in hindsight point you to Him. To see that He was there and then already at work in and for you!
I vividly remember a situation, many years ago, when I was working in a team of 3 consultants, one of them was a practicing, Bible-believing Christian. When a specific training required participance on a Sunday, this Christian co-worker refused to go. He told us that he wouldn’t go to training on Sunday, because it wasn’t in line with his faith. On another occasion he told us that he used the Bible as his guideline when he had to make important decisions.
The other consultant and I talked about this way of life, from our shared New-Age perspective. In our eyes this approach to the Bible was to be respected, but was also a very restricted view of the world. I remember my co-worker saying that he thought that the Bible was some kind of a ‘black box’, a closed circuit.
He reasoned: ‘When you ask a Christian ‘Why do you do this?” chances are that the answer will be: “Because the Bible says so” or “Because God said so”. You cannot argue them into a different approach, nor can you argue the infallibility of the word of God. It is what it is, no matter how many arguments or theories will be put in front of a truly believing Christian. You can discuss with them, but they always come back to their one and only source of truth: the Bible’.
To many non-Christians this approach is HIGHLY annoying. I used to think: ‘Why don’t you listen to ‘my’ arguments about my perceptions of God?. Don’t you see that there are a lot of inaccuracies in the Bible? Why are you so narrow-minded to focus on one book of wisdom only, while there are so many other valuable theories and spiritual approaches? Why can we not discuss it? Why won’t you consider my ideas of truth to be true? Why are you so STUBBORN and OLD-FASHIONED?!’.
No, for Christians it was a simple: “I don’t do this because I follow the instructions of God, as written down in the Bible”. Period. To me this looked so NARROW! (Only now I know about the narrow path. But back then … NO!)
Reading as if it was all true
The change in my life came in 2018, when I was prompted strongly by the Holy Spirit to FINALLY read the Bible. I was finally willing to give the Bible a chance, because I had seen people being healed through prayer. I thought: If God is still working like this, in this time and age, maybe (more) things in the Bible are actually true. I boldly decided to give it a chance and to read the Bible ‘as if it was all true’.
When I started reading like that, God took me by the hand. First, I fell head over heels in love with His Word. Really! I was totally blown away! I somehow realized that I was reading truth about myself. Everything that was written in this book was still applicable and visible in this time and in my own life.
Then the Holy Spirit led me to sources outside the Bible to prove the historical evidence of Jesus, of His life, His death and His resurrection. I was relieved that I was allowed to use my mind, that it wasn’t only about believing in something intangible, or having specific feelings towards God or specific experiences. I was allowed to use my mind to understand Him. I was allowed to ask questions. To study. Even more so: He wanted me to use my mind!
The Holy Spirit revealed Himself further on many occasions while I was reading. He worked in my heart, causing me to cry through His word, to feel ashamed, to feel guilty of sin and to experience the greatest joy and deep understanding. My heart started to transform and He opened my heart for Jesus. I finally started to understand and to love this Great God with all my heart, all my soul AND with all my mind.
Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them.
The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.
I open my mouth and pant, because I long for your commandments.
(Psalm 119: 129-131)
After reading 100’s of so-called Wisdom-books and self-help books, I experienced for myself that the Bible is the only book that contains THE TRUTH. I found out that the Bible indeed IS a closed circuit, because God’s Word points to Jesus, Jesus shows us the Father and the Father, through the Holy Spirit, gave us His Word. His Word contains the objective truth, because it was written down by the Creator of heaven and earth. We don’t need anything else. God’s Word is infallible, complete and sufficient! God’s Word says all, does all and is ALL. Period.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
The other side of the table
Now I’m at the other side of the table, just like my co-worker was, many years ago.
Sometimes, when I am pondering my life and the world, I am a bit surprised by myself, that I have submitted myself to only one book, while there is so much to read in the outside world. The world is so big, there is so much information. But I really only want to read that ONE book, as my only source of truth. Since I started reading in 2018 I never missed a day, I NEED His Word daily. It’s not an obligation, but a longing to be filled with His Wisdom, His Truth.
To be clear: it’s not that I necessarily like everything that’s written in the Bible, but I do know that it is HIS truth. I have to come to terms with it, whether I like it or not. It’s just a matter of obedience to Him.
It’s not so easy to talk with me anymore. I’m not as open as I was, in exploring other people’s ideas and theories about life. Most of the time I have to say: “I understand what you say, I feel for you, I can see where you are coming from, but ………… I want to follow what the Bible says about this“
I’m now narrow-minded too, but with great joy.
In conversations I have with non-believers I realize how everything comes down to one basic question: “Do you really want to know God?”
Which means: Are you open to the idea of one ultimate truth? Are you willing to really listen? Are you willing to leave everything you know behind and to be filled with new understanding?
This is the question YOU can ask New Agers as well, since most of them are longing for wisdom, insight and knowledge: “Do you really want to know God? Please start reading your Bible!”
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)