When doing a research paper, or thinking of a new invention, or developing a new concept, or even writing a new message, it is customary for us, in the age of plagarism, to see if someone has done what we’re attempting to do, or to draw inspiration from what someone has already accomplished, or to gain insight on how not to do something a certain way. We look for precedents, archetypes, examples, past histories, and anything else by which we can gain the knowledge we seek to do what we want to do, because it is easier to take on something new when we have a guide to follow, a path to trail from. We see it happening all the time, in technology (the iPad gets upgraded every 6 months it seems now), in music (autotune took over the music industry and hasn’t looked back since), in fashion (when did the 80’s and 90’s make a huge comeback?), and in social trends (how often do we know our friends’ business nowadays #twitter). It is an inescapable fact that we look to the past to create in the present in an attempt to matter in the future, sometimes to our benefit, other times to our detriment, but nevertheless a necessary part of life.
As previously suggested in the last post, God’s “Words” don’t stop at the Bible. God gives His people fresh Words all the time, Words that are relevant to the times and situations we face today, whether they are a shadow of what has happened in the past, or if they are brand new situations never discussed in the Bible. God’s Word can be found in music, in literature, in the arts, in mathematics and science, technology, fashion, and so on. God is inspiring people all the time to do amazing things, things that our forefathers and ancestors never dreamed of, and God’s people are being blessed all the time as a result of these inspirations, these new Words that God imparts on His people at His discretion. So, if God is inspiring His people with new Words all the time, and we in the faith know “trees” by the “fruit they bear,” what, then is the Bible, and what purpose does it serve?
God revealed something to me that, again, made sense before, but after understanding that God’s Word is His Word, I now see His Word as something more. My grandmother used to (and sometimes still does) tell me that when we don’t know what to do, we have to go back to the old way and walk therein (Jeremiah 6:16), which to her meant that we have to keep doing things the way we used to, ways that satisfy our personal desires and logical ways of thinking, instead of looking to someone who transcends desire and sense. She used to say that the new ways that people are going into cannot be of God because these new ways of worship, praise, devotion, and relating to God are not her ways, and are not the old ways. There’s no way that the “New Way” can be of God when Scripture tells us to go the “Old Way.”
But what my grandmother, as well as other Sectarians who believe that their way of worship is the ONLY way to worship and therefore denounce anyone who worships God differently, fail to realize is that yes, we are to walk in the Old Way, but the Old Way is NOT a methodology of worship, it is NOT a style of preaching and teaching, it is NOT brand of Christianity that we pick up off the shelf and conform ourselves to. The Old Way is, and only is, Jesus Himself.
When we stop and think about how God operates, we must consider that He is all knowing AND all present, which means that He already knows what’s going to happen and how it’s going to happen, AND that he exists everywhere, every time, at the same time. The same God that exists in 1964 is the same God that exists in 2012, the same Spirit He used to inspire Christians to establish denominations which could meet the needs of the people’s souls in the past is the same Spirit He uses to inspire Christians today to establish blogs and TV ministries to reach millions and edify their souls. So the Bible, then, acts as the foundation, the precedent, by which we establish God’s work here on planet Earth, as the Bible, in God’s masterful planning, lays the foundation of how Jesus is the mark that we press toward, the Archetype by which we draw inspiration from, the Precedent that we look back to and understand where we are going, the Old Landmark that our forefathers sang about us going back to. God crafted His Word to show us just how much we need Jesus in our lives to do what we do day to day, for Jesus was there in the Beginning, and He is still here today. He lived, died, and lives now, all the while demonstrating to His people what it means to love unconditionally and to obey God dutifully. And His brothers and sisters who lived in this world after His Ascension continued to talk, teach, and preach about Him and how He, not some methodology, is the Mark by which we are to live by. Without the Bible, we can never fully understand what Jesus did for us, and how the same power He weilds is the same power we weild to do the things that God allows us to do.
That is why the Bible is the Word of God, for it shows us what we are supposed to look back to for inspiration, motivation, encouragement, and confirmation. We need God’s Word to link to what God has placed in our Spirits (which is the Spirit of God dwelling in us, the same Spirit that dwells in Jesus, that dwells in time and beyond time) so that we know that we are walking in the Path God has ordained us to walk on. The Word confirms our steps in God, so that despite the obstacles that come with what we are doing in Him, we can know beyond doubt that we are doing exactly what God has commanded us to do.