Want to Grow Spiritually? Accept the Bible's Authority.
“Every word of God is flawless” (Proverbs 30:5 NIV).
A baby needs many things to grow, but the most obvious requirement is nourishment. You can hold, rock, and sing to a baby—but without milk, the baby won’t grow.
Our hearts are the same way. To grow spiritually, we need spiritual food. We get that from the Bible, God’s Word. First Peter 2:2 says, “Like newborn infants, desire the pure milk of the word, so that you may grow up into your salvation,” (CSB).
But it’s possible to read the Bible and not get anything out of it. You need certain keys to unlock Scripture. One of those keys is accepting its authority.
The Bible says it’s God’s Word: “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13 NIV).
One of the reasons why there is so much confusion in the world today is because people are listening to so many different authorities, and everybody’s asking, “Who’s right?”
Whether you realize it or not, you have an authority for your life. It’s what you use to make your choices.
There are four unreliable sources of authority that people often use instead of Scripture:
- People who follow this authority source say, “But everybody’s doing it.” Yet Exodus 23:2 warns against it: “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong” (NIV).
- These people say, “But we’ve always done it that way!” Jesus told some of the religious people of his day: “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions” (Mark 7:8 NIV).
- This unreliable source says, “Well, it seems logical; it seems rational.” But Scripture warns against using our intellect as our authority source: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 16:25 NIV).
- Personal feelings. Throughout the United States you’ll find people saying, “I believe it because I feel it.” But the Bible tells about a time when the world was in anarchy because of this attitude: “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25 KJV).
There’s only one completely reliable authority for life: God’s Word. As 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right. It is God’s way of making us well prepared at every point” (TLB).
And Proverbs 30:5 says it quite simply: “Every word of God is flawless” (NIV).
Settle this in your heart today: “I’m going to accept the Bible as the final authority for every issue in my life.” When you accept that authority, you’ll start to get more out of the Bible.
Talk It Over
Babies need milk for growth. What have you been relying on for your spiritual growth?
Some of the unreliable authority sources people trust are culture, tradition, reason, and personal feelings. Which of these are you tempted to rely on? How have you seen them fail you?
The Bible is the reliable, final authority for your life. How does your life look when you rely on it, and not untrustworthy sources, as your authority?
This devotional © 2020 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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