“As many as are led by the Spirit, these are the children of God.” (Romans 8:14)
Call me crazy, but isn’t it the purpose of a Map to help travelers get from where they are to where they are going? I mean, isn’t the whole idea of our looking at a Map, figuring out the best route to take us from here to there? Well, of course!
So wouldn’t a person be considered a little odd if they looked at Maps and only imagined that they were taking a trip – but never actually did so? And let’s say they really got into it — going so far as to highlight certain routes with various colored markers: blue, for a more peaceful route; red, for the quickest route; and yellow, for the more scenic route. But then, with colored Map in hand, they never actually take the trip. Weird, right?
Call me crazy, but it seems to me that this very thing is in fact happening all the time. Oh, I’m no longer talking about people reading Maps – I’m talking about people who read their Bible in much the same way as the Untraveled Map-readers. They read it, but somehow never realize that the whole point of the Bible is to take them on a Journey. And for many, it is a journey they never make.
Jesus said, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life” (John 5:39-40).
I love the way The Message puts it, “You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you’ll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me! And here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you want.”
I have seen Bibles worn out with highlighter pens of various colors, carried around by studious souls who themselves are even more worn out by staying in the same place for years – struggling with the same personal issues, falling prey to the same temptations, bound up with the same old problems, and showing very little evidence of being conformed into the likeness of Jesus, or bearing any fruit of the Spirit.
For the next several days I want to focus my devotional writings to help you learn how to read a Map so you can take the Trip. In other words, I will show you how to read the Bible so that you can become led by the Spirit.
Call me crazy, but I think this is more than a little important. The Bible says, “As many as are led by the Spirit, these are the children of God.” So, dear friends, buckle up. Get your Bible in hand and ready yourself to take a trip. You are about to learn what it means to be led by the Spirit!