Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.1 John chapter 4, verse 1; from the New Living Translation
Have you ever come to a door, turned the knob, but couldn’t get in because it was locked? Try with all your might, it just won’t turn. And you can’t get in unless you pick the lock, bust down the door like you’re in an episode of “Cops”, or better yet, you have the key. Not just any key, but the right key. Every lock (unless it’s one of those “computer chip” locks) has a key with a specific series of cuts. A key that opens one door will not open another door, that is, unless they are “keyed” together. What does all this talk about keys and doors have to do with the Kingdom Life? Glad you asked this question!
There are a variety of locked doors we face in life. One of them is having a relationship with God. That door is clearly locked. And to get the door unlocked, we need faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus; the sacrifice that calls for our admission of guilt, trust in God’s grace, and the desire to change our life by living it in Christ and Christ in us. That’s the simple part. But what about once we get on the other side of that door?
On the other side of that door is the life of walking with Him in the way that honors Him! We call this The Life Of Holiness! Where do we find exactly what this kind of life looks like? The life that honors God is found within the pages of The Bible. But, if we are honest, we find another locked door and we urgently need the key. Now, don’t misunderstand me on this point (though someone most definitely will). I’m not suggesting or even hinting that The Bible is some kind of mysticism. Though The Bible is clear about many things, there are some things that we have to, call it “wrestle with”.
How do we come to understand The Truth of and IN The Bible in ways that enable and empower us to live in the way that honors God? Now, there are some out there who sincerely believe that we have both the capacity and the ability to figure out on our own how to do this. In other words, human knowledge, logic, and wisdom are all we need to understand The Bible so that we can live in the way that honors Him!
The Key to understanding The Bible, and thus to live the life that honors God is The Holy Spirit. Now, The Spirit can and does use the insights of others. But the ultimate Guide to understanding the entire Bible is The Holy Spirit. Jesus promises this in John chapter 16, verse 13: “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.” (New Living Translation) It is God’s Holy Spirit, and never the human spirit, that will open the treasure of The Truth found in the Bible. Allow me to close out with a personal example.
Decades ago I avoided reading and especially preaching, anything from the Book of Ecclesiastes. But now, it’s one of my very favorite books. What happened? Well The Holy Spirit introduced me to one of my mentors, Chuck Swindoll. It was his book Living On The Ragged Edge. One phrase that Chuck brought to light that is repeated throughout the book of Ecclesiastes is under the sun! Chuck brought out that Solomon is describing life without God. And the Holy Spirit leaned in, whispered in my ear, “Did you see that?” That key and the faithful presence of The Holy Spirit opened the door for me in understand Ecclesiastes. And to this day, The Holy Spirit continues to help me see, not only Ecclesiates, but the entire Bible.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;Proverbs chapter 3 verses 5-7, from the New Living Translation
do not depend on your own understanding.
6 Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.
7 Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.
Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.