Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Sometimes I get really exasperated with my students, particularly my Sixth Formers. They expect me simply to tell them everything that they need to know to pass their exams, and show little willingness to read for themselves or to gain their own understanding of the topic we are studying. Unfortunately for them, if they are going to do well in their exams, then they will have to devote time to reading around the subject, thinking for themselves, and forming their own viewpoint. This takes time, but ultimately, they will have a much better understanding of the subject, and consequently will do much better than if I had just told them what I thought they needed to know.
The Christian life is similar in some ways. It’s great to go to church and hear thought-provoking sermons from the pulpit; I know that my own faith has been shaped immeasurably by some of the ministers I have heard preach. If we are to develop own our understanding of who God is and what Jesus has done for us, though, we must take the time to study God’s word for ourselves – specifically by reading the Bible and reflecting on what the words before us mean for our own lives. By doing so, we will be able to gain a much better understanding of what the Lord’s will is. We won’t find literal answers on the page – such as who should I date, what job should I get etc – but by prayerfully reflecting on what we do read, we will be able to establish the parameters within which God wants us to lead our lives. God’s will is displayed in scripture, but we need to reflect on it and prayer over what we read.
We must not be foolish, then, in our approach to our lives and our faith, but must try hard to discover what the Lord’s will is.
Let’s all try in the coming weeks to read our Bibles more diligently, and to reflect on what we read more deeply.