Read an Article or Read the Bible?
“Randall shared a link”
“David liked an article”
“Wesley commented on a post”
These are the types of things I’ve frequently seen on my Facebook over the past few months. So many friends and family members sharing link to articles, video chats, websites, and the like. It has been intriguing to me to see who is going to share what next, and what site it is to be shared from. As I’ve watched, I’ve noticed an increase in articles being shared by friends and family. Ironically, I’ve even read articles on the influence of articles on people and social media.
Now, I love articles, but the Lord has been teaching me that I have been valuing these articles over God Himself—and I think this is something that can be found across many followers of Jesus today. While articles themselves are not bad (I mean, I’m essentially expressing what God has been teaching me through an article), there are times instead of seeking refreshment and rest in the Word of God (the Bible), I look for it in articles and podcasts.
Again, I don’t think articles are inherently wrong, however, my attitude toward them can be. I think it is easy to think we are supplementing our study of God’s Word by reading others’ thoughts when, in reality, we are substituting studying God’s Word with thoughts of other humans.
That doesn’t really make sense, does it? I mean, why is my inclination to find encouragement, rest, and refreshment in the interpretation of a just as fallen human as myself instead of reading the literal thoughts of the One who created the entire universe and sovereignly controls it all?
Yes, I have a new heart from God (2 Corinthians 5:17), but I also still have my flesh I have to fight. Paul talks about this a lot throughout the New Testament, but he specifically talks about it in his letter to the Romans. In chapter 7, Paul talks about this battle between the new spirit that is within him that craves to follow God, and his flesh that causes him to sin because by himself he cannot follow God (Romans 7:13-24).
So what hope is there? Continue reading.
Romans 7:25 says “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” Is Paul saying that since he can’t help it but sin, sin is excusable? Certainly not! Chapter 8 continues to show that if someone is in Christ, they have the Spirit, who helps them fight to follow God’s law (Romans 8:7-11). It’s all the grace of God that we are able to follow His rules. Still, we have to fight to spend time with Him through reading the Bible and prayer. Romans 10:17 and 12:1-2 are often used to show us the importance of spending time with God in prayer and reading the Bible, but how true they are!
Instead of turning to articles and YouTube videos of people who are speaking truth from God’s Word, may we turn to the Founder and Perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), the Creator of the universe (Genesis 1), whose thoughts and desires can be found in His Word—the Bible. May we, through the Holy Spirit, fight to put to death the deeds of the body (Romans 8:13) that lead us to find satisfaction in the things of this world instead of the One who sovereignly reigns over all. May we find satisfaction in Christ and turn to Him for rest and refreshment instead of turning to people’s interpretations of His commands.