Getting Direction — Straight from the Top!
Anyone who has served in the military knows the importance of following orders. In that culture, it';s absolutely essential that servicemen and servicewomen learn how to obey the orders of their superiors to the letter. That';s because it';s in heeding those orders that each serviceman and servicewoman becomes part of an efficient and smooth-running fighting machine.
The same thing is essentially true of the Christian life. The Bible tells us that when we put our faith in Jesus Christ, we become part of his “body” (1 Corinthians 12), meaning that we have a part to play in making sure that body is healthy and growing. In order to effectively play that part, each of us needs to seek God';s direction. And one of the most important ways we seek that direction is through diligently reading God';s written Word.
In Psalm 119, the longest psalm among the 150 recorded in the Bible, the psalmist wrote: “How sweet are your words to my taste; they are sweeter than honey. Your commandments give me understanding; no wonder I hate every false way of life. Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:103–105).
It is important when you are looking for direction from above that you not only look to the Bible but also that you pray and ask God to give you the guidance and wisdom to help you apply it to your specific situation. In that situation, pray that God illuminates a passage so that you can apply it.
If you read the entirety of this psalm, you will see that the psalmist thanks and praises God for His law, His commands, His decrees, and His words — all of which we can find recorded in the pages of the Bible. And as you study the Bible, you';ll find that it contains God';s directions in a variety of situations many of us find in day-to-day life.
Here are just a few examples of where you can find Biblical guidance for specific life situations:
marriage (Proverbs 5:15–19, Matthew 19:5–6, 1 Corinthians 7:1–16, Ephesians 5:21–33, Colossians 3:18–19, 1 Peter 3:1–7, Hebrews 13:4)
parenting (Deuteronomy 6:5–7; Proverbs 13:24, 19:18; Colossians 3:20–21; Ephesians 6:4)
when others hurt or offend you (Matthew 6:12–15, Mark 11:25, Colossians 3:12–15, Romans 12:9–19)
work (Ecclesiastes 5:18–20, Colossians 3:23, 1 Thessalonians 3:7–14)
patience (Psalm 37:7–9, Galatians 5:22, Colossians 1:11, 1 Thessalonians 5:14, Hebrews 12:1, James 1:3–4)
Obviously, there are many more life situations addressed in the Bible. Also, there are more verses and passages that apply to the topics listed above. That tells us something wonderful about the Bible, specifically that it';s a book chock full of directions for the Christian life and that each of us benefits greatly when we take the time to find and follow those directions.
In that respect, you can read the Bible as something of a field manual for the Christian life, which we are promised will be a battle in this world. And it';s a field manual that will never fail us, simply because we know that God';s Word can be trusted and depended upon in all things.