I’m discouraged with and haven’t been to church for several months. The reasons are many and varied; here’s one of them. I’m tired of logging in to Facebook or Pinterest or catching up with the blogs in my reader and reading only quotes from Christian authors. They are good, fruitful quotes usually, and it’s not the substance I take issue with. It’s the fact that the people who post them rarely post any actual Scripture. Reading Christian authors is good. Listening to sermons is edifying. But only Scripture will feed my soul. C.S. Lewis’ words may delight me. John Piper waxing eloquent may encourage me. Kevin DeYoung’s blog posts may make me jump up and holler “PREACH!” But, they will not feed me. I will read their words, and a few minutes later, I will be hungry again. They are appetizers at best, a mere hint of the meal to come.
When we read people’s books and quote them more often than we do God’s Book, when we listen to sermons and quote our favorite pastors more often than we do God’s words, we aren’t really following God. We’re following other people, or worse, other people’s ideas of Him. Incomplete people with unfinished ideas.
That’s not to say there is no value in other people’s words. A well-crafted book, a line from a song or poem, a thoughtful blog post, a passionate sermon – God can and does use these and the individuals who construct them to spread His word, to sometimes make a Scriptural truth that has lain dormant in your heart reverberate with fresh understanding. But the creators of these words neither add to nor take away from anything God has already said. Nothing they say is ever going to be better or truer than anything God has said. His word is better, best, all.
As someone who is feeling a little lost, I am asking – even begging – you to please inundate your Facebook statuses with Scripture. Overwhelm your Pinterest boards. Keep sharing lyrics and quotes and warm fuzzies, by all means. But for those who haven’t ever read the Bible, and for those who can’t bring themselves to, please, oh please, tell them – tell me – what our Father said. Remind me of what the King has decreed. Show what the Judge has ordered. Say what the Savior has proclaimed.
Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
Isaiah 55:8-11, NIV