This last week, for the first time in my adult life, I found myself defending the Word of God. You know, the age-old question, “Since men wrote the Bible, how can we be sure that everything written in it is true?” In other words, “are we being deceived?”
I tried to explain that the Word of God is divinely inspired. That, although the Bible was written by men, these men were filled with the Holy Spirit while putting pen to paper.
I could tell that wasn’t a good enough explanation. I’m not surprised really. Not all that long ago it wasn’t a good enough reason for me either.
That night I prayed about what had transpired. The spontaneous conversation had caught me off guard and I found myself coming up short with verses to support my faith. I believed I had failed in my calling as a Christian to minister whenever possible. I prayed that if given another opportunity, I’d have more to say as well as the right words to say.
I’ve long since come to the realization that God hears and answers my prayers (maybe I’ll write about some of my past answered prayers in another post). That following morning I opened my Bible to 1 Thessalonians. I’m behind in following along in my Bible with Dr. McGee’s daily bible study, so I thought I’d start there, even though he has wrapped up this book of the Bible already.
First and second Thessalonians are actually letters that the Apostle Paul wrote to the people of Thessalonica. Paul had previously visited this city, and for about 3 weeks, ministered to the community. The Thessalonians had some post-visit questions for Paul, of which they asked him in a letter. These two books of the Bible are his response to their questions. But before Paul begins to address each question, he begins by saying:
…when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe. 1 Thessalonians 2:13
I looked up from my bible (eyes toward heaven), smiled and nearly cried. I thanked God for providing me with the verse I needed at that particular moment. It comforted and reassured me. I then proceeded to underline it.
But God wasn’t done telling me that He had heard my prayers. He had additional words of comfort and reassurance for this newbie evangelist.
Two days later I’m driving home from a road trip, a bit sad that I was missing church with my family – and still reliving my conversation days before – so decided to turn on Dr. McGee’s long ago recorded sermon, The Antichrist and His Church — not for any particular reason other than it was the first one I saw and of course, the title caught my eye. This sermon was about the coming Antichrist, his followers and how many will be deceived by him. As I listened, I thought about how the same message (being deceived) can also apply to the Word of God. God has given us His Word to keep us from being deceived. Scripture provides the Truth.
This was part two of my conversation days earlier; believing you know what God has to say without actually reading the Bible. I was told, “I’ve read The Way. I know what God says.” Immediately followed by, “How could Jesus allow the sacrifice of animals?”
The sacrifice of animals was common practice before Jesus humbled Himself by coming down from Heaven. On the cross, drawing His last breaths, Jesus himself became the sacrifice.
Searching outside of the Bible for what God says will lead you astray. Instead, go straight to the source. There you’ll find the Truth. No other book on this earth has been commissioned by God Himself.
At the end of the Antichrist sermon Steve Shwetz, the narrator, commented, “The only way to know you aren’t being deceived is to read the Word of God for yourself.” Yep, there was God again, letting me know that He was listening.
Prayer answered again.
That night, just before bed, I flipped open David Jeremiah’s Journey. I like this little book because it gives daily nuggets of wisdom in like, 2 minutes. Sometimes that’s all we mothers have to spare.
And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
There it was. One little verse to calm my fears. Just as I had attempted to do, Christians should use the Word of God as their conversational tool: their sword. You won’t lose the “battle” when God has your back.
Prayer answered a third time.
That evening I told Bill that although I was grateful for the opportunity to have had a conversation about Christianity with someone who questioned it, I believed I could have done a better job of explaining my faith. He said, “You know, you are the only one in the world that (this person) would have listened to at that moment.” I thought about that for a bit.
He’s probably right. I was being questioned by someone near and dear to me, and because of our bond, was being listened to. It was a unique opportunity. An “in” that most people wouldn’t be allowed. I was in the right spot at the right time. God put me there for a very definite reason, and because I couldn’t see that for myself, the Holy Spirit had my husband tell me.
Prayer answered a fourth time.
I slept well that night.