Section 2: The Bible
Week 3: The Bible Is Necessary
Day 1: We Need the Bible to Understand God’s Purpose for Our Lives
My sense of direction is horrible. I rarely know which way I’m going. Curves really screw me up. If you tell me we’re going north and we make a left turn then a right turn, I can figure out we’re going north again. But, if you throw in some curves instead of complete turns, I’m in trouble. My brain doesn’t seem to know how to properly calculate just how far to the right or to the left the road is curving.
Our street, for example, runs north and south. The street next to us also runs north and south, but it curves sharply at one point so that it actually intersects our street. My brain doesn’t know what to make of that. If that street runs north-south and our street intersects it, then our street must run east-west, right? No. The curve alters the calculation. In one sense, I know that because I know my street runs north-south. But when I look down my street and see it run into the other street, everything in me screams east-west. Clearly my internal compass doesn’t work properly.
All of us have a similar problem when it comes to navigating life. In order to live our lives well, we need answers to certain fundamental questions such as: Who are we? Why did God make us? What are the most important things in life? Without the right answers to those questions, we’re lost because we have no idea what will bring fulfillment and meaning to our lives.
Even though God is the one who has the answers to those questions, most people try to find their way on their own. They go through life making decisions based on who they think they want to be and what they think is important in life. But the truth is, we don’t understand ourselves as well as we think we do. And what we think is important often turns out not to be.
That’s why so many of us have regrets later in life. The things we thought would give our lives meaning don’t. Why is that? Because sin messed up our internal compasses. We feel like we’re headed in the right direction, and only later find out we’ve gotten some place we didn’t want to go and have become a person we didn’t want to be.
Sin did more than just distort our sense of right and wrong. It distorted our sense of who we are. Without an understanding of God’s purpose for our lives, we’re inevitably going to find ourselves headed in the wrong direction. That’s one of the reasons we need the Bible. It reorients us. Sin derailed us and prevents us from being the people God intends us to be. We need God’s word to get us back on the right track.
In as much detail as you can, picture who you want to be in five years.
How much of that image is shaped by the biblical picture of who God wants you to be? How much of it is shaped by other influences? What are those other influences?