Last month I mentioned that there have been a number of high-profile Christian leaders who have abandoned their faith. This can be scary (could I lose my faith too?) and demoralizing (how could such an important person abandon their faith?). I explained that the best way to guard ourselves against being demoralized is to put a priority on Christ by fixing our eyes and hope on him rather than church leaders. This month I will focus on how to protect ourselves against the fear and act of potentially losing our faith. The most important thing for believers is to put a priority on God’s word.
There is nothing more important for believers than God’s word. When God gave Israel the Law (the first five books of the Bible) he warned them that they needed to make His Law a priority in their lives. In Deuteronomy 6 God tells His people to teach God’s word to their children (vv. 7a). They were to talk about His word when they sit, walk, lie down, and rise (vv. 7). His point is that if Israel wants to love their God the way He commands they will need to regularly read, think about, and recite His word, not just when they come to worship, but as a regular part of their daily activity. In other words, if they want to have a vibrant relationship with God, they will need to make God’s word a priority in their daily lives. Later in Deuteronomy, God repeats this command virtually word for word to emphasize its importance (Deut. 11:18-21). Psalm 119, by far the longest chapter in the Bible with 176 verses, deals solely with the importance of God’s word. It teaches that God’s word gives wisdom (vv. 98-100), is the key to living a Godly life (vv. 9), and a guide for how we live (vv. 105). The New Testament teaches that God’s word leads to eternal life (James 1:18), is powerful (Heb 4:12), necessary for spiritual growth (I Pet. 2:2), and useful for use to become more like Christ (II Tim. 3:16-17).
In summary, God’s word is as vital to Christians spiritual health as oxygen is vital to our physical health; those who abandoned or ignore God? s word do so at their own spiritual peril! Those who abandon thier faith often claim they never found the answers to their biggest questions, for example, why God allows suffering. Yet I’ve found that the Bible answers all of these questions if we are willing to dig a little. We must make God’s word a priority in our lives if we want to be strong in our faith. We must look to spiritual leaders to help us better understand God’s word and help us get answers to questions we might have. We must make God’s word a regular part of our daily activity. I? d like to end by quoting John Cooper, who had this to say after a Christian leader recently abandoned their faith: ?It is time for the church to rediscover the preeminence of the Word. And to value the teaching of the Word. We need to value truth over feeling. Truth over emotion. And what we are seeing [in the American church] is the result of the church raising up influencers who did not supremely value truth who have led a generation who also do not believe in the supremacy of truth.?