Let’s get back to the basics!
Whether we are learning how to play basketball, cooking a new recipe, playing a game with our kids, or learning how to follow Christ, we must learn the basics. Without understanding the basics, we will never build a firm foundation or be able to excel at anything we choose to do, so we must get back to the basics.
Jumping Ahead of the Basics
Often times we are so eager to do the BIG things for Christ and His kingdom that we forget that the daily work of walking with him is what is most important. Without being in his word, Satan has too much of an opportunity to trip us up and make can something SEEM godly, when it is really not God’s way at all.
One result of jumping ahead of the basics of the Bible is that we can actually not only end up following a misleading path delivered by another well-meaning Christ follower, but we ourselves could lead others in a direction away from Christ as well.
The Coffee House Conversation
This past summer as God called my heart to write again, I found myself sitting on a terrace of a coffee house with my husband. He was working and I was writing.
As I took a minute to look up from my laptop, I noticed that a young woman had settled herself on the opposite side of the terrace and pulled out a well-read Bible.
To say I felt compelled to go pray with her was an understatement, so I finished my thought, saved my work, and walked over to say hi.
Now, I don’t mind meeting new people, but sometimes I can be awkward. I’m not sure what I said, but she politely invited me to sit down and we proceeded to talk for about two hours before ending with a prayer.
The Sad Epiphany from our Conversation
It was an utter joy speaking with this young woman. She was full of wisdom and knew God’s word. As I looked at her Bible, which looked like it had been poured over for at least a decade, I asked how long she had been following Christ and her answer shocked me:
Less than a year!
Praise the Lord that she had been leaning into God’s word so heavily, but this is where the sad epiphany occurred.
She beamed as she shared her conversion story, but sadness filled her face as she confessed that almost immediately she was confronted with well-meaning Christians who encouraged her to read other books than the Bible so that she could grow in her understanding of her role as a disciple of Christ.
Why would we think that giving a book that shares someone else’s thoughts about what the Bible has to say could be better than God’s actual words?
But don’t we do this sometimes?
Instead of reading a book that talks about what God says, she decided to read what God says. She wanted to go directly to the source!
Even though at the time she was less than a year old as a follower of Christ her spiritual maturity level was way beyond her years and it all started by being in God’s word. From their her faith grew, her walk with God became more solid, and she faces each day knowing that the God of the Bible is living, breathing, and giving her his strength!
Is this a sad truth that we are facing?
Is she the only Christ follower that in their immature stage has been offered something other than the Bible to learn from?
Do we as Christ followers tend to put more emphasis on other books that supposedly explain the Bible rather than encourage people to dig into the Bible for themselves?
The Myth that Compels Us to Share Other Books
After walking away from this conversation, I couldn’t help but wonder why so many of us may choose to recommend another book than the Bible to help someone grow spiritually?
It’s seem ridiculous doesn’t it? But as I thought about my own walk, I remember thinking several things about the Bible before I started digging in on my own.
“The Bible is too hard to understand.”
“I can’t understand this on my own.”
“I need someone to explain this to me.”
And although these are seemingly true the devil totally takes advantage of these thoughts and turns them into beliefs that keep us from opening the Bible.
Here is how I respond to these statement now:
“The Bible is too hard to understand.”
Although some concepts in the Bible may be difficult to understand, we will never begin to understand them, if we don’t start reading and studying them now. As we read and study, we will begin to make connections that will help us understand. God is good and gracious and will help us as we seek Him.
“I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.”
– Proverbs 8:17
The thoughts “I can’t understand this on my own.” and “I need someone to explain this to me.” now get answered by James 1:5:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”
We can ask God to give us wisdom and understanding as we are reading his words, so that we can grow closer to him.
What Does Getting Back to the Basics Look Like?
Getting back to the basics is really simple. It means opening our Bibles, reading them, praying for wisdom, and then with courage implementing what we have read.
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” – James 1:22
It’s not about just reading the Bible for ourselves but also reading the Bible with our children and teaching them how to live it out through our Lord’s strength.
Bible Reading Tracker Printable
This year our family decided to keep a visual Bible Reading Log of what we have read. As we read through different books and chapters, we color off a chapter of that book. We keep it tucked in our Bible so we don’t misplace it and actually tend to use it as a bookmark for where we finished.
I’m excited to see what all God will teach us this year as we draw closer to Him through His word!
Prayer Over Our Hearts
Lord, we praise you! You spoke this world into being and created us. Your words are powerful. Your Word brings life, hope, peace, and mercy. We pray that we will delight in your words and teachings, that we will meditate on it day and night and be like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields it’s fruit in season and who leaf does not wither (Psalm 1:1-3). May we then live a life that honors and glorifies you and points others back to your words of truth. In Jesus’ powerful name – Amen