When I was converted to Jesus, I was given a powerful longing within for a godly and upright life. I was also given a natural desire to pray. Thirdly I was given a clear inward recognition that my bible was the word of life and would be an essential guide for my life. These I believed (and still do) were the vital operations of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the believer. They have been the key of my Christian faith and of my experience of God. They are the proven truths of my life. It has always seemed to me very clear that they were actually the very same spiritual foundations that underlay the life of Jesus himself.
The Word of Life
The truth uppermost in my mind at the moment is that of the bible as the word of life. The modern world and modern society is knocking harder than ever at the recognition of the bible as the word of life and the guide for life. To try to argue from the bible in public debate is more and more a non-starter. It simply meets with the contempt and arrogance that is reserved for the foolish and the unlearned. This is no more evident than in the recent debate on the nature of marriage.
That debate took for granted the liberal humanistic agenda that “same-sex” physical relationships are in order and to be welcomed, even dubbed as marriage. It is considered self-evident civilised thinking. We are not to be allowed to make the point strongly that this is not in the least condoned by biblical standards; that biblically it is retrogressive rather than progressive. We have to argue from the humanistic platform to avoid scorn. And there is plenty of scorn and vituperation ready to be poured on opponents of the same sex bandwagon.
Holding to biblical truth is, however, critical for our own lives as Christians and it is critical for our witness in the world. Whether we are scorned or not our calling is to be faithful to the word of God and not to weaken in our own standards no matter how much pressure is exerted on us. My great fear is that many Christians will compromise and weaken.
The prophets were given a clear mandate; they were to speak the truth of God, whether or not people would listen. And they were to speak openly as from Him. No threats or despite were to stop such plain speaking. They prophets were appallingly handled but they had the approval of God. They were also eventually vindicated.
These thoughts about the need for strong personal conviction in the word of God, and particularly in this current national debate, came to me whilst reading through Psalm 119, and I have listed below one or two of the salient verses that stood out as I was reading. Meditation on such truth is very crucial in our generation. It is not a co-incidence, I’m sure, that Psalm 119 is by far the longest psalm in the book.
“I will speak of your statutes before kings and will not be put to shame, for I delight in your commands because I love them.” Psalm 119:46-47
“The arrogant mock me without restraint, but I do not turn from your law. I remember your ancient laws, O LORD, and I find comfort in them.” Psalm 119:51-52
“I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes”. Psalm 119:59
“Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep your precepts with all my heart.” Psalm 119:69
“It is time for you to act, O LORD; your law is being broken.” Psalm 119:126
Have a look at the psalm if you have time.