Not like the game of telephone…
Have you ever played the game of telephone? The game where a group of people sit or stand in a circle, a person whispers a message into the ear of the person next to them, and that person turns to the person next to them, whispers the message into their ear, and the process repeats itself until the message is whispered into the ear of the last person, and that person says the message out loud for all to hear. At that point the group usually bursts into laughter because the message is so distorted and full of hilarious nonsense in comparison to the original statement.
What was originally, ‘Moody Mummies munch on moldy mothballs,’ becomes, ‘Molting Moms make munchy meatballs.’ Say what?
Recently, my mind has been drawn to this game by way of a comparison to our relationship with Jesus. Sometimes it seems when life gets hard and we are searching for answers, we cry out to God for help, but we reach to Him through ways that resemble this childhood game rather than going to Him directly.
Scripture tells us
2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness
The Bible is God breathed, it is His gift to us. It gives us instruction for how to live. It gives us instruction for those times when life gets hard. It gives us instruction for when we get lost. It gives us instruction as to how to get from this life into an eternity spent with Him. It gives us the answer for ever question, every problem, every situation that could ever possibly present itself…yet…rather than reaching for our Bible or talking to Him directly, we find it easier to reach for a book about Him, or the ear of a friend that is willing to listen, all the while bypassing the most powerful book ever to be written. I believe this to be a beautifully deceptive device used by the Enemy, the one who is fully aware of the power that lies in the book lying unopened next to your bedside. A device used in an effort to keep us all from realizing the full power of God at work in our lives.
Now I’m not saying there is a problem with reading a book about the work of God in someone else’s life. I am also not saying there is a problem talking to a friend. I’m not saying these are bad at all, in fact doing so can serve as spiritually uplifting, and encouraging. The problem I speak of is reaching for a listening ear or a book about His Word rather than reaching for Him and His word directly. In time of need, we need to be sure that we are going directly to the source of our help rather than that listening ear or some book written about a book of a person impacted by reading God’s word. Are you following me?
If we are not careful, we can find ourselves two, three people or more removed from His Word with a mixed up message similar to what we find in the game of telephone, and if we do this, we can completely miss the full realization of the power of Him at work in our own lives.
When I think of this process, I think of the woman with the issue of Blood. We can learn so much from her. Her story is found in Luke 8:43-48
And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched….
She had her issue for twelve years. TWELVE YEARS! Twelve years of going every where but to the source. Did she receive her healing by the physicians she visited or by talking to her friend and hearing a story of how Jesus healed someone else? No, MAYBE she did hear a story, and MAYBE that story encouraged her to seek Him for herself, but her healing didn’t come until she reached out her hand and touched him directly, for herself.
There is a power that comes from seeking God. We see that laid out in the story above. Seeking Him requires us to go directly to the source, directly to the God breathed word that He has given us to turn to in order to find Him. I encourage you, open His word, and spend time learning it, and reading it.
The next time life gets hard, your marriage is struggling, friends aren’t being friends, your feeling rejected, your financially exhausted, whatever the struggle may be and you’re searching for answers, do yourself a favor and reach for Him directly. When you are presented the choice of reaching for that listening ear or that book about His work, skip it save yourself the time and go directly to Him and His word FIRST …Choose Him.