Google is so great. Some time ago I had to do some repairs on a faulty alternator on my vehicle. After a couple of keystrokes on my laptop I had step by step instructions on how to remove the alternator, pictures were included and even a video walking through the steps, how easy was that! The video took about 6 minutes of time, though when watching the video it was obvious that there were some time cuts. A 6 minute video, mechanics handbooks estimated less than an hour of time, how hard could the task be? Well it took longer than an hour, in fact it took several removals, partial disassembly of the alternator reassembly, checking it out, and then just as many installations. In the end a broken commutator brush and faulty ground wire on the engine was the problem, $2.50 worth of parts.
We often say or think, “Just give me the steps that I need and I’ll be on my way.” Isn’t it interesting that the Bible does not give a list of steps, for how to walk with God.
I often thought that it would be nice if the Bible gave simple guidelines on how to become a Christian, three steps for hearing the voice of God, seven principles for overcoming challenges. In the church we often give such steps and principles to people, yet always there is an understanding that some form of connection with God is necessary and simple steps cannot bring that about. Gregory of Nyssa said that “Concepts produce idols, only wonder grasps anything”. If God were to give us a set of steps then these concepts could end up being the things which we focus upon, they could in themselves become idols unto us. Doing the steps would become more important than the end result which the steps point toward. That is why the scriptures do not give such lists or steps. Instead we have historical accounts of people who met with God, people who failed to meet with God, the prayers offered, the frustrations lived, the rebellion of the heart, and lives that were changed.
It is in applying the teaching of Jesus and the work of Jesus Christ to our lives, then as we examine the variety of biblical lives and observe their struggles, we see aspects of our lives in some of these people. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit we learn from the positive and negative examples of others in the scripture and from that we gain the results that God has for us.
Out of our relationship with Jesus Christ and our obedience to His prompting – life comes.