in From the Pastor

The Sufficient Word

Is God’s Word sufficient? Obviously, in the context of our congregation the answer is yes, as it is in many other congregations around the world. But it is one thing to say that the Bible is sufficient and another to live it.

Earlier this week I was speaking with a group of Christians from other churches and it was interesting to hear them talk about how people they know in their churches make decisions. The common thread of this discussion is that when some Christians are faced with a decision, whether large or small, they don’t do anything until they have received some sign or indication they believe is from the Lord that shows them what to do.

On the one hand, this seems God honoring. After all, doesn’t Scripture tell us to seek the Lord and follow him? Surely, when we have decisions to make we should pray about them and seek the Lord’s leading. On the other hand, at what level do the decisions we make need to be submitted to a long and searching process of prayerful discernment? I am, for example, thoughtful about the socks I wear each day (isn’t everyone?), but it’s not a decision I have ever made through prayer. I have options for which way to drive to and from the church, and while I make those decisions based on information from both my phone’s map app as well as my experience as I drive down the street, I don’t believe I’ve ever asked God to guide me along the best possible route.

There are, to be sure, many decisions that are far more significant than socks and driving directions, but what if I were to tell you that I believed I should pray long and earnestly before making these decisions? Among the many things you might say, you would be right to remind me of the danger of making more of the guidance than the Guide. In other words, as ironic as it may seem, I am in danger of diminishing God by elevating something else. In this case, I am elevating the decision itself to a level of importance that, even in prayer, my focus and concern becomes more about my decision and less about my Redeemer.

Something else you would be right to point out to me is that, practically speaking, I am in danger of thinking God’s Word is insufficient and what I need most is a special word of revelation. In other words, I think I need more than the Bible. Slowly and imperceptibly, I am claiming the sufficiency of Scripture in word, but denying it in practice.

God’s Word is sufficient for knowing him & shaping how I live daily, and those two things together are among the most significant helps in discerning direction & making decisions. Knowing God and his work is the foundation for navigating my life and my work. God’s Word is sufficient because God is sufficient.