One of the absolute best parts of my vocation is being in God’s Word on a daily basis. Learning about and knowing the Bible is truly the main reason I went to seminary. I specifically chose a Presbyterian seminary, as our denomination is one of a very few that teach the original written languages of the Bible – Hebrew and Greek. I figured you couldn’t know the Bible any better than that – by studying the original words in their true context.
Being in God’s Word is like being an airline pilot. Pilots have to scan a whole panel of instruments at once. This is challenging for new pilots because their normal reflex is to concentrate on one thing at a time. Flying, however, demands the ability to do a number of things at the same time. Feet constantly adjust the rudder panels. One hand holds the wheel to keep the plane straight and level. The other hand adjusts throttle, prop, radio, trim, and flaps. Ears tune in the radio, engine – even the sound of the wind. Eyes must not only watch the ground and horizon, but check a lapful of maps and constantly scan the instrument panel. New pilots must fight the tendency to stare at just one instrument, neglecting all the others. Unless pilots train their eyes to rapidly and repeatedly scan the many instruments before them, they will eventually get into serious trouble.
Christians have a similar problem. Some get preoccupied with certain biblical truths and focus only on them while excluding other important passages. As a result of concentrating on only one kind of passage, their spiritual vision gets blurry. When this happens, they risk going into a fatal spin – with their eyes glued to a full fuel gauge, praising God that they’re making excellent speed! Christians must learn to scan the Whole Counsel of God and keep looking at the larger picture of God’s revealed will for their lives. As you scan the Whole Counsel of God (i.e.- the direction of God’s full message of salvation and the ministry of Jesus), you come to appreciate the complexity of the Christian life, and you can learn to recognize the oversimplified vision that fails to do justice to the richly interwoven, beautifully balanced life God wants you to live – and the beautifully extravagant love God has on offer.
*Portions of this essay have been taken from ‘Speaking the Truth in Love,’ A Stephen Ministry book and resource, written by Ruth Koch & Kenneth Haugk.