Monday, September 26, 2011

Man vs Wild

Have you ever found yourself in a predicament where you asked yourself "What would Bear do?" I'm not talking about the late Bear Bryant I am talking about Bear Grylls. If you have never watched Man vs Wild you need to. Bear is a survivalist who is dropped into who knows where and has to survive until either he finds his way out or a team comes in and gets him. He is one of those guys who can start a fire with nothing more than two sticks and can eat stuff most people would not even want to touch.

As I thought about the adventures of Bear I wondered how well we who call ourselves Christians would do if we did not have the church. How long would our faith hold up if we were dropped on a deserted island with nothing other than our Bible. No pastor, no Sunday school teacher, no one to teach you, no one to hold your hand spiritually speaking. How long could you survive, spiritually, before the elements crept in and took you out. How long could you survive, not on a deserted island, but at home, in your neighborhood if you could not get to church. Are you so dependent on someone to feed you the Word and provide your weekly spiritual intake that you could never make it on your own?
II Timothy 2: 15 - Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
At the end of Paul's life he encourages Timothy to present himself as one approved, in other translations it says to study to show himself approved. He was basically telling Timothy that you have to study God's word. My guess is that there were a lot of days when Timothy was on the road for Paul and did not have a local church that he could go to on a regular basis and depend on the pastor to feed him. He was on his own, he was in survival mode.

I do not think Christ ever intended for us to be completely dependent on our church or our pastor for our spiritual survival. I think he intended for us to be dependent on his Holy Word and the power of the Holy Spirit. If we are truly born-again Christians we have the power of the Holy Spirit living in us to help us as we study God's word.
I Corinthians 2: 13,14 - 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
Notice what Paul says, words taught by the Spirit, he does not say words taught by the pastor, not by words taught by the small group leader, but by the Spirit. We have a responsibility to study God's word on our own. Going to church and listening to a pastor is not a bad thing. However, we cannot depend solely on what someone else teaches us. We have to learn to survive on our own.

There may be a time in your life when all you have, spiritually speaking, are two sticks and a hand full of grubs, could you survive?

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