What the Bible says about
Searching the Scriptures
(From Forerunner Commentary)
We are frequently admonished to "search" the Scripture to seek out the truth that God reveals by His Spirit. We are urged to know what we believe and why. God wants us to have faith and conviction to the point of even giving up our lives in obedience to Him and His truth.
We must carefully examine God's Word and learn what is true. And having found it, we should adhere to it always, not yielding an inch of ground when supposedly new teaching comes around from the mouth of smooth talkers. Not all church members have stood firm, as we know from experience. Some, making poor choices about what "truth" they will adhere to, have been blown off course, sailing away from their original destination—the Kingdom of God. They will, of course, end up in a different port.
This may be what Paul is referring to in Ephesians 4:14—that some members of the church in Ephesus were not following Christ's path. They had become liberal and lax, no longer having the conviction to the truth fixed in their hearts and minds. The doctrines and truth they once held were no longer resolute in their minds. Their faith was weakening, and in consequence, they began to yield to every new opinion and submit to the guidance of every new teacher.
So, as it is brought out in Ecclesiastes 1:9, "There is nothing new under the sun." What has happened in the past happens in the present.
We must really know the truth of God, believe it, and be fully convinced of it in true faith. In addition, we have to have our glorious destination as our goal and steer a steady course toward it.
When faced with the prevailing wind, a sailor can "beat to windward," a technique that involves a maneuver called "tacking." Tacking, also called "coming about," is turning the boat at an angle to run against the wind so that one travels sideways in order to make forward progress. It takes some work and skill, but one can actually proceed on course to his destination.
It is a matter of control. Instead of being blown freely in the direction of the prevailing wind, one can gain control of his direction. Once again, it is the set of our sails, not the prevailing wind that determines our course. We have a Captain who knows the seas and the winds and how to get us to His port.
1 Peter 1:10-12
Consider what these verses say from the standpoint of the prophets who were looking into these things. How did they look into these things? How did they seek God? How did they search Him out?
An actual example appears in Daniel 9:1-3:
In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans—in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the LORD [given] through Jeremiah the prophet, . . .
What was Daniel looking into? He was looking into the Bible, specifically the writings of Jeremiah the prophet.
. . . that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.
How did he seek God? By prayer, fasting, and study—the same things that we teach Christians to do. Looking into His Word is a major portion of seeking God. It is not the end of it because, as Amos 5:4, 6-7, 14-15 relates, "seek" in the biblical sense does not just mean "gaining an intellectual knowledge of God" but "turning to become like God." The knowledge of God is of absolutely no use unless we become like God, which is why he says, "Seek God and live!" (Amos 5:4, 6). What good is it if we have the knowledge but do not repent, do not turn to act and become like He is? None. If we only gain knowledge, we will not live.
Prayer plays a major role in this process. Daniel was seeking God's mind for the purpose of imitating, obeying, pleasing, being like Him, and doing His will. If we would continue in the prophet's book, we would find in chapter 10 that another occasion came up in which he fasted for three weeks. A person must be very serious and fervent to fast that long! The angel that is sent to him tells him that God heard Daniel's words from the very first day—that God would hear and answer was never a question. He spent three weeks fasting and praying to understand the will of God.
It is in this way that we come to know God in the sense of perceiving things as He does. If we are doing these things, we have every opportunity to pray according to His will because we will be praying His Word right back to Him—maybe not the exact words, but words that have the same sense. We will be on the same wavelength, as it were, with God.
John W. Ritenbaugh
What Is Prayer?
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