By: Lt. Colonel Dean Hinson
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet, and a light for my path. – Psalm 119:105 NLT
In these dark days, it is comforting to know that God has provided light so that we can see where we are going. In this column, we are exploring ways that we can deepen our walk or relationship with God. We continue to develop roots that will sustain us through the storms that will come our way.
Our first and foundational doctrine says that, “We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God and that they only constitute the divine rule of Christian faith and practice.” All Salvationist soldiers know this in our heads and repeat this with our mouths. But if we never open, read, study, meditate and listen to what God says to us – then we don’t really believe that God has inspired his Word and that it is our only guide on how to live.
A problem in our Army (and the Church) is a lack of Biblical knowledge. God has revealed, or unveiled, himself to us by the Word – Jesus Christ – who is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:16) and his Word – Old and New Testaments – that “is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
We will not grow in our Biblical knowledge by only hearing a sermon on Sunday morning. In order to develop our spiritual lives, we need to encounter (read, study, meditate on) God’s Word daily. Fortunately, we live in a time when there are many ways available to study God’s Word. With the wide range of translations and paraphrases to reading guides, commentaries, devotionals, etc., we have no excuse for neglecting God’s Word. I would encourage every corps to make sure there are multiple options available for your soldiers to study together the Bible every week.
When Joshua was promoted upon the death of Moses to lead God’s people, he was told, “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so that you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do” (Joshua 1:8). God has made it very clear that he has something to tell us and that we need to listen. The Bible is a precious gift from God that we have not earned but is freely given so that we can know him better. Don’t pass up this opportunity to grow in the Lord, establishing roots deep in the soil of his love by digging deep into his Word. You will be abundantly blessed.