I remember reading the assembly instructions as a kid for something my dad was putting together and was told that we didn’t need them.  My protests over a handful of screws when the contraption was built were dismissed with the explanation that companies always put in extras.  The product worked, yes, but not like it should.

The Manufacturer of mankind has left us a manual, God’s Word, the Bible.  So, it would make sense, for maximum effectiveness, to follow the guidelines set forth by the One who designed you, created every cell, breathed life into you, and then “beforehand” planned works for you to do (Ephesians 2:10).  This is why Jesus, the Word made flesh, came—to give us life abundantly (John 10:10).  Underscoring its importance, every time Jesus said a version of “Have you not read …?” He was bringing His listeners back to the Bible.

Now I know that each of us can point to neighbors, coworkers, and friends who have never followed the Bible or perhaps live its precepts in a randomized way, picking and choosing tasty tidbits like dishes on a buffet, and they all seem to have pretty good and functional lives.  This can be particularly hard on preacher’s kids (PKs) in small churches in the Northeast as they see their friends in public school seemingly having life more together than the handful of kids in their Bible classes and VBS.

But, do they really?  Even though I ministered to others from the Bible, I realized pretty quickly that I had a compromised version of my Christianity early in my wife’s ongoing eight-year battle with cancer—but especially in the past six months.  My foundation of faith was not as solid as it needed to be to endure the trials that forced us to live separately since January and unable to help each other with the other’s battle front.

Just as Moses was told to build everything according to the pattern shown to him on the mountain (Hebrews 8:5), I dug deep to return back-to-the-Bible to build up my prayer life and trust in Him.  Reasoning that God, who loved us unconditionally and was working for our good (Romans 8), knew what was best for my life and was entirely in control of the circumstances, I have flourished in my faith where many believed I should have floundered.

‘Back to the Bible’ is more than just an academic exercise or pithy saying.  It is a deep and determined commitment to delve into doctrine that saves and enriches your life.  It fortifies the foundation of your faith so that you may function well in the best of times and are prepared to fight during the worst.