The Bible is not a rule book; it is your training manual. You can benefit from the Bible’s instruction or you can continue to fumble around trying to figure out this life on your own. God has given you a choice. Let me share with you my vision of what’s really going on here in this world as it relates to you, me, and the Bible.
You are not the person you see in the mirror. That is a reflection of your human body. You are the spirit that currently resides in that human body. You have been placed in that body by God without the knowledge and understanding of your eternal spirit. In that respect you are blind to where you came from. You are expected to operate based on the skills and circumstances you have been granted in this life without any knowledge of your eternal capacity.
We are eternal spirits blindly placed in this world to be mentally, physically, and spiritually developed and thereby maintained in peak condition. Every aspect of our lives is a chance to hone the skills required for our eternal existence. Both pain and joy have positive benefits beyond this world. Both success and failure have positive benefits beyond this world. We are in training for a mission we cannot fully comprehend in our current incarnation. We have been so limited to further perfect our understanding of those who are less capable. When our time here is complete, we will return to the eternal world refreshed, rejuvenated and stronger than ever in every aspect of our mind, body and spirit.
“But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” Jude 20-21 (NIV)
Our spiritual training proceeds regardless of our participation. If you never study the training manual, the Bible, you will be limited in your ability to perceive your eternal awareness. If we diligently study the lessons found in the Bible, we will move closer to an understanding of our eternal life, but never fully attain complete awareness. Our training here will be worthless if we are given the answers in advance. For that reason we must struggle through this life using the tools provided and nothing more. We need to trust in Jesus and follow His teaching.
“If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” John 15:9-10 (NIV)
We are not alone in our efforts. The Holy Spirit is with us every step of the way, constantly correcting our mistakes and helping us communicate with God in meaningful ways. It is through our study of the Bible that we develop the ability to hear and respond to the nudging of the Holy Spirit in our walk with Jesus.
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” Romans 8:26 (NIV)
Much of our existence here in this world is parallel to our eternal existence. Here in this world we learn that the best training is often difficult and challenging. We can therefore expect our training for our eternal existence to be difficult and challenging. In the same way, we learn in this world that successfully completing difficult and challenging training can be enormously rewarding. Praise God for providing us with everything we need to fully develop our eternal persona through His awesome training. The rewards will indeed be great!
“But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.” 2 Peter 3:13 (NIV)
If you have been battered and bruised in this world’s training, take heart. Your eternal life is to come in glorious splendor. Praise God for this chance to fully develop your skills! Praise God for all His wonderful blessings and for all the challenges provided for your instruction. Continuously study the training manual, the Bible, and reap the rewards of a deeper understanding of your life in this world, as well as the rewards promised for your loyal devotion to God in the world beyond.
“So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.” 2 Peter 3:14 (NIV)
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