Being Led By The Spirit, Not By (Other People’s) Bible Obsessions

It’s interesting that when Jesus walked the earth it was the children, the poor, the uneducated and the illiterate that understood Jesus the most – in contrast, it was the Scripture scholars, the experts of the Bible, with their explanations of Scripture and long drawn-out interpretations of what the written word meant who didn’t understand him at all.

In this day and age, while it is possible to cram all the Bible reading we can fit into a day, the reality is it will profit us nothing if we value it over the voice of the Holy Spirit within us. More than that, it can actually be the very thing that pulls us away from understanding the heart and ways of God.

The Pharisees spent so much time in the Scriptures they failed to actually realize the point of the Scriptures all together, making the Scriptures of zero help to them in their spiritual walk. If anything, their devotion to Scripture and their interpretations of it only pushed them to rage against the truth all the more.

You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. John 5:39-40

In reality, we don’t need more Bible in our life, for we are not people of the written code, but rather people of the Spirit; and as such we need more trust in the Spirit dwelling within us. For if we can first rest in this inner reality and be led by the Spirit, then when we do read Scripture, the Spirit will be able to lead us through it and show us things none of us could see by reading the Bible just as a written code.

But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. Romans 7:6

For the Bible to be of help to us, we need to see between the lines, behind the words, within the message; we need to let the Spirit show us things invisible to those who only want to read the Bible as a plain and simple written code.

Most importantly, we need to realize the Bible can become a stumbling stone to us if we allow it to be used by others to enforce their beliefs upon us. It was those who were the disciples of the Pharisees who also missed the truth of Jesus, for their ‘teachers’ had all the answers from Scripture as to why Jesus was nothing more than a blasphemer.

This is, I believe, why the Apostle John wrote to the church with this encouragement:

“As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit —just as it has taught you, remain in him.” 1 John 2:27

It is interesting because John himself was writing to the church and teaching them things, yet he tells them plainly they don’t actually need any teachers, not even himself, what they need is the confidence to trust The Teacher in them, the indwelling Spirit of God. In John’s day, there were many teachers who were enforcing their doctrines and opinions on the church, most likely using Scripture as their tool to force submission to their way of thinking.

John, then, writes to remind the church that although there are God-given teachers in the body of Christ, the ones who are worth listening to are the ones who are always directing you to trust more in the indwelling Spirit within you.

We could say that the role of a teacher in the body of Christ is not to give answers, but to encourage the body of Christ to ask questions, to seek the truth for themselves, and to trust that the Spirit of Christ within to be their Teacher who will lead them, enlighten them, and draw them closer to the divine reality of God’s nature as they continue in their faith walk.

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. Romans 8:14

Remember, while the Bible can help us in our journey of faith, it is not what leads us. That role belongs to the Spirit of God within you. Take confidence as the Apostle John wrote, and trust that the anointing in you is real, not counterfeit … and follow the voice of your Good Shepherd, the guiding Spirit within you, as you venture with your indwelling Savior into all truth.