Have you ever been in a Bible study or some other Christian conversation and somebody says something like ‘I know what this passage means, because A/B/C happened to me last week and it makes sense now.’
The natural, kind response is ‘Ah ok *nodding along*, I see…’.
As polite as this is, it’s wrong; we should never interpret the Bible based on our lives, rather, we should interpret our lives based on God’s Word to us found in the Bible.
There is not a situation, dilemma, choice, struggle, temptation, or challenge that you could be facing that has not been covered, even in principle, in God’s Word to us. It is complete, and it is contributing to our being complete (2 Timothy 3.17). As we read in Ecclesiastes 1.9, there is nothing new under the sun, this has all happened before.
Whatever is on your heart or mind, God has spoken about it already!
The Bible is a collection of inspired, inerrant, infallible, and all sufficient texts that all bear the fingerprint of God, and it all communicates one connected, continuous narrative of God’s all-conquering love for us that manifested itself in the person and work of Jesus and His redemption of humanity. Simply, His Word to us is truth (John 17.17) from creator to creation. Along this narrative every question we could ever ask is answered, and the same Holy Spirit who inspired the original writers will illuminate the Scriptures for you and for me to understand. The Holy Spirit is in the truth-revealing business, and Henry Blackaby offers this as a process;
You read God’s Word, the Spirit takes the Word and reveals the truth within it to you, you adjust your life accordingly, you obey God, God works in and through you to accomplish His purposes, you come to know God in a more personal and real way.
As we read the Word of God, we are to listen for that still, small voice illuminating the Scriptures for us. We are to pay attention to what happened to the people, what they chose, what were the outcomes, how did God interact with them based on their choices, what does His Word reveal about His character and how is this seen in the particular situation we are reading about. As we read like this, we will see how we ought to adjust our lives, how we ought to be living, and where we need to make adjustments on the move Small changes made consistently over time will bring the big results we are looking for, and there is nothing bigger than being in right relationship with the maker of heaven and earth, knowing that what you are doing, the choices you are making, and the direction you are heading are all His.
When He does speak to us through His word, we must adjust ourselves to the truth revealed to us by the Holy Spirit, but what a great adjustment to make!