Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them… One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone.Romans 14:1-7
I’ve been learning more and more about how to read the Bible and follow the Holy Spirit. Most days, I don’t believe I do too well. The fact is, however, the Bible, as much as we wish it were, isn’t a full, comprehensive list of rules that we just read and then do in our lives. It would be so easy and straight forward that way, right?
So also, when we were children, we were enslaved under the basic principles of the world. But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive our adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, you are also an heir through God.Galations 4:3-7
Servants simply need to be told something, with no additional whys or hows, and they should do it. Now, there are circumstances where we don’t know why or how, exactly. However, we are God’s children and Jesus’ brothers and sisters. This is a completely different relationship. We are encouraged to ask questions!
The Bible introduces basic, core principles that guide God and then shows you the various personalities, cultures, and time periods, and how followers of God used the holy spirit to successfully and unsuccessfully follow those principles. The fact is, we have to work for this. This isn’t a Simon Says game. It’s not knowledge of right and wrong that God wants from us. It’s following, as best as we can, His wisdom and Holy Spirit while constantly staying in touch with and developing a relationship with Him. We are essentially, perpetual students, learning how to use God’s words in the context of our lives and circumstances.
When you read about how Paul states that women should cover their heads while in temple or men are more honorable with short hair (1 Cor 11), he was writing to specific churches in a specific time and culture where the circumstances called for this specific direction. Every person in the Bible, from Adam and Eve to the original founders of the Christian churches spreading throughout the post-Jesus world, were trying (or not trying) to follow the Holy Spirit and God’s principles in their unique situations. Just as you need to know the rules of writing before you can write a work or the methods of music before you create a piece, we need to know His voice so we know how to follow Him in differing circumstances and improvise based on His wisdom.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.John 14:26
What has the Holy Spirit taught you? How has it ingrained God’s love into your heart and life?