Monday, April 12, 2010

The Instruction Manual

I was working on an engine last weekend, something I don’t do much of at all.  I’m not the mechanical type.  I can change the oil, change the spark plugs and filters and do simple things, but after that I’m lost.  It’s stuff I’ve never done.  The day actually went well.  I was following a set of very good instructions and the three hour job only took about four hours. I thought that was pretty good for my first time.  When you have good instructions it sure makes things easy.

The engine got me to thinking about life.  Christians always want to know the secret to a good life.  They want to know God’s will, how to live a joyous, victorious life.  Many get really upset at God because He doesn’t tell them what to do.  But you know what?  Most of God’s will for us is already given to us in the Bible.  Probably 80 percent or more.  It is a wonderful instruction manual on how to live that joyous life and many Christians don’t even bother to look at it.  It’s all there: relationships, marriage, money, kids, planning ideas, employer-employee relations and of course salvation and the key to joy.  It’s all laid out for us, but people, Christians, don’t really read and pay attention to it.  It’s like trying to work on an engine for the first time and ignoring the instruction manual. 

There are other things in life that aren’t in the instruction manual, things like, “Which job should I take.”  I’ve come to the conclusion that if we pay attention to the 80 percent of God’s will that is give to us, He will let us know what to do about the 20 percent that isn’t there.  On the other hand, if we ignore what He has already given us in the Bible, why on earth would he even bother to help us with the last bit.  And you know, maybe he does show people the last bit, but they are so used to not paying attention that they miss the last bit as well. 

Want a really fulfilled life?  Ask Jesus to be your Saviour and live within you, and then follow the instruction manual.

1 comment:

  1. Can't agree with your conclusion, Gary, when you suggest:

    "On the other hand, if we ignore what [God] has already given us in the Bible, why on earth would he even bother to help us with the last bit."

    Our loving heavenly Father is full of grace and mercy for both Jesus Followers and pre-Christians alike, as you taught me. Therefore, I believe that most, if not all, of our moment-to-moment, so-called wisdom is directly from God by grace & mercy...whether we acknowledge it or even know it.

    This I know because "... He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." (Matthew 5:45 in context at And I like the way the Message paraphrase puts it at )

    Nonetheless, we hear more and clearer about your 20% when we acknowledge and listen with our heart in the Spirit. And, I sense, that is your real point!

    @GaryFPatton in Toronto