They received the Word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. (Acts 17:11)
The world is full of ideologies, philosophies, instructions on how to navigate this mysterious thing called LIFE. Some we learn from our parents, others from our own observations and experiences, and others still from the outside world and even the pulpit. As Christians, we believe in the perfect and inerrant Word of God. All that God has said is true. Jesus Himself said to the Father, “Your Word IS truth.” Therefore anything we hear, anything we experience that informs us about a particular truth in life we should filter through the sifting screen of holy Scripture, for it is Scripture that is “sharper than any two-edged sword” rightly dividing truth from error. As a famous pastor once said, “We should filter our lives through the Bible, not the other way around.”
The Bereans in Acts 17 did exactly that, and Luke (the writer) commends them for it, calling them “noble”, for they didn’t just accept Paul’s teaching as gospel—as truth to be taken indiscriminately. Rather they tested his teaching against what was already written in God’s Word to see if it was affirmed. God is not a god of contradiction, nor is He is god who changes His mind (Numbers 23:19).
There are many Spirit-filled Christians who “hear” the Lord telling them to do certain things. Move to this city, or take this job, or marry that person. They are sure God is speaking to them because it “feels right” in their heart. Now I am not saying that that never happens. God is eternal, and Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He is God in the here-and-now. As such there are times and instances where He will speak to a person, whether through a thought, a still small voice, or perhaps even audibly. But too many times a person hears a voice, convinced that it is God’s, and because it “feels right” they do whatever that voice says, never bothering to check if that instruction is in accord with Scripture. Many disastrous things have happened and many lives wrecked because of that “voice.”
Friends, let us not be naïve children blindly believing everything we hear that jives with our soul, but rather let us search the Scriptures, feed on the Word of God, digesting its clear instruction and teaching. In doing so we shall become wise, grounded on a solid foundation and not “tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine.”
Test everything against Scripture.
Your inner thoughts.
Then trust God’s Word.