Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions
As you’ve probably noticed in the past couple of blogs, the contents of the conversations with the youth in my church – Gateway Chapel (come visit us sometime) has been very thought-provoking and revelatory.
I thank The Holy Spirit for the opportunity to receive these revelations, particularly this one as it was delivered “on the fly” as it were.
In recent discussions, we took the topic of life (particularly gifts) and how to understand your purpose in life. Now this, for me, is very tricky. I’m still on that journey of discovery but nonetheless at one point, the following question came up: “Why do I need the Bible?”
I don’t think I’ve ever asked (myself) that question before but it’s a valid point to raise. I’d like to present to you the analogy that I believe accurately expressed the need for the Bible in our lives.
You may, or may not, be familiar with the acronym for The BIBLE: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. If you weren’t before, you are now and it helps to keep that in mind. The acronym suggests a manual of sorts, or at face value, a set of instructions – an overview before we leave the Earth (die).
Consider this: you own a gaming console, a Nintendo Wii to be precise. This console, for those who are familiar with it, has mass appeal due to its simplicity and ease of use. It has sacrificed some of the higher end specifications to appeal to a broader base of gamers that usually include the family. With your Wii, you play one game in particular – Wii Sports and you are very familiar with the control mechanisms around the game.
Now, let’s assume I decided to gift you a new console with a game included (already inside the system). You don’t know what game it is till you turn it on and play and you also received NO manual for either the console or the game. Let’s assume this new console is a Microsoft XBox 360 with the game already inserted.
For those of you familiar with multiple consoles, particularly the two in example, you’ll realise that the complexity of control has increased significantly just based on console, let alone the game. There are no manuals included for neither console nor game so besides the basics such as connecting leads and a few other bits, I’d imagine that one would struggle to understand the full capabilities of the machine – it would, in essence, be a system of trial and error.
Let’s add a little more to your considerations. Being used to Wii Sports, your new XBox 360 comes with a new copy of “Microsoft Flight Simulator”. Needless to say, the controls that you will have to get used to will be significantly increased in functionality and therefore complexity.
As you should (hopefully) know, most mass-produced products have a serial number that allows the manufacturer to identify and reconcile all the specs of that product so that they address any issues that may arise. In that sense, and also in the very practical sense of design and manufacturing, no two devices are the same. Each model is unique in performance, design and capabilities.
How does a Nintendo Wii, Microsoft XBox 360 and gaming software relate to The Bible you ask? Good question! Allow me to explain…
Imagine your Bible, The Bible, to be your gaming console. It’s printed in many different languages with many translations but still contains the same elemental truths. It is the manual to life in general (think B. I. B. L. E) and how to operate your life at maximum efficiency. If your console comes with no manual, how do you know under what conditions you can get the maximum performance out of it? Of course you can trial your way through it and see what works and what does not BUT there is an opportunity to receive and understand the manufacturer’s handbook and more importantly, what life is about through The Creator (Manufacturer), God’s Word (2Tim 3:16).
Your life, your console, has a unique identifier (serial) that only The Creator can reconcile. Only He can provide you with the manual for life because He created you (Jer 1:5).
So, what about the game?
Well, the game is YOUR life. The Bible is a manual to life in general and understanding why WE are here. It also doubles up as a manual for why YOU are here. Why I am here. It is your specified game manual. It is there so that when you find the optimal settings for your console, you can confidently load your game and also have access on how the controls work to YOUR benefit. It will direct you to the manufacturer of the game (who in this case happens to also be console manufacturer) who can tell you exactly what the game entails and how to navigate it for the best scores, in other words, Your PURPOSE.
It is often the case that any software made by the hardware manufacturer will be able to take full advantage of the system it has been designed to work with. This, of course, is because the manufacturer has intimate knowledge of the system specification and capabilities. The same is true with our Creator – God. He is fully aware of our capabilities and limits (1Cor 10:13) and as a result, He has the perfect solution in mind to help us live our lives according to His Word making sure the purpose He created us for, is fulfilled.
So to revisit the question at hand: “Why do I need the Bible?”
Simply put, we are not creators of ourselves and many of us have no idea how to navigate our lives. Even those that do, they are only able to navigate some of the functions their system provides to them. None of us are born with a manual for life and more specifically our lives. In order to be able to understand LIFE and OUR lives, we must get the manual to both. The Bible gives you the access to the detail that contains life’s instructions, and within those details are the directions that lead toward your software/game/life manufacturer so you may understand how best to play/live your installed game/life.
In the end, the Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth will help you find He who gave the instructions and who can provide you with more than the basics according to your unique specifications.
God bless you.