An old sailor was notorious for getting lost at sea, but somehow he had been lucky enough to survive through it all. Trying to rid the man of his dangerous ways, his friends gave him a compass and insisted that he use it. The next time he went out in his boat he took the compass with him. Unfortunately, he still became hopelessly lost and couldn’t find land. Once again, his friends had to go out and rescue him. Upset and frustrated, they inquired, “Why didn’t you use the compass we gave you? It could have saved both of us a lot of trouble!” The old sailor replied, “I tried but I couldn’t use it! I wanted to go north, but as hard as I tried to make the needle aim in that direction, it just kept on pointing southeast.” The old sailor was so certain he knew which direction was north that he tried to force his own stubborn ways on his compass. Unable to do so, he tossed it aside and chalked it up as worthless.
Too often people view the Bible the same way. Many approach Scripture to twist, contort, and pull words out of context in order to try to get God to say what they want. Like the sailor, it also doesn’t work this way. Scripture should not ever be changed or altered (1 Corinthians 4:6; Revelation 22:18-19; Deuteronomy 4:2). The Bible is the ultimate compass for life and godliness (2 Peter 3:9). It is God’s only guide to heaven (Matthew 7:21-23). It is the only way we can know the right way to go and live (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Proverbs 14:12). We can either follow the way it points or end up hopelessly lost.
Let’s not approach God’s word with a stubborn mindset. It’s always dangerous to approach Scripture with our own thoughts, baggage, and conclusions before we’ve let God tell us what He wants. Just like the old man, if we follow our own sense of morals, our own sense of direction, we are sure to get lost spiritually (Isaiah 55:8-9). Even if we think we know the right way, let’s make absolutely sure we know it by following God’s compass (Matthew 7:13-14).