By Stephanie Parker
This post is for anyone that’s ever questioned the validity or authenticity of the Bible… or for those that believe in God but aren’t too sure about the Bible actually being God’s Word.
When I was 22, I went skydiving. Did you know that the average human body falls from the sky at 120 miles per hour and a skydiver typically jumps from between 11,000-14,000 feet off of the ground? I learned this AFTER I paid for my dive and signed my life away. Before we jumped, we had to take a class that explained the ins and outs of parachute safety. All the while, to the right of the instructor, I watched as my parachute got wadded into a ball and shoved into a backpack. We learned about the importance of pulling the cord (or ring) to the parachute at precisely the right second and what to do if the parachute didn’t come out. I was going to be falling at about 120 miles/hour and my life was wrapped up in the hopes that this wadded up parachute would do it’s job? I wasn’t very confident, to say the least. As I sat there in my crash course on skydiving (pun intended), I remember feeling that I wasn’t quite grasping what they were describing fully because, frankly, I had never jumped out of a plane before! Knowledge is only ever worth anything if you use it, if you put it into practice and see if what you’ve learned holds up in real life.
As we took off in the plane, I imagined what my funeral would be like and thought of all the people I should have called to tell them I loved them before willingly jumping to my death. When they opened the door of the plane, a wave of utter dread rushed over me! My last question to my tandem jumper was, “How do you know this parachute will work!?” His response was, “There’s only one way to find out!” Then, we jumped. In the split second when our feet left the airplane, I had no choice but to trust the parachute. The instant that I had placed my hope fully in the parachute, my fears miraculously vanished. I couldn’t believe it. There was this sense of freedom that came, this peace that overwhelmed me as I fell. I surprisingly wasn’t afraid anymore. As my cheeks flopped in the wind, a grin spread across my face in pure delight as I marveled at the view below me. You see, the scariest part of skydiving for me was just jumping out of the plane.
I share this story with you because I know there are a lot of people out there who don’t trust the Bible for one reason or another. Some are hesitant to even open the Bible and their hearts to what the Bible says because they question the validity or authenticity of it. If you are looking for reasons not to go down that path, you will always find them… just like you could find a million and one reasons not to skydive. In fact, you could spend your whole life coming up with seemingly logical, historical, or scientific reasons why NOT to open or believe God’s Word. The enemy will happily continue to give you those reasons to keep you where he wants you. But, just like with the parachute, you can’t really test it’s reliability and authenticity until you take the leap and pull the chord…until you willingly open your heart to see if the Word of God will do what it promises to do in your life. You see, according to John 1:1, Christ himself is the Word of God. So, if you say you believe in God, trusting in God’s Word is essentially putting your money where your mouth is.
The Bible says that, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
So God’s word is alive and active. You can’t exactly see God’s Word coming ‘alive’ unless you take the leap and entrust your life into its hands and pull the cord. But so many people feel like they have to understand and believe the inerrancy of God’s Word BEFORE they even crack the pages. So many claim to believe in God but not in God’s Word. Don’t get me wrong, I get it. You want to know what you are getting into before you take the leap. You want to be 100% convinced that God’s Word actually is God’s Word and not just a bunch of ideas thrown together by man right? The thing is, you can’t REALLY know for sure that God’s Word is true until you live it… until you open that parachute to see what happens.
For example, I lost a child and it devastated me, but I chose to put on my parachute to see if it would open. I surrounded myself with God’s Word, thereby surrendering my life to God himself. What happened, surprised me. When I was in the midst of gut wrenching sobs, verses like these would come to mind and calm my heart and give me hope in a hopeless situation:
“He will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)
“Sorrow may last for a night but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted. He saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)
In those moments of grief, God’s word became alive and active to me. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that the Bible truly is the Word of God because his words were what kept me from crashing to the ground. The parachute opened and the freedom, peace and joy that resulted was inexpressible.
I know it’s a big step if you have reservations, doubts and unanswered questions but if you really want to see if what the Word of God is saying is true, authentic and trustworthy, you have to dare to trust it, live it, and rest in it, believing God will catch you if you do.
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22)
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24)
I would encourage you, tell God what your reservations, concerns and fears are. We all have them. Be brave enough to lay them at his feet. Then, give your commitment to God to really and truly give his Word a go. Read what it says and actually apply it to your life to see if it holds up. God ALWAYS honors a willing and humble heart. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:10) God even makes this promise, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
If you are really serious about seeing if God’s Word is true, commit to reading it and praying every day. Find a Bible study at a local church and read a daily devotional. Here are a few great ones:
Then, when you are faced with life’s challenges like anxiety, financial struggles, doubt, discontentment, purpose in life, grief, or whatever it may be, go to Google and type in the search bar, “verses about _________.” Then write down the verses that pertain to your struggle, carry them with you wherever you go, pray them over your life
and watch as God’s parachute explodes open so that you can be filled with peace, joy and freedom.
Whatever you do, don’t give up after a few days of reading the Bible because you haven’t had a big revelation. The Bible says that if we seek we will find. Seek is an active verb. No one plays Hide and Seek and gives up after only looking in one spot. Be diligent over a long period of time. I promise you won’t be disappointed. One day you will be soaring through the air with a grin on your face knowing without a shadow of a doubt that your parachute works. Why? Because you’ve used it!
If you want to add to your reading (I say add because I think God’s word should be the first resource and the only one that really and truly will prove it’s validity in your personal life) you can pick up these great books that talk through some of the questions you might have. The books ‘Cold Case Christianity,’ and ‘The Case for Christ,’ are both great books written by former unbelievers/ atheists who share their findings on the validity and authenticity of scripture.
Stephanie Parker has 3 main loves: God, her husband, Brett and her kids! When Stephanie created the Zipadee-Zip in an effort to solve her daughter, Charlotte's, sleep issues, she never imagined that it would become a business. She is incredibly grateful to God for how Sleepingbaby.com has grown and how it has enabled other families to get the restful sleep they need. Stephanie's husband, Brett Parker assumed the role of CEO which has allowed Stephanie to focus on what she loves which is the creative side of the company, like product and print development. After the Zipadee-Zip was featured on Shark Tank, Stephanie went on to create the book Shepherd's Treasure, a Christian alternative to Elf on the Shelf. In her free time, Stephanie loves to spend time with her family and friends. Her hobbies include acting, singing, painting, learning and speaking foreign languages and going on adventures with her family! You will find her all summer waterskiing, fishing and laughing with her family on the weekends.