“And David said to Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them.” (1 Samuel 17:39)
If you checked my old Bible, you’d find these words next to this verse: “Never go to battle with untried weapons.” I’m not sure where I read them or how long ago I added them, but I don’t think anyone would disagree with them. When it comes to fighting the battles of life we all face, the idea of simply reaching for any untried weapon, no matter how popular it may be, is not a winning strategy. Doubt, fear, confusion, temptation, pain, intimidation, betrayal, etc., these all call for precision defense or offense. In my own case, there are at least three tried and proven constants in my life that have always proven their worth in the murkiest times of my life.
1. The Reality of God: The God of the Bible, Creator and Sovereign of all, has chosen to reveal Himself in His creation (Psl. 19:1-3) and in His Word (2 Pet. 1:20-25; and, wonder of wonders! by His Spirit of mercy and grace, He has revealed Himself to me (Rom. 8:16). He is more real to me than anything I may experience with my five senses, and my highest aim in life to love the Lord, my God with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind (Lk. 10:27).
The Royalty of Jesus Christ: The Man who walked this earth over two thousand years ago, who lived a sinless life, died a sinner’s death, and raised from the grave a supernatural Savior, was God in the flesh. No more; no less. He was principle in Creation (Jno. 1:3)) and provided redemption after its fall. He was alive in eternity past, alive in time for thirty-three years, and He is alive now and for all eternity future. This, too, I have proved for myself. I can say with the songwriter, “Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!/How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er!”
The Reliability of the Bible: This last “tried and proved” has been a constant in my life since I was a child, and is the ground on which the other two stand. I believe that the most vital revelation we have of God today is His Word, not the concept of His Word, but the very essence of it, “…every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). One of the many reasons I have clung to the “Old Book and the Old Faith” in this rudderless age of multiple translations is this very reason. In my case, it’s tried and proved. I have seen what it can do, and I would never dare go to battle with anything less. I once said, “I realized long ago that there is only one Book that has the ring of authenticity. It speaks to me like no other book ever has. It knows me better than I know myself. I have read some of the others, and even when they agree with mine, they fail to convince, convict, or comfort me. I allow it to correct everything and everyone – including me.”
These are three constants I have had in my life for over sixty-four years. They’re tried and proved, and I assure you, “I can go in these!” I hope you have some too.
“I find myself believing today what I believed twenty years ago. But I find myself believing the same things for different reasons.” – Frank W. Boreham (1871-1959)