The Lord gave me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. He said… Preserve the teaching of God; entrust his instructions to those who follow me. (Isaiah 8:11, 16)
It’s easy to go through life simply reacting to one circumstance after the next. We have bills to pay, kids to feed, responsibilities to meet, and problems to solve. We go to school to learn how to read, write, and use numbers to count our money. We become adults who have been taught to believe that we know everything there is to know about how to live a good life. But then something happens to us or someone we know that rocks our world. It could be betrayal, abuse, failure, or loss. And what we’ve been taught isn’t enough anymore. The world teaches us that we are self-sufficient, that we either have or can find all the answers on our own, that there are winners and losers in this world, and that we have to look out for ourselves to be a winner.
But God gave Isaiah a strong warning not to think like everyone else. You don’t give a strong warning unless there is extreme danger lurking ahead. The idea that we are self-sufficient and can solve all our problems is dangerous, indeed. If we are going to think differently, to adopt God’s worldview in place of our own, then we must “preserve the teaching of God.” To preserve means to maintain in its original state.
So how do we preserve God’s teachings? It cannot simply mean that I purchase a bible and put it in a place of honor on a hallowed bookshelf so that it can never be destroyed. This doesn’t make any more sense than preserving food to be seen and not eaten. When we realize that God’s Word became flesh and is written on our hearts as we consume the Bread of Life, then to preserve His teachings becomes personal. If I want to preserve His Word in my life, I need to read His Word, apply His teachings, submit to His will, listen to His advice, follow His guidance, trust Him as a friend, and teach others about His grace. Preserving the teachings of God is a daily walk with God. There is no better way to preserve the teachings of Jesus in your life than to allow Jesus to preserve you for life.
Maybe this is why Jesus describes those who follow Him as the salt of the earth. When we preserve His Word in our lives, we become the life preservers in the the world. Perhaps, just perhaps, you will know that you are preserving His Word in your own life when you become the salt in the lives of those around you. Will you heed God’s warning today? Will you preserve His Word in your life? Are you willing to change the way you think?