Follow Directions

by Dr. Paul Chappell

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.”

Psalm 119:105–106

The effectiveness of the Bible in your life lies in how much of it you obey.

The US Department of the Interior once conducted an experiment using migratory birds. The birds were tagged with metal strips reading "Wash. Biol. Surv."—for Washington Biological Survey. The code was changed, so the story goes, after a farmer from Arkansas wrote to the department: "Dear Sirs, I shot one of your crows. My wife followed the cooking instructions attached—she washed it, boiled it, and served it. It was the worst thing we ever ate."

Sometimes instructions can be misunderstood. I once read of a brochure put out several years ago by the Durham, NC, County Public Library that explained the use of the card catalogue. The brochure told of one patron who, upon reading "See Main Entry" on a catalogue card, went out to the front steps of the library.

Imagine trying to live life with misread instructions. Even the simplest of tasks would be challenging if you were not sure how to perform them! While some people live life without realizing the “instructions of life,” we as Christians can find God’s instructions for living in His Word.

God has provided His directions for us. He shows us in the Bible how to live a moral life, how to have a happy marriage, how to find peace in the middle of trials, how to find joy, and so many other ways to live a productive life. The Bible is the best “how-to” book we could ever own!

But as is true with “how-to” books, the Bible can only help you if you are reading, studying, and obeying its principles. You wouldn’t read a book on gardening then do the opposite when trying to cultivate a garden; so why read the Bible for help in you marriage and not heed its teaching?

The effectiveness of the Bible in your life is directly proportional in how much of it you obey. Do you apply the principles and commands God outlines in His Word? God has given you what you need, but it will only benefit you as you are obeying His Word.

The Bible has the answer for any situation you face. Consider this brief list of topics and Scripture helps:

Anger--Ephesians 4:26, 31; James 1:19, 20
Employee/Employer Relations--Ephesians 6:5–9; 4:28; 1 Peter 2:18; Titus 2:9, 10
Envy--1 Peter 2:1; Romans 1:29, 32; Matthew 27:18; Titus 3:3; James 3:14–17
Faith--Hebrews 10:38; 11:1,4–8,17, 30; Romans 1:16; 4:19–21; 5:1, 2; 10:9,10,13–17
Forgiveness--Luke 17:3, 4; Matthew 18:21–35; 6:12–15; 2 Corinthians 2:6-11
Hospitality--Romans 12:13; I Peter 4:9; Matthew 25:34–36, 40; Hebrews 13:1–2
Pride--Numbers 12:3; Matthew 5:5; 11:28–30; Galatians 5:22, 23

Never take for granted the fact that God has provided His Word for you. The answer for any question, problem, or difficult situation you face can be found in God’s Word. Take time each day to read and spend time in God’s Word. But also take time to search for the answer to the problem you may be facing. God has the answer; you simply need to find them. Read God’s instructions and follow His directions for your life today.

To learn more about Pastor Chappell's books, Sunday school curriculum, and spiritual leadership resources, please visit

Daily Bible Reading
Leviticus 14 • Matthew 26:51-75

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