I remember writing many essays throughout my high school and college career. As English and Literature were my strong suits, it was something I was pretty good at. One thing that I always had difficulty with was citing my sources. Often times (still is to this day), my head was filled with quotes, songs, movies and trivia of all sorts, so I just wrote them all down as I remembered them in my writing. The problem with this methodology (at least according to the preferred methods of writing) is that to site something without giving credit to the sort leads to, at best, poor recollection of the source material or, at worst, plagiarism. I was constantly reminded by my teachers to return to the source material, to support my arguments and ideas.
How often do believers in Christ fail to do this very same thing? We often quote preachers, musicians, songs, artists, thought leaders, and things which sound biblical, without often getting to the source of it all (I'm as guilty as anyone). Many of us quote things which sound Biblical, but are, in fact, worldly wisdom wrapped up in a biblical passage or biblical-sounding package. "For the word of God is living and active," we're reminded in Hebrews 4:12, "sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." It is our source material, as it were, and should be where we go FIRST before citing anything or anyone else. Intimacy with God's word will help us see through what is truly of God, and what is not, and give us a way to separate and discern the light from the darkness. Don't understand it? The Holy Spirit will counsel and interpret it for you! Don't rely on the Holy Spirit? Step out in faith, and get back to the source. Don't have the Holy Spirit? Give your life to Christ Jesus, and He will provide the Holy Spirit! God's word is enough for anyone who is willing to let go and let Christ transform them from the inside out. Hebrews 4:1-16 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said,
“As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest,’”
although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” And again in this passage he said,
“They shall not enter my rest.”
Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted,
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.”
For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. 9So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.