I went on my last Mid-Year-Conference (again, for real this time) a couple of weeks ago. For those who don’t know, MYC is a 5 day conference where uni students from Cumbo, UWS, Wollongong uni and a few others (ACU had a pretty good group again) pretty much study what the bible* says about a particular topic – this year it was Guidance.
Guidance is a really easy topic to apply, and one that we easily have the wrong ideas about. Many of us hope that God will make decisions clear for us and help us to make the ‘right’ decision (e.g. about work, who to marry, where to live, which church to go to, etc). But as we discovered across the week, God does not promise to guide us in ways we often expect – he does not promise to give us signs or ‘lead our hearts’ in a certain direction, he doesn’t promise to guide by our feelings, or by dreams or prayers. He can guide in these ways, but he doesn’t promise to. So how do we know how we should live?
“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by His Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.” – Hebrews 1:1-2
God has told us how we should live in the bible, and we spent a lot of time thinking through what the bible says about God’s grand plan for humanity and his glory, why we trust the bible, and how to think through life issues from a biblical perspective.
Phillip Jensen (who did the evening talks) was really helpful in summarising how to work out what God thinks about certain things – “Matters that matter are in the Scriptures, if it doesn’t matter, it’s not there.” He also helped us think through issues by principles, if there aren’t specific commands, e.g. the bible doesn’t talk about driving, but it does talk about loving our neighbours and submitting to authorities.
There are a few things that stood out for me, so over the next couple of days, I’ll share some thoughts on things we learnt.
*The three main ways we study the bible were evening talks, seminars (in which we did a lot of bible flicking and reading), and manuscripts (where we read a few chapters of the bible over and over each day, but without verse numbers, headings or paragraph breaks). One of my favourite things about MYC is that you grow in your skills in how to read the bible well.