If we really are called to live our lives aligned with God’s holiness (and since the Lord himself said “be holy as I am holy,” I’m pretty sure that’s the plan), then consistent accessibility to the plumb line is critical. This is why I’m so committed to Wycliffe’s goal that all peoples on earth can not only access God’s Word, but that they can access His Word in the language and form that will serve them best, that will impact their hearts and minds.
This external plumb line gets internalized when the heart and mind submit to the One true God as Savior and Lord. This, too, was God’s plan. Look what He said through the prophet Jeremiah:
“The day is coming,” says the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant, though I loved them as a husband loves his wife,” says the Lord.
“But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day,” says the Lord. “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
[Jeremiah 31:31-33 NLT]
Imagine the potential impact of having the plumb line internalized–not simply through sheer will and rote memorization, not by dogged adherence to the law and fanatical displays of frenetic faithfulness, but by ultimate relationship.
I know that sometimes I’ve spiritual-fantasized about how wonderful it would have been to live when Jesus physically walked on this earth. I’ve imagined how being with Him would have given me a clear view of what a plumb-life looks like.
He says, however, that I’m wishing after the wrong thing–that what He provides is better. This internal plumb line is Him not next to me but embedded in me.
“But now I am going away to the one who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going. Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you. But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged.
“There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’….”
[John 16:5-15 NLT]
This new covenant–this internal plumb line–this Spirit of the Living and Holy God living within those who trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord, this is the best plan of all.