For the past 3 to 4 years I have been starting each new year with a fast. This year 2009 though was slightly different in that the Lord told me to fast for 3 days instead of the normal half-day. So, I went ahead with it and over those 3 days gave God thanks for the blessings of 2008, and asked for His continued guidance and strength for 2009. Also, I told Him of my struggles and the things in my life that I wanted to see change. Towards the end of my fast, the Lord laid a simple instruction on my heart that He wants to use to steer me through this year and beyond – “Let the word do the work”. This is what I want to share with you. We are living in very challenging times. Every country in the world has been hit by an economic recession. Millions around the world have lost their jobs. Many are stressed and worried about the future. Many people are finding it hard to cope. In addition to this, in our own personal way, we face all kinds of challenges, whether they be family, emotional or health-wise. However in the midst of all this, there is hope. God is ready, willing and able to provide for every need in our lives. However the key to understanding how He will do this is by the knowledge and application of His word – the Bible.
In this article, I want to share a few thoughts with you about God’s word and what we need to do for it to start making the impact in out daily lives that God wants it to. I truly believe all the answers we need to life’s issues are in the Bible. I hope and pray you will be blessed. The Lord has laid on my heart 4 things we can do for the dynamic power of His word to be activated in our daily living.
1) Recognise and believe in it’s effectiveness
For God’s word to work in our lives, we must believe that what God says in the Bible is what He will do. Faith is essential here. In fact, without faith it is impossible to please God at all (Hebrews 11:6). At times what God instructs or promises in His word may contradict what we may be feeling or experiencing. For example, you maybe facing some tough times in your workplace, home or at school. However God promises you in Romans 8:28 that “all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” You now have a choice to make. Will you have faith to believe that God can work out your problems to your advantage? Or, will you believe that your difficulties will ultimately leave you worse off? If you choose to believe God rather than your feelings, then God will act upon His promise. Below are some further reasons why we should believe the word of God:
– It is called “the sword of the Holy Spirit.” (Ephesians 6:17). In Ephesians 6:11 we are told to put on the whole armour of God that we may be able to stand against the strategies and deceits of the Devil. The word of God is the weapon the Holy Spirit uses on our behalf in this warfare. In fact, everything God does is governed by His word.
– It is “living and powerful” (Hebrews 4:12).
– It always produces the results that God desires. In Isaiah 55:11 God declares “My word..shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish what I please and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
– We live by it. In Matthew 4:4, when being tempted by the Devil, Jesus stated “…man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from God.” This shows how essential it is for us to give God’s word priority in our lives.
– God’s word is backed by His perfect integrity. Numbers 23:19 states “God is not a man that He should lie nor a son of man that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”
– The word of God only works effectively if we believe. 1 Thessalonians 2:13 states “…the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.”
2) Meditate on it
Another important step is to meditate on the word of God. In other words, we must study the Bible and think about the scriptures – even to the point where we can repeat them back to ourselves. Sometimes when reading the Bible, people are focused on reading many verses or chapters. Although the commitment to reading is good, we must guard against reading the scriptures just for the sake of it. If we do, we may read a lot, but risk not allowing what we are reading to “soak in” to our minds and hearts – merely reading with remembering or understanding much or anything of what has been read. Meditating on the word of God causes us to really set our minds keenly upon a given scripture or set of scriptures. For example, if I need a job, the Holy Spirit could lead me to just one verse – Philippians 4:19 which says “… my God will supply all your need according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus.” Meditating would involve reading and thinking about this scripture constantly over a period of time. At this point, the Lord could then speak to me in a personal way about the scripture, cementing it in my heart. As this takes place, the word of God is working in my mind, allowing it to focus on His promise of provision instead of all the doubts and fears that may have been there before.
Meditating on God’s word is great. Remember what John 14:26 says, that the Holy Spirit will “bring back to remembrance those things that I (Jesus) have told you.” The Holy Spirit can only cause us to remember those things we have committed to memory. As we meditate on the word of God, it becomes ‘real’ to us and influences the way we think, and ultimately the way we live. The following scriptures show the benefits and necessity of meditating on the word of God:– Joshua 1:8 – “…but you shall meditate in it (word of God) day and night, that you may observe to do all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”– Psalm 1:2,3 – “…but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.– Isaiah 26:3 – “You (God) will keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”– Romans 8:5,6 – “Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things that gratify the fleshly nature, but those who live according to the Holy Sprit set their minds on the things that gratify the Holy Spirit. For to be fleshly minded is death but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
– Romans 12:2 – “…and do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
– 1 Timothy 4:15 – “Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.”
3) Speak it by faith
The third key to seeing the word of God impacting our lives is to speak it out by faith. In today’s age, there are many preachers/teachers believe that we can use the promises of God in His word like a formula to get what we want. They often encourage us to “speak the word and it will come to pass.” I do not fully agree with this approach. Yes I agree that we should speak the word of God. However I believe that we must speak the word of God from a heart that genuinely believes in, seeks, and obeys God. Jesus said in Matthew 12:34 that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” This simply means that what we say will be a reflection of our innermost thoughts, attitudes and desires. Therefore we cannot be living a life contrary to God’s will then be speaking out His words, then expect that to work. There must be a consistency between how we live and what we say. Having said all this, speaking God’s word is powerful. Below are some scriptures that reinforce the fact that God’s word when spoken by faith will yield results:
– Deuteronomy 30:11-14 – “For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. It is not in heaven that you should say ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear and do it?’ But the word is very near you, in our mouth and in your heart, that you may do it”
– Joshua 1:8 – “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth but you shall meditate in it (word of God) day and night, that you may observe to do all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
– Proverbs 18:21 – “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
– Romans 4: 16,17 – “Abraham, who is the father of us all (as it is written ‘I have made you a father of many nations’) in the presence of Him whom he believed – God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things that are not as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, ‘so shall your descendants be.'”
4) Obey it
This is the last step and without doubt the most important. Without obedience and application, the proceeding 3 steps fail completely. For God’s word to have any effect or place in our lives at all we must obey it. This is the ultimate desire of God’s heart towards mankind. Throughout the Bible, God promises to bless those who keep (obey) his commandments faithfully.
– Matthew 7:27 – “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock; and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
– James 1: 22-25 – “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”