An ongoing relationship with God through His Word is essential to the Christian's victory! Making the study of God's Word a priority is undoubtedly the best place to start.
Beloved, we can't presently and actively believe God in our day-to-day challenges if we are not presently and actively in His Word. Romans 10:17 offers the most obvious link: "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (KJV). God's direction for our lives will escape us without the Word of God as "a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path"
(Ps. 119:105). Further, liberty in Christ becomes a reality in life through knowing and applying the truth of God's Word, not just taking our Bibles to church or keeping them on our nightstands. Psalm 119:11 implies that hiding the Word in our hearts is a major safeguard against sin. Ignoring God's Word is inexcusable if we honestly seek to live for Him.
Ephesians 6:17 states that God's Word is our Sword of the Spirit, but we have to learn how to use it if we want to be a powerful force for the kingdom and against the darkness. God set the standard with Joshua when He told him to keep the Word continually on his tongue, to meditate on it day and night, and to live by its commands. "Then you will be prosperous and successful" (Josh 1:8). With all my heart I believe living on and by God's Word is still the key to true success.
I seem to have a new favorite verse every day, but Hebrews 4:12 (AMP) is high on the list:
"For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart."
Don't miss the crucial tie between the Word of God and the people of God in this verse. God not only told us that His Word is alive, effective, and powerful on its own--He insisted that it is alive, effective, and powerful in us when we receive it. Pause and let that truth sink in. I'm convinced most of us don't begin to appreciate and assimilate this revolutionary precept. Unlike any other text, the Word of God has supernatural effects for those who receive it by faith. When we receive it by reading it, meditating on it, believing it, and applying it, the life of the Word becomes lively in us. The power of God's Word becomes powerful in us. The activity of the Word becomes active in us. The operations of the Word become operative in us. The energy of the Word becomes energizing in us. The effectiveness of the Word becomes effective in us. In fact, according to Hebrews 4:12, when we receive God's Word, it invades every part of our being, even the marrow of our bones and the motives of our hearts.
God doesn't speak just to hear the sound of His own voice. Interestingly, neither does He speak to be heard by others. He speaks to accomplish. This aim proves consistent from the beginning of time. Genesis 1:3 records the first words out of His mouth where humankind is concerned: "And God said, "Let there be light, ' and there was light." Isaiah 55:10-11 expresses the intention of His Word:
"As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."
God's Word possesses accomplishing power and achieving power. That's a fact. But I want it to have accomplishing and achieving power in me. That's why I'm very intentional about thanking the Lord for the quickening power of His Word in me, claiming and believing that He is energizing it to accomplish and achieve His desires. I welcome and receive its power in my life.
As I sit before God on my back porch every morning and place that day's schedule and petitions before Him in prayer, I receive my daily Bible reading like an athlete might eat an energy bar. I often read that day's portion of the Word aloud and actively participate in receiving it into my belief system. (I do this by taking a moment to meditate on it. I might ask myself questions such as: "Do I really believe these words? And, if I do, how does it show? How might I be able to act on the truth of these words today? How do these words apply to my present challenges and petitions today?" I also ask God to take those words and sow them deep into my otherwise deceptive heart and even into my subconscious mind.) I count on those Scriptures in my morning Bible reading to become active, energizing, and powerful in me that day. And they do.
Beloved, if your expectation of God's Word in your life has been small, I am asking you to consider giving it far more credit. Second Timothy 3:16 says, "All Scripture is God breathed," so don't just read it like any other inspirational or instructional text. Inhale it!
Jeremiah 15:16 says, "Your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God Almighty." Try Jeremiah's approach while you're at it. Don't just read God's Words. Receive them like a famished man at a feast. Whether we imagine inhaling it or devouring it, "let the word of Christ dwell in [us] richly" (Col. 3:16). Ask God to cause it to abide in you and bring its properties of effervescent life, power, and effectiveness with it. How about something moving into your life with some positive baggage for a change? Believe God to accomplish and achieve something eternal and intentional through your daily Scripture meditation. Grow in confidence that every word abiding in you has powerful effects.
When we receive Christ as Savior, the actual Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in us. God's Word has such an effect on a believer's daily life due to its vital association with the Holy Spirit. First Corinthians 6:19 refers to us as temples of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit has a strong connection to the Word of God. John 14:17 calls the Holy Spirit the "Spirit of truth," and 2 Timothy 2:15 calls Scripture the "word of truth." In the same way that sin quenches the Holy Spirit within us, Scripture quickens the Holy Spirit within us. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit by yielding to His lordship and we read and receive God's Word, something virtually supernatural takes place. You might think of it as internal combustion.
Let me explain. In Jeremiah 23:29 God said, "Is not my word like fire?" As we draw from this parallel, relating something we can't quite understand to something we can, picture the Holy Spirit like a flammable substance within us. Because oil was often associated with anointing in the Word, many scholars believe oil symbolized the Holy Spirit. For the sake of our analogy, imagine the Holy Spirit as flammable oil within us. Now imagine this oil flooding us completely as we seek and receive by faith the filling of God's Holy Spirit. Next imagine taking the torch of God's Word and combining it with the oil of the Holy Spirit. What is the result? The consuming fire of our God blazes within us, bringing supernatural energy, glorious activity, and pure, unadulterated power. If you like formulas, this is one I believe you can count on: Sometimes I actually feel the Holy Spirit within me quickening to the Word of God as I study it, mix it with faith, and pray to absorb it. Even when I don't feel a thing, I count on supernatural fireworks within.
God's says His Word is alive and powerful, and I believe Him. He also says His Word is alive and powerful when it's in me. Me: a bundle of faults, fears, and insecurities. Just think! My weakness is not strong enough to wound God's Word. Neither is yours. God does His job. He speaks to accomplish. We don't have to make Him. We just need to let Him.