The last few months, I have experienced a revival in my spirit. Genuine revival. I am happier than I have ever been.
I am, in fact, joyful.
It is not that my circumstances have changed (because they haven’t). It is just because my relationship with the Lord is flourishing.
My relationship with Jesus Christ is thriving.
My relationship with Christ is bearing fruit.
I attribute this to one truth alone: Applying the Word of God to my life.
My trials are still present. I still have great, not-so-great, and poor days, just like I did before this “thriving” took place. There is only one difference. Today, I want to discuss this with you all.
In James, we are reminded that we can’t just be hearers of the Word. Rather, we need to take God’s Word and start really believing His Word – and act based on His Word.
Will we choose to believe God’s Word is true?
Will we choose to act differently based on the truths God speaks to our aching hearts?
Doers of the Word
Take a few moments to read James 1:19-25.
Missing the Cure (An Example)
Let’s say I go to the doctor for a curable illness (go with me on this). I go to the doctor. I get the medication necessary to prevent this illness from becoming fatal. Not only does it keep me from worsening, this medication will heal me. But, what happens if I refuse to take this cure? What if I stubbornly say “Oh, I am fine. That’s not what I need. I need this instead.”
God’s Word is the Cure!
This is what God’s Word is for us. God’s Word is our cure. God’s Word has the power to save! As sinners saved by grace, we know the importance of God’s Word. God’s Word has the power to heal. But, like this medication scenario, what if we don’t treat it like the cure? A lot of us do this. We know God’s Word. But, we think there is a different, a better, cure. We don’t take God’s Word to heart. We don’t apply it to our spiritually dying spirit.
Ephesians 2 (A Mini-Study)
In Ephesians 2, we learn how detrimental our lives without Christ truly are. Read Ephesians 2:1-10 and answer the following questions:
- In verse 2, it reminds us that “we were dead in our transgressions.” What does it mean to be dead?
- What were our lives like before we came to Christ (see vv. 1-3)?
- According to the Scripture, what did we follow when we were dead in sin?
- How is it that we are now able to come to God (see vv. 4)?
- What is the difference between deserving and grace (see vv. 3-4)? How are you coming to a place of acceptance of His grace?
- How is the grace of God influential in your spiritual life?
- How is Christ reworking your spiritual life (see vv. 5-6)?
- From the Scripture, we know the difference is death to life. We are now alive with Christ. He has incomparable riches, in store for us. It is a gift solely from God, not something we could ever do on our own (see vv. 7-8). How has God brought you to a place of understanding about the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ?
- In verse 10, we are called His handiwork. God has prepared us in advance to do His work. Take a closer look at James 1:19-25. How has God prepared you to apply His truths to your life?
Truth to Remember: We are Equipped!
In James 1:19-25, we are reminded that God has given us His beautiful word. God’s Word is a treasure, but we have to deliberately apply His Word to our lives. What catches my attention is the truth that God has prepared me. He has given me His Word. Not only has He given me His Word, He lets me know that it can literally change my life. If I will take the necessary steps and give my life to God, He will enable me to . . . live it out.
I don’t have to wait until I finally feel better.
I don’t have to do it all on my own.
Because I have the gift of the Holy Spirit, God will equip me fully to carry out His Word in my life. I can lay down my “deeds of darkness” and put on the full armor of God, because God has equipped me. God has given me all the necessary tools for life. Not only for life, God has given me the tools for an abundant life as well. All I need to do is seek after God.
Take the Time to Ponder His Truth
When I have my quiet time, I need to consider if I am rushing my time with Him. If I am not feeling well, I really need to take the time to stop and meditate on what I have read. I may not have gotten to my full day’s study of Priscilla Shirer’s “Armor of God”. Maybe, I simply read a sentence. But, am I stopping to meditate on the Word of God and apply its meaning to my life?
Allow Him to Infuse Your Spirit
The other day while I was infusing (ha!), I was in a bad place. I was impatient. I was tired. I was having trouble breathing. I have my sad story of things that were distracting me from the very Word of God. My infusions are a time to do just that – to meet God, while saline is being infused into my body. While saline infuses, God’s Word infuses into my spirit.
I just need to allow God’s Word to infuse my spirit.
I need my daily infusion from God’s Word.
I need to stay plugged into Him, and let other things pass by – without allowing them to become a distraction.
God’s Word Brings Life!
In this passage, we learn the significance of applying God’s Word to our lives. It is our cure. Unless we allow it to have its effect on us and our lives, our time might not be as productive… We need to allow the Word of God to penetrate our hearts, but not stop there. We shouldn’t just say “well, that was a good read” then move on.
We need to allow God to have His way with us, through His holy Word. When we allow God’s Word into our lives, it will change us from the inside-out.
We will have joy.
We will have a holy courage.
We will have a greater faith in God and what He says He will do.
We will act like we believe what God has said.
We will be encouraged.
We will not be as distracted by the things of this world.
We will not give into sin, that separates us from God. We will still struggle with sin, but it is a totally different experience when we surrender control to God – and allow His truths to move mountains in our lives. That old sin that tripped us up on a daily basis, has nothing on us anymore.
Our lives are changed.
For the better.
We will remember what we look like, and not forget the moment we close our Bibles. We will actually remember what we read, ponder its truths, and see how we can honor God by giving Him that area of our lives.
A Practical Example
God’s Word is powerful! When we allow God’s Word to effect our lives, our situations will radically change. One of the most powerful things I have learned the past few weeks is – When we humbly accept the truths of God, He is given control over that situation that has stressed us out. For example, I have a friend whom I haven’t gotten along with over the past few months. The problem was that I didn’t choose my words carefully. But I humbly accepted God’s help, I began to pray, seek godly counsel, and get into God’s Word (the Bible) regarding the circumstance. Over a few weeks of intently being reminded that I needed to hand it over to God, I finally did and God worked everything out. It became a time of just learning how to apply certain Scriptures. Namely two come to mind.
Forgive others, as Christ has forgiven you.
Do unto others, as you would have them do to you.
It was a time of doing good to those who didn’t seem to want to do good to me. It became a time of learning to literally become a doer of the Word. As I have grown in this area of being a doer of the Word, I am learning that God can take care of my situations. But, I have to be willing to give them to Him. I have to be willing to hear out God and allow Him the priority – over every other voice I hear. While there may seem like some good worldly advice, I have chosen to put God’s advice at the top of the list. I have chosen to make God’s Word a priority.
Make It a Priority
I need to make the Word of God my highest priority!
I know, I am far from perfect.
I am a mess, and not even a beautiful mess.
But through this circumstance and others, I am learning that I need to treat God’s Word more seriously.
While I was in the middle of my impatient tantrum yesterday, I read one piece of Scripture that grabbed ahold of me.
“You have laid down precepts, that are to be
fully obeyed (Ps. 119:4, TNIV).”
Take a step back, my friend.
Reflection: How can you go through God’s Word at a slower pace (verse-by-verse), so you can make sure to ponder how you need to apply it to your life? Not tomorrow. Not next week. But, how can you live out God’s truths – starting right now?