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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Feb. 17, 2009

  • 2009 Feb 17
  • COMMENTS
 

A Word Filled Life

 

The only way for us to have the mind of Christ is to invite His leadership

into our lives by becoming filled with His Word so His Spirit

can use those words to sanctify (John 17:17), guide (Psalm 119:105),

defend (Ephesians 6:17), encourage (Romans 15:4), and feed our

spiritual lives (Matthew 4:4). In Colossians 3:16-17, Paul equates the

necessity for filling our lives with God’s Word with the filling of the

Spirit. Compare Ephesians 5:18-20 with the Colossians 3 passage, the

lists are identical, and lead to the conclusion that the fullness of the

Spirit is equal to His Word filling our lives!

 

A Word filled life is

God’s way of communicating with us.

 

Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes,

and I shall keep it to the end (Psalm 119:33).

 

You can’t be sustained, nurtured, and have life the way God

intended unless it is a Word filled life. Every time you open God’s

Word, prayerfully ask Him: Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous

things from Your law (Psalm 119:18). This is like going online and

downloading fresh, new, personal e-mail from God Himself. Have

you heard from Him lately? You can, as often as you want. Just

prayerfully open your heart before the Word of God and, like a wireless

device, your soul will start getting both encouraging and challenging

download messages” from heaven.

 

A Word filled life is

God’s way of recharging our batteries.

 

“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words

that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).

We expend strength daily in the battle of “plain old life.” We need spiritual

power to go on—to receive direction, comfort, and all God wants

for us in our spiritual lives. When we stop our busy lives to get in the

Word, it quickens3 us, giving life and power through the Spirit of God.

 

Look at the beginning of John 6:63: “It is the Spirit who gives

life ….” Perhaps you have been going through life in your own

strength and failed to realize whatever you do in the flesh “profits

nothing”—even if you are teaching a Sunday school class, or performing

other ministries in the church. You may even be doing a

personal Bible study without first connecting with God by praying,

“I want Your Spirit to speak to me. Teach and lead me through this

Book.” If you don’t connect with Him, however, and get charged

spiritually, it all amounts to nothing because verse 63 says, “… The

words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” Why go

through life with a dead spiritual battery and miss the vital calls

from the Lord? Read the Word daily because it is an essential, lifegiving

battery charger.

 

A Word filled life is

God’s way of giving us hope.

 

… Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us,

so that through endurance and the encouragement of the

Scriptures we might have hope (Romans 15:4 NIV).

When Paul wrote Romans (A.D. 55-58), only a handful of

New Testament books had been written (perhaps James, 1 and 2

Thessalonians, and one of the Gospels). So “everything that was written

in the past” primarily referred to the Old Testament. Have you

ever read through the Old Testament? Did you pay attention to the

type of people God used? Many had messed-up personal lives, family

lives, public lives, spiritual lives, and everything-else lives. But the

Lord changed all that.

The Word of God is the key that unlocks a Word filled life, a

constantly hope-filled life, no matter what your situation. In one of

my counseling sessions, after the person tearfully finished pouring

out the tragic details of a sinful life, I said, “You know what? The

Christian life is a series of new beginnings. Right now, you can

start over—all fresh, cleansed, and brand new with the Christ who

gives you hope!”

 

A Word filled life is

God’s way of cleansing us.

 

… He [will] sanctify and cleanse … with the

washing of water by the word (Ephesians 5:26).

Although the context of that verse is speaking of the various roles

of the Spirit-filled life, and it is a husband sanctifying and cleansing

his wife with the Word, the ultimate lesson is this: as you allow the

Word to fill your life, it will constantly sanctify, bathe, and cleanse

you. God wants this for every one of His children.

I used to work at a custom pool company where I ran a jackhammer.

If you run one of those things very long, you shake and sweat,

and get covered in crushed debris and dust. By the end of the day, the

first thing I wanted to do was take a hot shower to get clean again. So

it is spiritually. When Jesus washed His disciples’ feet, He reminded

them we all get our feet dirty as we walk through life.

As the day starts and after it ends are two great times to take

showers and physically stay fresh and clean. So it also is with staying

spiritually clean. Through the washing of water by God’s Word, He

thoroughly cleans us so we may freely come into His presence for

joy-filled fellowship.

 

A Word filled life is

God’s way of giving us weapons for victory.

 

… [Take] the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench

all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation,

and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God

(Ephesians 6:16-17).

The only offensive weapon we have in our spiritual life—the Sword

of the Spirit—is the Word of God. Is there something troubling you?

Some old habit, old fear, or old insecurity making you spiritually falter,

that keeps you wanting to go on the offensive? A Word filled life

provides you with the weapons for victory so you can … Resist the

devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7).

When you feel spiritually cold, you will know to Draw near to God

… (James 4:8). And when old shackles enslave you, you can remember

since “… the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John

8:36). Should you start feeling hopeless, you can recall Romans 15:4.

God expects you to use His Word as an offensive weapon to fight the

world, the flesh, and the devil as he attacks.

 

A Word filled life is

God’s way of teaching us discernment.

 

… Solid food belongs to those who are of full age, … those who …

have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil

(Hebrews 5:14).

 

You exercise spiritually by daily being in the Word of God. Your

soul needs constant exercise to grow strong enough to discern

between good and evil, what is pleasing to God and what is not, the

fruitful and what will be consumed at the judgment seat of Christ.

When I was a boy, my mother, an antiques buff, used to take me

to garage sales to help her discern between the real and the fake. She

especially liked Sterling silver and pearls, but because her eyes were

not good, and her teeth not her own, she needed my assistance. She

taught me the markings (British, European, and American), so by

reading the backs of the silverware I could easily spot Sterling. As for

pearls, Mom taught me to scrape them on my teeth to find the rough

ones—the genuine pearls. Perhaps you can spot real silver and pearls

because your senses have also been exercised, but have you exercised

your soul yet? Can you discern immediately if the direction a conversation,

relationship, or business deal is heading is not good? A Word

filled life is one in which your spiritual muscles get strengthened as

your soul receives daily exercise in the Word.

 

A Word filled life is

God’s way of helping us feel secure in Christ.

 

… Lay aside all filthiness and … wickedness, and receive with

meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls

(James 1:21).

 

To “lay aside” is similar in meaning to the putting aside of our

soiled clothes at the end of a hard, dirty day. Prior to receiving the

Word, you should put aside any sin that will hamper your humbly

coming to feast at the Lord’s table of fellowship. He promises: If we

confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and

to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Just as clean

garments at the end of a filthy day feel so very refreshing, so does

keeping clean accounts with God. Regular confession and cleansing

through the Word keeps our consciences clear so we can feel secure

in our fellowship and peace with Christ.

The opposite is also true, however. Sins that are not forsaken grieve

God’s Spirit and make you feel distant, then detached, and finally

feel insecure about salvation. Believers who sin act like unbelievers;

unbelievers who act like unbelievers soon feel lost and insecure.

 

A Word filled life is

God’s way of growing us so that we can taste God’s goodness.

 

As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may

grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious

(1 Peter 2:2-3).

 

A craving for God’s Word with the same intensity a baby craves

milk is characteristic of a Word filled life. Without that craving,

discernible spiritual growth is unlikely. If you do not have such a

desire for the Scriptures, pray 1 Peter 2:2 back to the Lord and ask

for a passion for His Word as you commit to the daily reading habit.

Then rejoice as you taste of His goodness by getting to know Him

intimately through His precious Word.

So, why live a Word filled life? It is God’s perfect way of communicating,

recharging your battery, giving hope, cleansing you, providing

weapons of victory, teaching discernment, helping you feel secure

in Christ so you can taste of God’s goodness. All those benefits of a

Word filled life can be distilled down into one verse: You will show

me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right

hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11).

The Lord God of the Universe wants to lead you in His perfect

path, to fill you with joyful fellowship, and to keep you secure in

His sovereign hand at work in your life. He also wants you to rejoice

in the knowledge that He created you to accomplish some specific

works for His glory. Look at Ephesians 2:10: … [You] are His workmanship,

created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared

beforehand that [you] should walk in them. Are you delighting

in the fact you are Christ’s workmanship—a beautiful work of art—

designed for good works? And that He has placed you here on earth

to accomplish something in particular for Him—something unique

and wonderful? Such truth is at the heart of why you should long to

live a Word filled life!

 

For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit  discoverthebook.org.

 

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