Is There A Word From the Lord?
I had the opportunity this past January to go away for 36 hours on a private, spiritual retreat. My husband held down the fort while I checked into a hotel with some snacks and my Bible. I'd never done anything like this before, so I was excited (and a little nervous) to spend time praying and reading the Word and perhaps gaining clarity on the stirring in my spirit that I had been experiencing. I expected to pray long prayers; I was open to visions or dreams; I anticipated a new calling or direction for ministry, but none of those things happened - at least not during those 36 hours. It turned out that God's plan for our time together involved me reading the Bible for 30ish hours - hours I would now describe as both a bath and a feast.
During those precious hours, I read through the New Testament and the book of Daniel. Never before (or since) have I consumed such large portions of Scripture in such a short amount of time. In hindsight, I am certain that the Lord was strengthening me - holding my eyelids open and filling me with a hunger for more and more truth. I came away from that weekend with two major thoughts:
1. "Note then the kindness and the severity of God..." Romans 11:22
We want God to be one or the other, but after reading so many Scriptures in a row I was struck by the fact that He is both kind and severe.
2. The reading and remembering of Scripture is essential for disciples of Jesus. Over and over the Bible instructs us to read, study, meditate, memorize, speak, and teach God's Word. It is an obvious and repetitive refrain - one I had never noticed by reading one chapter at a time.
For it is no empty word for you, but your very life
Following that weekend of Bible study I was filled with new appreciation, reverence and reliance upon God's Word. I desired to know the wisdom within, I desired to soak my tired heart in it's pages, I desired to have large portions of God's truth floating around in my head and my mouth all throughout the day. These were things I had not previously wanted and the wanting itself was a gift from the Lord. It has been said that the more time you spend with something the more precious it becomes, and this certainly rings true. It seems the more time we spend feasting on God's Word, the hungrier we become.
This website/blog is a direct result of the weekend I spent with the Lord. I felt called to increasingly enjoy, honor, and teach God's Word in my home and to encourage other believers to do likewise. When I look at the state of our world, the thing that scares me most is the growing number of Christians who have no idea what the Bible says. Christians, we NEED to know the truth, because if we don't, we will unknowingly adopt the untruths peddled on every corner. Followers of Christ, we NEED to spend time each day within these life giving words because they are the light to our path, the anchor for our soul, the standard by which we measure everything, and our daily sustenance. Church, we NEED to pour God's breathed-out words through our minds and hearts daily so we can be washed and renewed and transformed. These are not empty words, they are our very life!
"Is there a word from the Lord?"
One of our pastors recently preached a sermon on Jeremiah chapter 37, and the above passage stood out to me in ways it never had before. How interesting that King Zedekiah, who did not listen to the Lord (vs.2) and who went to such lengths to silence God's prophet, would later come secretly to inquire whether or not there was a word from the Lord. The answer Jeremiah offers applies to us today as well. The answer is yes. Yes, there is a word from the Lord - but, like Zedekiah, we might not like what He has to say.
Does God have something to say about marriage? Why yes, yes He does. Does God have something to say about money? Turns out, He has a lot to say about it. What about food, or clothing, or fear, or parenting, or entertainment, or gender? Is there a word from the Lord? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding "Yes!" God has spoken. He has provided all we need for life and godliness, and we must be faithful to seek out His wisdom and prayerfully apply it to EVERY AREA of our lives.
Here are three questions that I try to ask myself often:
1. What does God have to say about _____ ?
2. Do I believe God's ways are true and good and more wise than mine?
3. How then should I live?
You see, we are in grave danger if we do not know the truth that God has graciously revealed through His word. And we are in grave danger if, in knowing that truth, we disregard it as outdated or too hard or less weighty than our own understanding. And finally, we are in grave danger if in knowing and believing God's truth we lack the courage or discipline to walk in His ways. This is not easy but this is what it looks like to be a disciple. And thankfully, we have a Helper - God's very own Spirit. Our gracious God has not required of us anything that He has not already provided.
What are you struggling with today? In what situations or relationship could you use wisdom? God has something to say; the question is are we ready to listen?
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work.
The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.
For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.
Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts. I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep your word. I do not turn aside from your rules, for you have taught me. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
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