Christmas is drawing near, and there is much to do. As I began my annual leave this week, ready to do it all, I dreamt, or thought, or heard this phrase – “Be careful of distractions from the Word.” It made me pause in my steps, and contemplate my ways. We need rest. We need to keep the Sabbath. We need to abide in Christ. There were a few moments recently when I felt “off guard”, when I felt somewhat unprepared for the situation. God remains faithful, and His foundation remains strong, but if we do not have His word day in and day out, the light of our witness wanes. God’s word is life, it is rest, it is discernment, and it is our guide. His Word works in us and through us.
“There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience, For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” – [Hebrews 4:9-13]
—————- THE BENEFITS OF GOD’S WORD —————-
- God’s Word is REST
God created the heavens and the earth, but He rested on the seventh day – an example to us, mankind, made in the image of God. With technology and science, it seems we are cramming more and more into the hours of the day. Things are faster, we are less patient to wait, and days, months, and years fly past in a flurry of activity. Where is rest? I believe it is found in the Word of God. There is a rest for the people of God, a home for the wanderers, a shelter for those in the desert. God’s rest lies in faith, and in believing all His promises are “Yes” and “Amen” in Christ [1 Corinthians 1:20]. It gives us the ability to be fully satisfied, to have peace and assurance in all our living. We have this because we know our home is with Christ; we know He gives us purpose and identity; we know that He loves us. When we hear God’s word, and hide it in our hearts, we enter into God’s rest, knowing that His word is true, and His promises never fail. We abide in Him, and He with us.
- God’s Word is LIVING AND POWERFUL
Throughout the Bible, we see the power of the Word of God time and time again. Cities fell, lives were transformed, and miracles were seen. The Word of God is not stale; it is not simple an ancient text. No, the Word of God hold living, tangible, power with visible effects. In 1 Corinthians 2:4-5, Paul says, “And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” The reason the Word of God is powerful, is because it is living, and it is God. Jesus is the Word of God and the Holy Spirit helps us to understand God’s Word. The Word of God accomplishes God’s will completely.
“These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with the spiritual.” – [1 Corinthians 2:13]
“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” – [Isaiah 55:11]
- God’s Word DISCERNS OUR HEART
Sometimes we do not know our own heart. As a doctor, I see so many people lost in their identity. They do not know who they are, who they are meant to be, what they are meant to be doing. Yet, God knows us completely. Even when we are lost, God knows where we are. He knows the paths around us. He knows our struggles, and He knows our joy. He knows our purpose and He has given us the means to find it, to live our life to the fullest. Someone at work said to me one day, “Why are we even put on this earth,” and I replied, “So that we can live!” God’s word gets past all our defenses, and make us vulnerable as who we really are before the eyes of our Creator. But, it is in this vulnerability, in this understanding of our own heart, that we find purpose and identity. It is in this surrender and release of ourselves that allows us to truly live as we are called to live on this earth. God’s Word gives us this discernment to see ourselves, and come before God in surrender.
“Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.” – [Jeremiah 15:16]
—————-WHY ARE WE DISTRACTED? —————-
With all that God’s Word provides, why do we still get distracted from it? It is human nature, it is sin, it is the arrow of the enemy, but it is not unconquerable. Through the Holy Spirit living in us, we understand the rest, the power, and the beauty of the word of God. The Holy Spirit gives us a longing for the Word, and a passion for it. As we persevere in intentionally meditating on God’s Word, we will find ourselves thoroughly equipped for every good work. We will find ourselves closer to God, more confident in our living, and more effective in witness.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, will all longsuffering and teaching.” – [2 Timothy 3:16-4:2]