Love and Need for God’s Word
I love God’s Word. In it, I find understanding, hope, comfort and correction. I also find wisdom, contentment, and strength. Through it, I grow closer to God. Without His word, it takes me very little time to drift from His side. I try to spend time in prayer and study every day, but there are days that I allow myself to be distracted by the world. However, the more time I spend in God’s Word the more I realize the absolute need for His Word in my life. The more I realize prayerful study is my most certain path to knowing God. In every passage and in every word He reveals Himself to me, but only what He knows I am ready for, and that changes every day as I grow.
John MacArthure’s Insight
I listened to this interview with John MacArthur and others discussing the Church and God’s Word this last week, and the first question asked was; “What is the biggest threat to the Church in America today”. And his response just hit me pretty hard. John MacArthur’s responded saying – “Clearly a lack of Biblical knowledge, Biblical discernment; The Church basically suffers from Spiritual AIDS. You could die of a thousand heresies because it’s immune system is so totally deficient. There is an inadequate understanding of God (and) an inadequate understanding of the nature of Christ.”
Now I thought about that for some time, and you know how dangerous that is if he is right? How easily can we be misled if we do not understand God’s Word?
Look at Romans12:2
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
How can you do that in today’s world? How can you prevent being conformed to it, but instead transformed by a renewal of your mind? Only through God’s Word revealed to us through His Indwelling Spirit… look at Proverbs 2:6-15
“For the LORD gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
guarding the paths of justice
and watching over the way of his saints.
Then you will understand righteousness and justice
and equity, every good path;
for wisdom will come into your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
discretion will watch over you,
understanding will guard you,
delivering you from the way of evil,
from men of perverted speech,
who forsake the paths of uprightness
to walk in the ways of darkness,
who rejoice in doing evil
and delight in the perverseness of evil,
men whose paths are crooked,
and who are devious in their ways”
And that is just one passage in Proverbs reminding us that the source of understanding the is the Word of God and for us that is the Bible. In it, we find the only source of truth and understanding.
The Gift of the Holy Spirit
But we cannot tackle it alone. John MacArthur, in his book, 'Why Believe the Bible' by John MacArthur explains it better than I can; he references Psalms 119:18.
“In Psalms 119:18 “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” God didn’t just give us the law (the Scriptures). He also has to open the eyes of our understanding and He does this as the Holy Spirit illuminates our minds. Truth is available, but only those who are illuminated will understand it.”
So before I open God’s Word I ask Him to open my mind to give me understanding. Let’s look at Romans 12:2 again… “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
How can you be transformed, other than by an understanding of God’s Word? Where can you test and discern what is God’s will except by the scriptures, (God’s Word)? By what means can you know what is acceptable and perfect? You can go to Church and you can go to Sunday School and Wednesday night services or Small Groups, but without a foundation in the Word, you are trusting your salvation on what you think you hear someone else saying. Imagine if the only way you learned to drive a car was listening to someone else explain how it is done without ever letting you see for yourself. But so often we will go to Church and let someone else tell us what the Word of God holds for us. They may be the greatest preacher or teacher in the world… But until we take the time and trust God to show us what He has in store for us, we are living off the crumbs and morsels of someone else’s meal. It will not truly fill you up… but it should make you hungry for more.
I think of 1Peter 1:13-16 “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
Paul warned Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:14-17 “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
I will quote only one more scripture. It is John 4:10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” God’s Word is to us living water from Genesis to Revelation. With it, we can know the God that breathed the universe into existence and yet loved us so much that He gave His Only Son to die that we may live… if we simply believe. But we must be certain that our faith is based on the truth of His Word and to do that we must know it… (I could quote a couple more here but I promised. You might look at Matthew 7:7) and stand strong… (Ephesians 6:10-20)
Are you getting a sufficient quantity of Living Water every day or do your run the risk of becoming dehydrated and susceptible to the confusion that comes with dehydration?
I give thanks to God for his Word every day – Living water that fills me with wisdom and hope!