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May 24 2010

God’s Word is Like . . .

People often ask me if I have a life verse.

If I do, it is Jeremiah 15:16, “Your words were found and I ate them, and your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart.” It’s kind of my testimony. I was going nowhere in a hurry and I found this book God wrote and began to feast on it like a soldier devouring his last meal. When the Word of God is absent from my life my heart is hungry. When I feast on the Bread of Life, my heart overflows with joy.

I love the vivid pictures with which the Bible describes itself.

FIRE
“Therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of Hosts, ‘Because you have spoken this word, behold, I am making my words in your mouth fire and this people wood, and it will consume them’”
(Jeremiah 5:14).

I experience the reality of that Scripture on a weekly basis. I have the privilege of standing before thousands of people with God’s Word in my mouth and seeing the incredible impact that it makes. I see the truth penetrate their hearts, grip their minds, move their emotions, and, best of all, engage their wills toward transformation. God’s Word is like fire; it consumes people’s hearts.

SWORD
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than and double edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart”
(Hebrews 4:12).

Not a knife or dagger, but God’s Word is a sword, the weapon of hand-to-hand combat. The sword of God’s Word cuts to the heart of the matter. Ephesians 6:17 says, “And take . . . the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God.” When Satan is trying to tempt us or discourage us, it’s the Word of God we use to defeat him. Amazingly, Jesus Christ Himself used the Word of God as a sword to deflect the temptations of the enemy (Matthew 4:1-11). Can we afford to do less?

HAMMER
“Is not my word like . . . a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?”
(Jeremiah 23:29).

If God can’t get to you with the fire or the sword, guess what? The hammer’s going to fall. Many of those whose lives have been changed by the Word of God reference a time when their hearts were very hard and God had to break them. And it was painful. Nobody wants to meet the hammer of conviction and change. That is why the Scripture exhorts us, “Today, if you would hear His voice, do not harden your hearts” (Psalm 95:7-8).

SEED
“Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever” (1 Peter 1:23 NKJV). In one of His parables Jesus said, “The seed is the word of God”
(Luke 8:11 NKJV)

A seed starts so small and takes time to grow. Similarly the Word of God starts to work in our hearts, but it takes time. Sometimes we have to hear the same thing several times before it really starts to connect. In the same way, God’s Word planted in the human heart will bear much fruit over time, but it requires a willingness to plant the seed by faith and wait.

MILK
“Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow”
(1 Peter 2:2).

We were born with our mouths open. What mother’s milk is to little babies, so the Word of God is in the life of a sincere person of faith. I don’t see adults crying because they haven’t been physically fed, but how many are filled by anxiety, fear, and discouragement because they have neglected God’s only provision for their spiritual nourishment?

MEAT
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word or righteousness”
(Hebrews 5:12-14).

If you’ve known Christ for any amount of time at all, you find yourself saying, “Isn’t there more?” The answer is yes! There is more–the meat of God’s Word. Milk is like the elementary or basic things of the Bible. “But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice, have their senses trained to discern good and evil” (v. 15).

LIGHT
“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path”
(Psalm 119:105).

Here’s the great thing about light. If you’re walking around in the dark, you will stumble over stuff and hurt yourself. The Word of God works in our lives so that we don’t walk down dark alleys anymore. We don’t make dumb mistakes. If you know what it is to be perplexed about an important decision hanging over your head, then you understand the value of having God’s Word light your path.

MIRROR
“For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror, for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effective doer, this man will be blessed in what he does”
(James 1:23-25).

God’s Word shows us ourselves! It confronts us with truth and convicts us about our true need. If I have a blob of mustard on my face and, after looking in the mirror, forget to rub it off, how silly would that make me? So the real power then is not in the words exclusively but in my doing what the Word of God says.

I can personally testify to the power of God’s Word when I’ve invited it to drill down into my heart, driving indifference and complacency from my soul. Long before I proclaim God’s Word in our church service, I sit alone in my study with His Word and invite God to change me, to hammer the reality of what God is saying into my soul. I ask Him to fill my heart with faith as I focus on His words and to accomplish His purpose in me as Isaiah 55:10 promises.

God is faithful to His Word and we who place ourselves in the flow of that unceasing work are the continual benefactors.

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