Happy Sunday friends! I hope you are having a restful and refreshing weekend. I have absolutely LOVED this month's discussion on flourishing, haven't you? If you have missed out on some of the discussion you can catch up here. Before we get too far in today's post, let's revisit the scripture passage that lies in the middle of this topic.
This passage in scripture clearly lays out the "how to" of gaining God's favor. That's right. I think we would all agree that we want to please our heavenly Father and receive a... pat on the back should we say? We long to find ourselves in the position to have our Father say He is pleased with us. Well right here in these four verses lies the key to God's favor upon our lives -- committing ourselves to His word.
That children's song says it all. The bible IS the book for us. It's purpose is to help us flourish in this land (earth) that God has given us for this time. If we didn't need it God would not have commissioned around 40 authors to contribute to its contents under the direction of the Holy Spirit. No, we need the word of God! We would be ignorant and lost without it. The sad thing is, even WITH the bible at our disposal, many remain ignorant, and dare I say, lost.
The New King James Version says, "Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul." Ladies, we need to commit ourselves to the word of God. Commit ourselves to reading it and commit ourselves to knowing it. Realize those are two completely different things. If you're like me I can read something five times when I am distracted and not know what I read. We can't just read the word, we need to know it. As the NKJV says, we need to get it in our hearts and in our souls. Internalize it. Know what it means. Live what it says. Commit ourselves to it.
Obviously the first step is by being committed to read it. We have to open it up and get into it. And I want you to get this commitment part of it. Commit to reading it. Too often we let business and, if we are honest, laziness stand in our way of being consistent in our bible reading. Can I tell you something? The devil would like nothing more than for you to fail in your commitment to the word. Scripture describes the bible as the sword of the Spirit. Of course our enemy wants to catch us with our weapon down. Ladies, we need our sword to fight. We need to make the commitment to pick of our bible and read it.
Commit yourself to the word by committing it to memory. As Deuteronomy 11 says, "Tie them to your hands and wear them on your foreheads as reminders." I would encouraged you to not literally tie the word of God to your heads or wear them on your forehead (aren't you glad some customs have changed?!)... but I would encourage you to make reminders. Memorize scripture. Post scripture around your house, your desk, in the car, where ever you will see it. Remind yourself of what the bible says. There will be times when the devil tells you lies. Fight it off with scripture. There will be times when circumstances seem to contradict what you thought to be true of your heavenly Father. Fight off that doubt with scripture. There will be times when you don't know what to do in a situation. Fight off that fear with scripture. When you have been consistent in your bible reading, committing scripture to memory, and setting out "truth reminders," your sword will be sharp and poised for battle whenever the enemy attacks.
Commit yourself to the word by pledging allegiance to the authority of scripture. We have to hold that the bible is not A truth, but THE truth. We have to commit ourselves, yes to reading the word, but also to following the word. We have to obey God's word regardless of how we feel about it. As you may have been reminded at times in your life, sometimes the truth hurts. Sometimes the truth is hard to handle, and we even wish it were not the truth. The bible may not be easy for everyone to consume, but it is the truth. When our thinking doesn't line up with the bible, the discrepancy does not lie within the bible, it is within us. There is only ONE truth and it is the word of God. We have to pledge allegiance to this word.
We also commit ourselves to the word by talking about it. Deuteronomy 11 tells us to "teach it to our children. Talk about them (the words) when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up." We need to let the bible infiltrate our conversations. You know, many of our conversations couldn't be further from the word of God, but we can change that. We need to change that. We need to talk about the word, teach the word, meditate on the word. Speak the word and let your children see it in action. Let them hear you quote 1 Corinthians 13 when your love is running out. Let your friends hear you claim healing by quoting, "By His stripes we are healed." Let your co-workers hear you say, "I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you've received it, it will be yours." Fill your conversation with the bible.
Commit yourself wholeheartedly to the word of God. Commit.
When we bind ourself to the word of God and bind it to our lives we thrive, we prosper, we are successful... we will flourish.