(The Information & Edification Series – Batch 9)
In his love, God has given us his Word, the Bible, as a necessary staple in our lives. He intended for us to use it. In fact, it is so important that we literally cannot live successfully without it.
Have you ever thought though, what exactly does God wants us to do with his Word? In contemplation of this today and based on what his Word says, there are some main things that he wants us to do with his Word as follows:
- BELIEVE His Word
God wants us first of all, to believe his Word, that his Word is true. His Word says, let God be true and every man a liar. You have to believe his Word and in particular, the testimony of his Son the Lord Jesus Christ, in order to be saved, justified and regenerated in the first place and to be brought into relationship with him through his beloved Son the Lord Jesus Christ. He wants us to believe his Word even after we have been saved by faith. He wants us to continue to believe his Word, which is why Jesus’ disciples would have asked him when he was here on earth, to help their unbelief. For, yes they believed on the Lord Jesus Christ but there was the inclination, as also exists today with Christians, for doubt to creep in. Our prayer if we are Christians therefore, should be help thou our unbelief, even as their prayer was back then.
2. KNOW His Word
God wants us to know his Word. If we don’t have knowledge of his Word, we would not know what is right and what is wrong. The Word is there as a compass and as a guide for our existence, to lead us into the paths of righteousness and to give us the wisdom that we so greatly need.
The Bible tells us, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15). The Lord wants us to know his Word therefore, not to operate from a place of ignorance. This should never be the portion of any of us as Christians because we have the Bible and in a language that we can understand.
3. READ His Word
In order to know God’s Word, we must read it. The Lord wants us to read his Word and to spend time doing this. We must therefore take time away from our busy schedules to do so because his Word is worth reading.
4. MEDITATE ON His Word
There are those who read God’s Word but mindlessly. That is, they read but their minds are far away. God wants us to not just read his Word therefore but to go a bit deeper and meditate upon it. He wants us while reading and even after we have read, to meditate upon the truths contained in his Word, the lessons, principles gleaned and the wisdom gained from it.
His Word tells us that the purpose of his Word is “…for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). He therefore wants us to reflect upon what it says, the principles, the lessons observed from those who would have made mistakes, so that we can avoid them, the insights we can gain into God’s character, his will for our lives, what he likes and what he does not like. Indeed, it is in reading and meditating upon the Word, that we will gain wisdom because we learn more of who God is and of his will and he is the God of all wisdom.
5. APPLY His Word
The Lord wants us to go further than reading and meditating upon his Word. For, what would be the sense of reading and meditating on his scriptures, if we are not applying them. If we are honest, this is challenging, as our flesh wants to do everything other than to apply the Word of God because the flesh wants its own will. The spirit that is within us, which has come from God, is willing but our flesh is weak. The flesh within us is unruly and constantly needs to be subdued by the power of God’s Word.
God therefore wants us to apply the Word. If we just read and meditate on it, we would be like that man which the Bible speaks of, who looks into the mirror and sees his face but then turns away and forgets what he looks like. He forgets what manner of man he was.
Having read and meditated upon his Word therefore, God expects us to put it into practice or else, we would be nothing more than hypocrites. We would be merely fooling ourselves (since we can never fool God) if we are not doers of his Word. Reading the Word, meditating upon it, knowing it and claiming that we believe it is not sufficient to please God. He wants all this to translate into obedience. We must apply the Word to our lives, as it is the doer of the Word, that one which puts the Word into practice, that is blessed, nobody else.
James 1:22-25 states:
- “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”
Given that applying God’s Word means to obey it, this calls for sacrifice because it involves us deciding and being determined to engage in an ongoing process of crucifying the flesh that is within us, which is so unruly and egoistical, that it wants to have its own way and to do its own thing.
6. DECLARE His Word
If we are applying God’s Word by obeying it, it would naturally lead to us declaring it and this is what God wants us to do. He wants us to declare his Word, meaning to talk about it and to say it. His Word tells us that men do not take light and put it somewhere where it is hidden. That would not make sense because the purpose of a light is for it to shine and to give a dark place light. It is intended to infiltrate and penetrate the darkness and undoubtedly, as Christians, we are today in a world that is very dark. It is so dark that it an be described as gross darkness.
In Isaiah 60:1-3, the Prophet spoke of the gross darkness that would characterize the world but then spoke of the hope that there would be in the light which represented the Lord Jesus Christ.
- “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.”
God’s Word, which is Jesus Christ, is light and if we have been regenerated, we now become bearers of that light, Jesus being the Word (John 1:1-14).
Matthew 5:14-16 states:
- “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
As Christians therefore, God wants us to declare his Word. He wants us to shout it upon the housetops, metaphorically speaking. In Matthew 10:27, Jesus, in sending forth his disciples to go and proclaim the gospel, told them: “What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.”
We need to tell people the Word. The Bible says that we should preach the Word in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2). That means irrespective of how you are feeling, whether you are in a good mood or a bad mood, whether things are going well for you or not, whether you have a lot of money or not, whether you are single or have someone, whether you are having a mountaintop experience or experiencing a very low valley, whether you are considered popular and important or considered to be nothing of significance and an outcast.
We need to therefore be giving people the Word and when it comes to those who are not yet saved (UNBELIEVERS), the most important aspect of the Word that we need to be declaring is the gospel of the saving grace of Lord Jesus Christ, which is available, free of charge. For as long as a person remains in the land of the living and until the Lord returns, this saving grace is available to him or her, at no charge, simply to be accepted or received through faith in Jesus Christ.
God wants us not just to declare the Word to unbelievers so that they might be saved but also to our BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN THE LORD. We need to lovingly declare the Word of God to fellow Christians who may be in need of rebuke because they have veered unto a path that is displeasing to God and so, need the Word to bring conviction and hopefully repentance. We are to approach them humbly and in love, mindful that we too could find ourselves in a similar situation and our objective in giving them the Word is to get them back on the right path.
In telling our fellow brother or sister what the Word says with the right motive and in the right spirit, we then allow ourselves to be used by God to being conviction where necessary.
Of the body of Christ, Jude vs. 23 states:
- “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”
Galatians 6:1-2 states:
- “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”
When Peter, in the Bible, began to veer off the path of the Lord’s will by separating from the Gentiles who had become Christians, so as to please the Jews around him, Paul confronted him and rebuked him, upon the authority of God’s Word.
In Galatians 2:10-16, Paul, stated:
- “But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I SAID unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.“
At other times, a brother or sister in the Lord may need to be reminded of what God’s Word says because they are facing some temptation and need help to overcome or are going through some kind of situation where they are dealing with so much, that they have either put God’s Word on the backburner of their minds, forgetting that he has the solution to all of life’s problems and seemingly forgetting what God’s Word says. We are therefore to position ourselves for times like these, again in love, to declare what God’s Word says, as a reminder.
We may need to declare it to other Christians as well for the purpose of counsel. Christians may seek us for advice on an issue or even when they have not, we may approach them with counsel from God’s Word, based on the wisdom that we have gleaned from it. When we see our fellow brothers and sisters in a quandary therefore where they don’t know what to do or are unsure about some issue, we should be in a position to provide good, sound advice from God’s Word, to them. We can place reliance on whatever the Word of God has to say about the issue and can therefore boldly let them know, “Thus saith the Word of God”.
If a a brother or sister is feeling down-in-the-dumps (as can sometimes happen) or is going through some trying or turbulent time or adversity, we have a responsibility to give them the Word as a means of encouragement and to bring comfort, as only God’s Word can do. This can for example, be done when someone receives bad news about a loved one or about their health or where their hopes have been dashed and they are dealing with a loss or disappointment. Sometimes, giving just one verse, as led by the Lord, can be so timely, that it brings a great deal of solace and serves as a source of strength and refreshment to that troubled soul.
We must also declare the Word to bring edification to the saints because we want to see all Christians grow in knowledge and grace. This may involve us using our gifts along with talents, to declare the Word to fellow believers. For men who are called to serve on the pulpit, this may involve teaching the congregation. For women, it may involve reaching children through a Sunday School, reaching women in a Women’s class of some sort or creating a blog or website to reach Christian women with messages of what God’s Word say.
We must also declare the Word of God to ourselves because there are times when we need to be reminded of what it says, especially given that we have this wicked flesh within us. We need to tell ourselves what the Word of God says when we feel tempted, weak or discouraged. The Bible tells us that when David felt down because the men spoke of stoning him, he encouraged himself in the Lord (1 Samuel 30:6-8).
When we feel weary therefore, as if we can’t go on and want to give up, God expects us to apply his Word to our lives and our situation. He expects us to declare to ourselves the truth of what his Word says. When we are tempted to do wrong or to engage in something that displeases him, we may need to rebuke ourselves with his Word. The Lord expects us to remind ourselves of what his Word says and in so doing, find the strength not to do what our flesh wants to do.
By no means does this mean that we must say, “I declare…” as some denominations do. When I say that we must declare God’s Word, I mean that we must say it (whether verbally our internally in our spirit), share it and give it.
We must also declare God’s Word to ward off attacks from the enemy of our soul, the devil and to silence him. This is needed if we are going to be successful in the spiritual warfare that is waging.
We saw this demonstrated when Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness. He withstood all of the enemy’s attacks by declaring the Word of God and within the right context. He consistently replied, “It is written” to all of the enemy’s wiles, quoting what the Word of God had to say about the situation. In so doing, he was victorious over the temptation.
We must do the same today, given that the devil’s tactics, strategies (which we are not ignorant of) and his evil intent have not changed. The Bible tells us that we must submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from us (James 4:7). One way to resist is to declare what God’s Word says whenever the enemy and his minions come to try to bring discouragement, trouble or to get us to take the wrong path in disobedience to God. We saw this demonstrated when, after being confronted by the truth of God’s Word, which Jesus declared and all his attempts to tempt him failed, the devil left Jesus, although for a season (Luke 4).
Following our Lord’s example, in this ongoing battle, we must not cower in fear and retreat or surrender in weariness and defeat. Yes we are weaklings but it is written:
- “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39).
We must therefore take up the Word of God in our tongues and quote what it says, when fighting against the evil one and to silence him. For, the Word of God which is the Sword of the Spirit is sharper than any two-edged sword.
In speaking about the weapons of the Christian’s warfare, Ephesians 6:17 tells us, “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”.
Hebrews 4:12 states:
- “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
When the enemy comes therefore, trying to get us to think of anything else but the truth and to try to impress his lies upon our hearts and minds, we need to say, irrespective of what you are saying or how you want me to feel, the Word of God says or it is written. Of course, this declaration should be coming from a place where we believe the Word of God or else it would make no sense declaring the Word of God.
7. LOVE His Word
God wants us to love his Word, to take delight in it and to rejoice…
In conclusion, all of the aspects of what God wants us to do with his Word are related and collectively, can be regarded as a formula for success. If we are honest, most of our problems, if not all, stem from us not doing one or more of these things that God wants us to do, when it comes to his Word. Some claim to believe his Word but hardly ever read it and therefore, have little knowledge of what it says or they read it but don’t take the time to meditate on it or to declare it. Some claim to believe and that they declare the Word of God but only on the pulpits and in routine public platforms in the Church, nowhere else. Then there are others who profess that they believe but they don’t apply the Word of God in their personal lives. There is a disconnect between what they say and what they do.
It is hoped that, in going through this list and examining yourself, even as I did, you will tell God where you have failed and ask for his help in doing all that he wants you to do with his precious Word.
(Written on 26th and 27th August, 2023)
Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be informative, beneficial, edifying or interesting, you may also be interested in reading the following:
- Note 16 – ‘What Is The Bible?’
- Note 192 – ‘Attitudes And Approaches To The Word Of God’
- Note 231 – ‘Are You A Doer?’
- Note 247 – ‘This Book’