Abiding In the Word - Under Its Authority!
Good Morning!! I just LOVE this time of year SO MUCH! My husband and I got to go on a long beautiful walk the other evening and when we got home I realized that the strawberries in my garden are going crazy! This time of year exercising is more accessible, and great fresh food can be grown in your own backyard! Summer always reminds me of getting healthier. We exercise a little more and nourish ourselves a little better. For the past several weeks we have been challenged to pay just as careful of attention to our spiritual health as we do our physical health. We have been answering the question, “How do we ABIDE in Christ?” We answer this because we know that apart from HIM we can accomplish Nothing! We have been challenged to Abide in Christ through PRAYER, and today we will begin talking about another way to Abide in Christ. Abiding in His Word!
First of all it is extremely important to understand that “Abiding in Christ” and “Abiding in the Word of God” is synonymous. John 1 begins this way, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” Verse 14 goes on to say this, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son…” Jesus IS the Word and The Word is Jesus in the flesh who lived among us, and died FOR us! In fact the “WORD” means “Expression of thought.” Jesus is the very expression of God’s thoughts and will being accomplished. When God wanted something created that He had thought up in His heart and mind, He SPOKE the Word and it came into existence! Nothing was made without the Word – Jesus! When He became flesh and made His dwelling among us He spent His life revealing God’s will to us! In fact, He is the final revelation of God to us this side of Heaven! Jesus, the Word of God, was God’s complete and perfect expression of His desire to redeem mankind! “Faith comes by Hearing the WORD of God!” So then, we can clearly see that if we choose to spend time Abiding in God’s Word we are choosing to spend time Abiding in Christ! Jesus says in John 15:7-8, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” He tells us right here that if we want to remain IN HIM, His Words need to remain IN US! Colossians 3:16 tells us to “Let the Word of God dwell in us Richly!” If His Word dwells in us then SO DOES HE!! His Word needs to take up residency In Us, NOT AS A SERVANT OBEYING US, but as our MASTER SUBDUING US! Oh, how many times do we try and make the Bible obey our own thoughts and desires. We will often pick just one or two verses we like that we can take out of context or twist to fit our agenda and we use them as some sort of spiritual back up and justification for our actions. This should NOT be the role of the Word of God in our Life! We do not bring the Word of God into our lives so that it can serve US and Obey our Desires! If that is the case, we have never surrendered to God as LORD over us, we still think we are Lord over Him! If this sounds harsh I want us to consider how we treat and view the Word in our lives. When my husband and I talk to parents of young children who are struggling because their kids are trying to rule the roost we will often describe to them what we learned and established in our home VERY early on! You see, we learned a very valuable lesson with our precious baby boy who came into our home with the pre-conceived notion that he should be in charge. We began to establish with him that he had the whole thing backwards. You see, He came INTO OUR LIVES, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND! He was going to learn how to come under OUR authority, be trained by that authority, and loved by that authority! He became part of the truth that was already established. He did not get to dictate life because he had no idea was what good for him. He didn’t get to set the rules because he did not understand what could mean life and what could mean death. I say this because we often have the whole thing backwards. We are born into the family of God and somehow have this crazy notion that we get to be the ones in charge! We demand of God what should or should not happen. We take His Word and try to make it come under OUR authority. We distort it so that it becomes what we want it to be and from there false doctrines and religions are born. The TRUTH is that when we are born into the family of God we come under the authority of God Almighty! We bend our hearts, our lives, and our knees to His WORD! I want to ask us today if, when we open God’s Word, do we come UNDER that authority? Are we being TRAINED by that authority…so that we may know the LOVE of that authority? There is much to discuss about abiding in the Word, but I feel like we cannot progress any further until we take time this week to ask God to search us and show us if His Word exists in our lives as a Servant to obey US, or if we have so surrendered ourselves to God that His Word has mastery OVER US! Do we allow the Word of God to bring our thoughts into Subjection to HIM? Do we allow His Word to bring our actions and our will into subjection to HIM? Do we let the Word of God pierce us with its mighty power, separating our soul and spirit and discerning the thoughts and intentions of our hearts? “All Scripture is God-breathed and it is used for teaching us, rebuking us, correcting us and training us in righteousness, 17 so that (WE) the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The benefit of coming under our parent’s authority is that we are taught, and corrected, and trained in such a way that we are ready and equipped for each new phase of life. The greatest joy for us as parents, though, is watching our kids learn how to personally come under the Authority of God’s Word as well. That is a transition we ALL so desperately need! This week let us ABIDE in the WORD. Let it take up residency in our hearts, not as a servant, obeying us, but as our Master, having Authority OVER US!
Scriptures: John 1:1-14, 2 Tim. 3:16, John 15:7-8, Col. 3:16