The Word of God - Part 1
I am finding that like Israel, too many of today’s Christians know about God, but unlike Moses, they don’t have a real experiential knowledge of God in intimacy and fellowship. I am also discovering that the primary reason behind this is the lack of being in the word of God. Most of the churches that I have polled had fewer than 1% of the congregation that had even read the entire Bible. Do we really believe that the Bible is God’s word to us? Do we really believe that, “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”?
The Bible is God’s self-revelation to His people. He said, “man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.” (Deuteronomy 8:3). And then He tells us what every word from His mouth is: “All Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV). You cannot have the fullness of God’s life apart from His word. And not just bits and pieces of His word or pet scriptures, but the whole word of God, every word that proceeds from His mouth. This is the basic root of the church’s deplorable condition: weak, powerless, carnal, immature, unfaithful, disobedient, and idolatrous. As Peter said, “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious” (1 Peter 2:2,3). Everything God does comes through His word and His Spirit. You cannot grow and develop properly apart from abiding in the word of God. He has imbued His word with all of the necessary ingredients for our nourishment, transformation, and growth. You cannot grow properly through Sunday sermons, books and tapes, or any other form of the regurgitated word. You can only grow through the pure milk of the word straight from the mouth of God under the unction of the Holy Spirit as you spend personal time searching the scriptures. And He has even given us an incentive to desire His word: He gave us a taste of His graciousness when He saved us. We should crave the word of God for no other reason than just to know better Him who has been so gracious to us even when we were still sinners!
Our supreme purpose as Christians is to know God intimately and experientially. There is no higher calling in the kingdom of God. All of the works we do for God are secondary to knowing Him. In fact, all of the works we do for God are really in vain if they don’t come out of an intimacy with God. And you cannot know God apart from His word. The word of God not only reveals God to us, but it has an inherent power to communicate or impart the experience of God to us. It has power to save us, transform us, heal us, deliver us, convict us, produce faith in us, sanctify us, revive us, and much more. And yet it is the most neglected aspect of the average Christian life. Is it no wonder that the church is in the sad condition it is in?
Our biggest excuse for not being in the word of God is a lack of time. But the truth is, it is more a matter of choice and priority. If the word of God is truly our life, how can anything else be more important? God has made every one of us equal by giving us each 24 hours in the day. The only thing that separates us in our relationship to God is how we choose to spend our 24 hours. Jesus brought this out in Luke: “And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41,42). Notice the importance Jesus puts on this: “one thing is needed.” There is something more important than all of our busyness of pursuing the American dream: it is hearing the voice of the Author and Finisher of life itself, Jesus Christ. Mary made a choice: she chose to sit at the feet of Jesus over and above the busyness of this world. She set aside other things for the more important thing. If we don’t have time for God in our busy schedule, something is seriously wrong with our priorities. And as long as God's word is on the bottom of our list of things to do, we will never find true life and everything we have done will be in vain. Do you really think that you can stand before the Lord with the excuse that you did not have time for Him?
Jesus said, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3). Eternal life is knowing God, intimately and experientially. This can only come through His word and His Spirit. God and His word are one. If you really believe that you have intimacy with God without abiding in His word, you are sincerely mistaken. God will not have a part–time relationship or a once in a while guest. If He is not your first love, the Lord of your life, your supreme desire, your highest priority, then you need to reexamine your Christianity. As Jesus said,
“And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?’ So he answered and said, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’ And He said to him, ‘You have answered rightly; do this and you will live’” (Luke 10:25-28). If He is the Word, then how can we claim to love Him if we don't also love His word? (Meditate on this for a while!)