“The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.
They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.
By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward."
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I love the Word of God! Filled with God’s promises and powerful Kingdom truths, it has sustained me through a myriad of seasons. I also love a word from God – delivered by dreams, visions, prophetic messengers, a moment in worship, response to prayer… God is actively speaking to His children in many ways! And the number one way is through the written Word of God, against which everything else must be brought into alignment.
As we see in Psalm 19, David too loved God’s Word. Whether he had just defeated the world’s largest man, was on the run from his previous mentor Saul, faced the torment from his enemies or just received his inauguration as king – David made a habit of going back to the Word of God. And so should we! I’ll admit that as someone who has grown up in church, there have been times when I took the Bible for granted and didn’t understand the power of the words contained within it. I have grown to realise that for a Spirit-filled believer, the Word of God is a precious gift and ultimate guide by which we can navigate through life here on earth.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” | 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Ok, let’s break Psalm 19 down into digestible pieces…
From simply reading the first few lines, we gain some insight on the characteristics of the Word of God. We see that God’s Word (referred to as the law, statutes, precepts, commands and decrees of the Lord) is:
“Perfect” – complete, we can neither add to nor take away from the Word of God (Deuteronomy 4:2)
“Trustworthy” – though we may experience disappointment and betrayal from others, we can rely on truths in God’s Word in all circumstances
“Right” – a moral barometer in a time where the line between right and wrong is very much blurred
“Radiant” – a source of light in a dark and fallen world
“Firm” – never changing, does not yield to surrounding circumstances (Isaiah 40:8)
“More precious than gold” – God’s Word is more valuable than the most valuable commodity in the world. Now that’s a big statement!
“Sweeter than honey” – taste and see, speak it out, declare it and see the fruit of the Word of God in your life (Joshua 1:8)
So what does the fruit of spending time in the Word of God look like?
Often in church life, we hear of times in worship bringing refreshment to God’s people. Private and corporate worship are opportunities to drink from God’s presence and experience refreshment to our soul and spirit, like water provides refreshment to the body. I believe that we can experience that same refreshment each time we read the Word of God. As we study and meditate on scripture, we receive the spiritual food that God has for us, giving us nourishment to continue to move forward in the purposes of God. For me, I have experienced the greatest refreshment in God’s Word during dry seasons. When I have felt parched with nothing left in me to give, going back to the promises of God has sustained me to walk through that season.
I know I’ve said it in a previous post that God longs to pour out His divine wisdom on us (James 1:5), we only need to ask for it. Now, that doesn’t mean we sit around doing nothing until we receive wisdom, we already have access to it through the Word of God! As we partner with God to seek His wisdom by reading His Word, He will give us even more. Have you ever found yourself in a new situation with no previous reference point, and you didn’t know how to respond? Or in a season where you needed to make one big decision after another? It’s moments like these that we become grateful for the scripture sealed in our hearts, empowering us to make wise decisions, from the little everyday decisions to the big life-changing decisions.
Just like refreshment, we can not only be filled with joy in God’s presence (Psalm 16:11), but also by digging in to His Word. Joy is greater than happiness, it’s greater than a good feeling. The joy of the Lord transcends all circumstances, it lifts us above our current emotional state and is experienced at a spiritual level. It’s a response to salvation, God’s presence and encountering God through the Word. As we read the Word of God, full of God’s promises to us, we are reminded that our present circumstance is only temporary. We are reminded that God makes all things work for our good (Romans 8:28). We are reminded that God’s plans for us are to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” | Psalm 119:105
A common area of need and prayer request among Christians is for clarity and direction, to know where we are going and how to get there. This makes sense, given that our desire is to walk in the will of God and to not stray from it. The best place to start for that guidance? The Word of God. All the dreams, prophetic words and prayer in the world don’t amount to much without God’s Word as the lens through which we look to what lies ahead. Think of God’s Word as a compass and your life as a bush through which you need to navigate through unfamiliar terrain, without phone reception or sign posts. Without a compass, you wouldn’t get very far, would you? Though we may not see what the end game looks like, God points us to His Word to help illuminate our path and show us the next step.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edge sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joint and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” | Hebrews 4:12
The more we read the Word of God, the more we understand the heart of God. We grow in knowledge and revelation of who God is, who Jesus is, and have a better picture of the One whom we are called to become like. To build on that, when we are open and receptive to the Word of God, this allows the Lord to minister to our hearts and bring correction where it is needed. As a result, our hearts are brought into alignment with God’s heart. This is probably the most uncomfortable fruit produced from reading God’s Word! I can’t tell you how many times I have had some sort of ill feeling toward someone and then I’ll open up the Bible and read:
“Love your neighbour as yourself…” | Mark 12:31 OR
“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” | Matthew 5:44
This more often than not results in a wrestle with God, who of course always wins in the end. However, never have I regretted allowing God to use His Word to examine my heart. It’s always worth it!
Reading the above fruit that comes from reading the Word of God, you may find that you identify with one or two more than the others. What we draw from God’s Word tends to look different in each season and is generally reflective of what we require in that season. I have had seasons where I needed to hold on to God’s promises like nothing else, as a reminder that my circumstances were not permanent and that joy was my portion. I have also had seasons where I needed to turn to God’s Word and use it as a heart health check, to protect my heart from allowing bitterness to creep in and bring it back into alignment with God’s heart. In my current season, the Word of God has been a source of wisdom to make numerous decisions, as well as illuminated my path to give me vision for the future.
Which fruit do you most identify with in your current season? Leave a comment below!