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The value of reading, meditating on God’s word

Our attitude towards the word of God, determines the place that God holds in our daily lives. The word should always be the father speaking to us. it should never be like words coming from an ordinary book. We should never treat God’s word as a common book. The word of God is living and active. Hebrews 4:12-13:

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“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”

In the above scripture, the word is given a personality — verse 13 states that there is no creature hidden from His sight. The word has eyes. It is the book that scrutinises my conduct. It feeds my inner man, my spirit. It imparts faith into my spirit. God’s only means of reaching me is through His word. The word is now what it was then during the time of the apostles. It takes the place of the unseen Jesus. It has the same authority just as if Jesus was talking to us directly in person.

The Father holds His word in highest regard. He has exalted it above His name. He is jealous over His word. He watches over His word to perform it. If He says it that settles it. To His enemies, His word is but paper and ink, but to us His children, it is life and health. It is joy unspeakable.

Any preaching that produces lukewarm conviction is caused by the absence of the word in the heart of the teaching.
Today, most of our teaching and preaching is laced with man’s wisdom, philosophy and motivational speaking. No wonder it is devoid of the power of God. Apostle Paul says his teaching was not with excellence of speech or wisdom of man or persuasive words of man’s wisdom but in demonstration of the spirit and of power that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but the power of God.

Sadly, most of us our faith is in the wisdom of man — our preachers and teachers, instead of the power of God. The word of man has gained ascendency these days. Our faith is now in the so called man-of-God instead of the God of man, no wonder our lives are barren. The word of God is the most valuable treasure one can ever have in their lives.

I like the way Job puts it, “I have not departed from the commandment of His lips, I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12).This is how much we should value God’s word. Believing in God, is believing in His word. We can’t believe more in God than in His word.

His word has to abide in us. “If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7-8). Every believer is in Christ, but His words are not in every believer. It is important to have His word dominant in our lives. Most of us are ruled by our five senses, what we hear, touch, feel, smell and see and yet as believers we should walk by faith not by sight.

Our mind must come under the dominion of our recreated spirit. There has to be perfect harmony between the mind and recreated spirit if we are to live victorious lives. The dominance of God’s word over our lives can only come through reading and meditating God’s word daily in our lives.

Meditation of the word is like a visit with Jesus. The word gets into your blood and life. His word has to become part of us. We become so lost in His word that His word is found in us.

His word is the righteousness of God. His word has healing power. His word is the recreating power for the unsaved. The word of God is His attitude towards us. It is His attitude towards sin and redemption. It is the bread of life. This is why we need to meditate on His word.

Meditation according to JI Packer, is the activity of calling to mind and thinking over and dwelling on and applying to oneself the various things that one knows about the works and ways, purposes and promises of God. It is an activity of holy thought, consciously performed in the presence of God, under the eye of God, by help of God as a means of communication with God. Its purpose is to clear one’s mental and spiritual vision of God and to let His truth make its full proper impact on one’s mind and heart. It is a matter of talking to oneself about God, it is indeed often a matter of arguing with oneself, reasoning oneself out of moods of doubt and unbelief into a clear apprehension of God’s power and grace.

Meditation is not some new age thing we do as believers. New age meditation is emptying our mind to clear it so “enlightenment comes”. It is not enlightenment that comes, but demonic forces and this is how you open yourself to evil. Godly meditation is the opposite of new age meditation. Instead of emptying our minds, we do the opposite by filling our minds with the word of God.

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf shall not wither, And whatever he does shall prosper.” (Psalm 1:1-3).

We can tap into a river so deep and so strong that we are planted solid, yielding fruit in every season of our lives. This is our position as believers. Being so nourished and connected to this source of life that our leaf never withers and whatever we do prospers should be our goal. We should never be affected by what happens outside of us because He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world.

Furthermore, in Joshua 1:8-9 God tells Joshua to meditate on His word day and night. He told Joshua that he would be bold, courageous, prosperous and successful. This would happen all because of meditation on God’s word. It is important to note that our actions are based on the patterns of our thinking. We can never be tempted by something that we don’t think of. You never do anything that your thoughts haven’t already carved out. You don’t do what you haven’t already lived out in your imagination. We follow our dominant thoughts.

Meditation, however, is not just memorising the word. It is understanding that the scriptures that are in us become part of our souls and this is what changes us. This is how Christ is formed in us through His word. Until Christ is formed in us, the world can’t see anything but religion in us.

Meditation becomes an image that sticks — which memorising just can’t do. Through meditation comes revelation and understanding. It is with this understanding that a truth will remain not fade away.

It is important that we receive the word in the same way it was given through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. One of the main challenges we face is how we misinterpret scripture and at times we just twist it to suit our situations.

Indeed, the word is the greatest treasure any believer can ever have “The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of coins of gold and silver” (Psalm 119:72). “Therefore, I love your commandments, more than gold, yes, than fine gold. Therefore, all your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right, I hate every false way.” (Psalm119:127-128)

We, therefore, have no excuse for blaming some of the preachers and pastors for being fake. It is our responsibility to read and meditate on the word of God so that we will not be deceived. Some of us are very lazy to read the Word. In this day of technology surely one can have bible on tape. I wish we knew how valuable the Word of God is to our lives.

Dr Doug Mamvura is a graduate of Charis Bible School. Feedback: drdoug@corporatemomentum.biz or Twitter @dougmamvura

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