Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Psalms 119:89
I often think back about where I was pre-Jesus, because sometimes this journey seems so daily that it’s easy to forget how far I’ve come. Sometimes I think I should be so much further in my Christian walk. I never want to glorify my previous life style, but only allow God to redeem what was and be glorified by what now is. I remember that insecure teenager on a Greyhound bus traveling seven hours from home, alone, never to return. I remember the scars of betrayal, the disappointments of the past, and the countless things that held me in bondage. Who was that little girl that tried to make a way for herself when she was 16, 17, 18, and 19 years old? That girl who worked two jobs just to survive, drank until she blacked out, dressed in skimpy outfits to attract attention, smoked, and cursed like a sailor? Where did she go? Rumor has it she died. Don’t mourn for her… celebrate! Galatians 2:20 (CEV)- I have died, but Christ lives in me. And I now live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave his life for me. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)- This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! It’s been 20 years. I’m thankful that even though I’m not where I would like to be, I’m nowhere near where I used to be!
There have been many things in my Christian walk that have shaped me, molded me, and helped me to grow in my relationship with the Lord. My mind wanders back to those days as a new Christian. Crying through every worship service at church, receiving healing from so much pain in my past, and so hungry for more of the Word of God. Still feeling the tug of the enemy to go to clubs and hang out with that same crowd. I made some bold moves to get myself into a place where I could grow in my new relationship with the Lord. I lost friends. I moved out of my condo with my roommates and into an apartment by myself. I said good-bye to a boyfriend because I knew we were unequally yoked. All such a small sacrifice compared to what my Jesus did for me.
The One thing that has caused the greatest change in my life then (and now) is the Word of God. I ate it up. I woke up every morning by 5am, made a big pot of coffee, and just read His Word. I could not get enough of reading Gods Word. Then on the weekends I would sit out by the swimming pool with Bible and highlighter in hand and just soak it up (The Son and the sun)! There were many other things that helped to shape and mold me but to this day my greatest joy is found in His Word. And what I love about Gods Word is that it never stops changing you. You never ‘arrive’. We are constantly growing and being changed by His Word.
Hebrews 4:12- For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. I am changed, challenged and refreshed by His Word. The Word of God is living and breathing and every time I read it I am amazed that it never gets old. He breathes His Spirit into my spirit as I read it. And on those days where I am just overwhelmed, His Word gives me peace.
I think a lot of us have felt at times like we should be farther along on our journey. We are all on a brave journey to find out what He has for us to do and then do it. Apart from Him I can do nothing, but with Him I can do all things. He makes me brave. And the only way I can be filled up with His brave Words is to give myself daily time to reflect on His Word. As you can tell, I am passionate about God’s Word and I believe that loosing yourself in His Word is the key to living a victorious life.
John 1:1- In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Here in John we read that the Word is from the beginning of time. Not only was the Word with God, but also the Word was God. And the more we read it, meditate on it, and live by it, the more we’re getting to know God, hearing His words for our lives, and being changed by it. I am in His presence when I am in His Word.
I remember a time when I got so busy, that the things of this world started to crowd out His Word. I started relying on my own strength to try and get things done. I was more irritable and felt like there wasn’t enough time in the day to do everything. “What is wrong with me?” I thought to myself. I felt exhausted and was focused on all ‘my’ stuff. And after a time of struggling to do everything and figure everything out, I realized my time with the Lord and in His Word were no longer a priority and I was laboring to do everything on my own. Oh, I still said my prayers for people as I was driving around or getting ready in the morning. But I hadn’t stopped in a while to sit and reflect- reflect on God and on His goodness. Psalms 46:10a– He says, “Be still, and know that I am God. I had allowed the cares of this world to get in the way of the One who made this world.
Here’s the cool thing about God- He doesn’t give us the silent treatment or the cold shoulder. Oh no. He’s waiting for us, with arms wide open, to get back into sweet fellowship with Him. This really defies all human understanding. If we have a friend or spouse who’s been ignoring us, we start to put up a wall to protect our heart. Our feelings are hurt. But God doesn’t forgive like humans forgive. And he doesn’t respond the way people do either. He is waiting for us, always, His heart open towards us. And even though we still break His heart at times, He always takes us back. If you don’t believe me, do a study on the book of Hosea.
So there you have it, the thing that’s brought the most change in my life and continues to do so- His Word. I am unashamedly a Word girl. I depend on His Word for my hope, encouragement, and strength. Whenever I am feeling insecure or I am feeling unsettled and need His peace, I know I need to open the Bible. And afterwards I feel His peace once again. Without His Word, I would quite possibly still resemble that lost little girl headed to nowhere fast on that Greyhound bus.
Lord, sometimes we read your Word and our hearts have become dry wells and it’s hard for us to get excited about it, but Your Word is living and breathing and active. Lord, open my eyes to see and my ears to hear. Help me to fall in love once again with Your Words to me. Cause me to hunger and thirst for more of You. I want to fall in love with You through Your Word. I give You permission to change and challenge me through it. I commit to make it a habit to start reading your Word again- not out of obligation or to check off some checklist, but because I desire all of You. I love You Lord and I am so thankful for Your life giving Words to me this day. In Jesus name, amen.