Psalm 73:23-25 (NKJV)
Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
When a product comes with instructions, I read them. Plain and simple, I start with step on and work my way to the end. I am a rule follower. Although plagued by a rebellious nature and sinful disposition, I still do not like to get in trouble. I would rather sleep well at night knowing that I have done nothing to draw the attention of my authorities. This works in my favor when it comes to my relationship with Jesus Christ, as well as my detriment. I have been set free from the Law of God by Jesus Christ. But I am bound to God’s Law by my covenant with My Savior and Lord by choice. This world is not my home as I am transitioning through a process of transformation to fully accept my position as Child of God. I need God’s Counsel every day to continue this journey. I need the Grace of Jesus Christ to keep me in right standing as I tender to wander off. I need the Holy Spirit to guide me in safe passage through this life until it is my turn to step into His Glory forever. All three members of the Trinity are essential partners in my life. God’s Word is vital in my success. It is not a classic to thrown on a shelf with Dickens and the like but a powerful resource in my completion. Those who carelessly toss aside the instructions to throw away with packaging of any product will most certainly be disappointed when things don’t turn out as they expected. How will such a person know what went wrong? How will they correct the problem? Where will they go to redeem the satisfaction guarantee that comes with it? We must seek to know God through His Word to successfully finish the Good Work that He has begun in us.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV)
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Godly inspiration will never lead to fulfillment without His Instruction. We are His Creation. We are His Work. He completed the design plans for our life long before we were born. Without the Word of God, we cannot know the Way of God or His Will for our life. At our high school graduation banquet many, many, too many years ago, our youth pastor presented each graduate with a leather-bound copy of “God’s Word for Every Need”. A collection of key verses and scriptures chronicled according to our needs. Eureka! As a young person, I wanted to read the Bible but it seemed so boring, old-fashioned, and confusing. Now I was armed with a troubleshooting guide for my heart so that I could get out of any bind that I found myself in. I cherished that little book and used it often but it did not stop me from eventually wandering far from the Lord and living in the land of the lost for a period in my life. Isn’t that the case for most people who do not open the Bible until they have exhausted all other resources to find an answer for the problem, restoration for their heart or healing in their body? All scripture, every single word is by inspiration of God. It is infused with His Breath. What if rather than picking up the Book of Instruction last, we decided to apply it first to our life? What might happen?
The Word of God is profitable in our life. Now that I have graduated from the little handbook to the Bible, I have discovered that when I apply God’s Word first that I seldom have to pursue any other resource. His Word is profitable for doctrine. Doctrine is a collective teaching of our covenant with God. It is what we believe and completely explains God’s Commitment to us and His Intentions. It also tells us what He expects, too. Churches develop their own doctrine based on the beliefs of those who organize the congregation. We must know what we belief to discern whether or not that body of believers is for us. It is a reproof. It reprimands and rebukes us by expressing strong disapproval of the sin in our life. The Word of God offers correction. Correction is not a bad thing. Pride is what makes us think it is. Correction is something offered or substituted for an error as an improvement. We give the Lord our sin and He gives us grace. Finally, the Word of God is direction, guidance and instruction on the Will and Way of God for our life that leads to our completion. God wants us to lack no good thing in our life. His Word spells it out for us.
John 16:13-14 (NKJV)
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.
The Word of God is the Voice of the Holy Spirit. I grew up in a church that identified the Holy Spirit as a silent partner in our life. But this is not the case, He is the Spirit of Truth who guides in all truth speaking not on His Own Authority but whatever He hears the Lord say and He tells them to us. Jesus told the woman at the well, “True worshippers will worship in Spirit and Truth.” (John 4:23) He gave us His Spirit now we must consume the Truth to give His Voice precedence in our life. As we continue to pour over the Truth or the Word of God, the Holy Spirit works it through our life filling the gaps, closing the holes and chasing away the lies that are robbing us of His Blessing. If you do not know the Holy Spirit is in you, it may be because He is silenced by our own ignorance of God’s Word. The Word of God is inspired by God. The Spirit is holy inspiration coming from the Breath of Jesus Christ. Together they impact and empower our life for fulfillment and completion according to God’s Plan that holds our future and hope.
Ephesians 4:11-16 (NKJV)
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
If I went to the local hardware store to purchase a new gas grill let’s say, it now belongs to me in its current condition which is a box of parts that with proper assembly will turn into a shiny, stainless steel cooking machine for my husband to make glorious meals upon. When I get home, if I choose to put it in the garage in the box without putting it together. It will not serve its purpose. Or maybe I decide to put it together but ignore the instructions, it may not work properly. Or perhaps, I had the store put it together for me. The only problem now is that they kept the box and instructions so if something goes wrong, I have no idea how to fix it or what is potentially out of place. But if I purchase the grill, bring it home, read the instructions and properly put it together – the grill will serve its purpose in our life. Do I really need to put this together or say anymore? God’s Word only works in our life when we use it. To never open it, apply or use it in our life, limits our potential according to God’s Plan. He wants us to be complete lacking no good thing and measuring up to the fullness of Christ. Jesus Christ died so that we could be made righteous before God and have everything He planned and purposed for our life. It is a good plan with a future and hope that requires worshipping Him in Spirit and in Truth. Anything less limits our life. You may not be an apostle, prophet, evangelist or pastor…yet. But you are to work in the ministry of love set before you by the example of Jesus Christ. Edification is the moral improvement of God’s People. It is instruction, enlightenment and improvement for our life. It is all found in His Word as God completes His Good Work in us.
James 1:2-6 (NKJV)
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
The Word of God is our safety net when everything in our life falls apart as we know it, want it or desire it to be. God’s Word catches us and holds us with His Promises. You will face various trials in life. The only hope we have at surviving these tough times is our reliance on Christ. We need His Word to catch us when we fall, keep us from running and give us something to hold on to until the storm passes. Those who have faced devastating circumstances will relate to this. Wisdom of God is essential to storm survival. You will rely on every fiber of truth that is in you when the world as you knew it ceases to exist. He becomes your joy. He will be your peace. But only if you know Him, His Word and His Spirit firsthand, up close and personal. You can never spend too much time in the Word of God. It is the Truth that calms our fears and ends all doubt. God will tell you what He is going to do if you will wait patiently for Him to come!
I Corinthians 10:23 (NKJV)
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.
My covenant with God through Jesus Christ makes all things lawful in my life. I can do anything and never escape the Love of God. However, not all things are helpful, not all things edify and not all things are beneficial. Hence, I am often times my own worst enemy. I must have a willing mind to allow God to change it. (2 Corinthians 8:10-12) The Truth does not change. I do. If I want to be complete and measure up to the full standard of Christ, it is me who must yield to the Spirit of God according to His Truth. The Word is the sword by which I cut all ties to this world so I may have a solid soul tie with the Lord. (Hebrews 4:12) It is my commitment to Christ in covenant to be complete. (2 Corinthians 13:10) It is by His Spirit and Truth that I get the job done!
Romans 14:16-19 (NKJV)
Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.
You must know what you believe today! You must have credible faith in a living God, saving Son and moving Spirit. His Word must be alive in you. I challenge each of you as the Lord has challenged me to know Him more. This is the only way that we can be sure to have His Will and Way in our life so that we leave no promise unclaimed or purpose unfulfilled. Be complete. Measure your life according to the Glorious Standard set forth by God in His Word. If your life does not measure up, then troubleshoot to see what is keeping you from having all that He promised. Do not put down the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God but learn to use it effectively so that you will be complete lacking no good thing just like the Lord has promised.
Isaiah 58:11 (NKJV)
The LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.