When my husband, Tim, and I were separated for six months, due to me discovering his infidelity with prostitutes, Tim was the first one to accept that God's Word is 100% true. It took me longer to get to that place. I had grown up in a church where only portions of God's Word were taught, usually the ones that had feel-good stories or moral lessons we could learn from. Because of a Greek mythology class I took in college, I likened the stories of the Bible to those ancient myths.
After Tim and I came to a true faith in Jesus and were reconciled, we both began to dig deeply into God's Word. I took many Precept Bible studies which helped me to slow down and observe what Scripture had to say. But the key to growing in my faith in God has been the application of His Word to every area of my life. For Tim, he not only applies it, he clings to it as a lifeline.
When Tim and I first separated I could only see his sin, not my own. God's Word has helped me with forgiveness, anger, pride, self-pity, bitterness, an insatiable need for attention, and self-righteousness, just to name a few!
Here are some examples of what God's Word is doing in my life:
- It helps me realize how much God has forgiven me and that if I withhold forgiveness from my husband, or anyone else, I am sinning. The parable of the rich master and the servant in Matthew chapter 18 makes this very clear. Plus, refusing forgiveness does nothing to the offender, but instead tortures the one who won't forgive.
- It reminds me that my fight is not against my husband, but instead against Satan, the one who wants to absolutely destroy my husband, me, our family and our marriage. The battle can only be fought with my sword (God's Word), by putting on my battle gear, and by praying all the time in the Spirit. (See Ephesians 6:10-18)
- It is a key to overcoming the lies of the devil. Satan will tell me that my situation is hopeless, that I am worthless, that my husband will never change. God's Word tells me a different story. If Jesus' only weapon to fight Satan was the truth of God's Word, how much more so should it be my weapon of choice? (See Matthew 4:1-11)
- It has shown me how powerful my own words are: they can build someone up or destroy them. Lately, I've been remembering the wisdom found in this verse: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up dissension.” (Proverbs 15:1 NIV) Try applying this when you are in an argument. It works!
- It helps me remember who I am in Christ. When I've been hurt, I apply the truth of God's Word to my wound. God reminds me that I am His precious child and that He loves me and will never leave me alone. Faith is taking God at His Word, believing what He says to be true, and applying it to our lives whether we can “feel” His love or not. His Word is like ointment applied to an open cut - hardly felt when applied, but soon the healing it brings is evident.
God's Word is living and active. It has the power to overcome sin in our lives. To be most effective you must first have a relationship with the Lord through Jesus, then you must believe that His Word is true, and, finally, you must apply God's Word to your life. Don't just be a hearer of God's Word, be a doer. (James 1:22-24) It makes the difference between winning the race of life or despondently sitting on the sidelines.
“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.” Hebrews 4:12 NIV
Father, Your Word is powerful and true! I pray that You would help us to not only read it and study it, but to apply it to our lives. In Jesus' name, Amen.