“As surely as God is trustworthy and faithful and means what He says,” 2 Corinthians 1:18 (Amplified)
God means what He has said in His Word. I can’t tell you why I am only now seeing it this way. I have always agreed, mentally, that God’s Word is true. What is different now, somehow, is that I’m not reading the Bible with the religious filters that have been attached by well-meaning preachers and teachers over the years – or even by my fleshly opinions. I’m seeing the Word of God as so real, just as it is written. In the past, I have been one to whom Matthew 15:6 applied, and I didn’t have any idea: “So for the sake of your tradition (the rules handed down by your forefathers), you have set aside the Word of God [depriving it of force and authority and making it of no effect].” The Lord has begun to expose the blinders to me, those filters of men, glory to His Name, and I want the rest of the body of Christ to see and be set free, too!
One example that has come alive to me recently is Romans 13:8: “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.” NIV The Amplified starts out with, “Keep out of debt,” and the King James says, “Owe no man anything.” But, just what does that mean? Well, my lightning-fast mind has come to realize that it really means what it says. How many of us in the body of Christ have lived this way? Most of us have thought that it is a great ideal to wish for, but it’s just not possible in today’s world; however, God saw today’s world when He had Paul make this statement. It wasn’t just for then, before the advent of credit cards and home mortgages. No, it is still true for us today, and achievable, if we live out His Word by His Spirit.
Almost every day now, no matter what book or chapter of the Bible I read, I am convicted that God really means what He says – for me. Can you imagine how different our lives will look when we really get a revelation of the clear and simple truth of God’s Word? When we believe that God means what He said, our lives will be radically different than they have been. We will look so much more like Jesus, act so much more like Him, sound so much more like Him, think so much more like Him, and love so much more like Him. We will live in the peace that He left for us, that peace we have only wished for, but not abided in. The world will see a difference between us and them that hasn’t been there before. Even those who are religious, without a true connection to Christ, will see a difference – and possibly become like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. I am certain, though, that if the world really begins to see Jesus when they see us, they will want to know more about Him. They will see their need of the Savior.
If it’s so simple – and it is – what do we do? We are only able to live by the Word that we know. Jesus made it clear to His disciples (that includes us today) in John 8:31-32 that we must hold to His teaching to know the Truth and be set free by it. We have to know what’s in His Word to be set free by it. What is it that we set ourselves to know? How much of the world’s wisdom do we continue to feed on day in and day out? First Corinthians 3:19 makes it clear that the world’s wisdom is foolishness with God. When we spend so much time with the world’s wisdom, we begin to be conformed to the world. But we are told in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].” Our minds can only be renewed by the Word of God. Our lives will only be changed for His glory as His Word has room to grow in us. We will only know what the Lord’s good, perfect, and acceptable will is for us when we renew our minds with His Word. He really means what He has said.
I purposely haven’t given many examples in this post, for a couple of reasons. I fully expect this to be the foundation piece for future life lessons, as this is truly a life-changer for me, so you will be seeing more examples if you return to this site. * Also, if you will choose not to let this be just another message you read, but will consider it, meditate on it, and take it with you every time you open the Bible, on your own or as it is preached, you will be amazed as He begins to give you your own examples while He exposes the filters of men, changing your old mindsets – and your life – to line up with His Word. God will be able to move in mighty ways in and through you, all because you take Him at His Word.
*See December 2008 issue of Prayer Nuggets, Speaking His Way: http://www.prayforthenation.org/prayernuggets.asp