Sometime ago I shared (via a short video clip) three very important principles that I felt the Lord pressed upon my heart to share with you at this time. These are truly important principles for every follower of the Lord Jesus Christ but particularly so for those in the formative stages of both the adult and Christian life. It is ever so important that you ingrain these principles into your life now, at the start of your walk with the Lord, making them your life principles by which you live. To recap, the three principles shared were:
- Learn to process the word of God at a deeper level – don’t be content with a shallow and superficial relationship with God’s all-powerful word,
- Avoid compartmentalisation of your faith – locking it up for particular days of your life, particular social groups or circles or select areas of your life only.
- Allow the all-pervading word of God to access every area of your life – do not restrict it to particular areas and expressions of your life only.
The Lord promised those who believed in and put their trust in Him that if they continue abiding in His word they shall know the truth and that the truth will set them free. He continued to assert that whosoever the Son sets free is free indeed just to show that it was not a fake or surreal freedom He was talking about – in case some were wondering.
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
…. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:31, 32 & 36)
The Lord cannot bring about the freedom He promised and the transformation (into Christ-likeness) he has destined you for if you continue to process His word on a superficial level, compartmentalise your faith to only certain areas of your life and restrict access to His all-pervading word in your life. Where there are hidden or dark pockets of your life to which God’s word is denied access or your faith is locked out of, you can rest assured that you will remain enslaved in that particular area. That is, as long as you don’t learn to process the word of God at a deeper level allowing it access to every area of your life bringing freedom and transformation with it.
The Christian faith is a holistic affair designed to affect and influence your entire person and life, everything you are and everything you do everywhere and all the time. In other words, it is meant and designed to impact and influence, shape and mould everything everywhere (EE!) concerning you.
All three of the above principles are most certainly interlinked and interdependent. But for the purposes of further study and analysis leading to their continued application in our lives, we will consider each of them separately.
How does one learn to process the word of God at a deeper level? What does this learning process actually consist of?
There are three important caveats that merit our attention and consideration before we dive into the actual processing of the word of God at a deeper level.
First and foremost we must come to terms with the fact that this is an intentional exercise, one that we need to intentionally work on and put effort in. Second, we need to realise that it is not an overnight phenomenon, a one-off event but a gradual process that will take time as we consciously make the effort to develop and grow it. And finally, we must understand that how well we process the word of God at deeper levels will depend on how we view God’s word and the how much value we place on it. How we view God’s word and the place we give it in our lives will determine the depth at which we process it. If we have a low view and regard for it, it will hold minuscule value in our lives and our approach will therefore be dead casual, without much reverence, thought or respect. On the other hand, if we learn to appreciate the value of God’s word and hold it in high esteem in our lives, we will have an altogether different approach towards it. We will definitely not be casual and superficial but serious and thoughtful in our approach and handling of it.
And our personal approach towards God’s word is absolutely vital; it is the key to learning to process it at a deeper level. This in turn is shaped by our view of God’s word and the value we place on it.
Therefore, we have to grow to esteem and value God’s word as much as He esteems and values it – at least as close as we can possibly get. And in order to find out how much God values His word we need not turn anywhere else but His word itself. If we are to have a correct view of scripture, we have to allow what the word of God says about itself to be the chief architect and builder of that view as validated by countless lives throughout the centuries – both within scripture itself and outside. Only then are we on the right path to a correct valuation of God’s word in our lives leading to the kind of serious and careful approach required – if it is to achieve its intended effectiveness in our lives.
So, it is our approach to God’s word that, first and foremost requires addressing. It ought to be more serious and rigorous and less laid back; incorporating increased respect and reverence while altogether banishing casualness and carelessness. Our approach will definitely determine how much we allow it to penetrate our lives and how much we eventually get out of it in the currencies of liberation and transformation.
In the next blog we will look at what we can do in order to grow our appreciation of God’s word and for us to cultivate the correct approach. The blog will contain an exercise in meditating on selected scripture passages that will aid us in obtaining a correct view of God’s word and improve our approach towards it.