Of all of the studies I’ve done with Blackaby, today’s study is probably at the top of the list for accuracy. I’ve seen it in my own life, causing me to do things I would not normally do. I’ve seen it in the lives of others, changing them in ways that I thought was impossible. The topic: how reading the Bible changes your life and shapes your character.
Nothing and I mean nothing has changed me more than reading the Bible daily. Nothing. Period, end of story. I must still be careful to maintain balance between prayer/meditation, corporate worship and reading the Word but at the end of the day, I must read the Word if I’m going to change.
Hebrews 4:12-13 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing even to the point of dividing soul from spirit, and joints from marrow; it is able to judge the desires and thoughts of the heart. And no creature is hidden from God,ï»¿ï»¿ but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.
It will absolutely divide people. Unquestionably. You either believe it and do it or you don’t. Once you start doing what the Holy Spirit teaches you through study, incredible changes occur. Just incredible, no other way to describe them. All fear is gone. Hope springs again. Joy springs abundantly. It is absolutely incredible.
Why then do so few read the Word? I think it is because they don’t know. They don’t understand the power it brings. They are, like I was, content to view the world through the lens of darkness, allowing fear to guide them. Fear of many things, of everything. Being released from that fear is liberating, like a fresh rain clears the air. You can see again. You can breathe again. You can finally enjoy life.
The key is faithfulness. I must remain faithful, even in the midst of searing criticism. After all, didn’t Jesus say that I should not fear the one that can take my physical life away but the one that can kill my soul? He says to have faith even unto death.
Revelation 2:10 Do not be afraid of the things you are about to suffer. The devil is about to have some of you thrownï»¿ï»¿ into prison so you may be tested,ï»¿ and you will experience sufferingï»¿ï»¿ for ten days. Remain faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown that is life itself.ï»¿
To gain life, you must die to the world. That is what I want. That is my goal. If the little taste of it I have had is any indication of what I will receive, it is unimaginable!
I don’t care what others think. I am going to be faithful.
Ezekiel 22:30 “I looked for a man from among them who would repair the wall and stand in the gap before me on behalf of the land, so that I would not destroy it, but I found no one.ï»¿
I am going to be that man. I am going to stand in that gap. Ridicule me. Mock me. Distort my words. It matters not. I am going to do as Isaiah writes:
Isaiah 1:17 Learn to do what is right! Promote justice! Give the oppressed reason to celebrate!ï»¿ Take up the cause of the orphan! Defend the rights of the widow!ï»¿
Blackaby goes on to list several Biblical characters that are flawed, just as I am, but that God used because they were faithful. My prayer is that He continues to use me and that as He gives me larger and larger tasks, that I will remain faithful to His Word and His promises.