Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Surviving The Real World: In The Word

So, here we go, the first of many posts featuring tips (and some essentials) to surviving the real world. The things I will write about over the next few weeks are in no particular order, but I will discuss the essentials first, and then move on to what I believe are only personal tips I've learned from my parents, or gathered from observing the mistakes of others. Let me know if there is any "tip" that you would like me to cover; I would be happy to feature it.

I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You. -Psalm 119:11

Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. -Psalm 119:105

The first verse from Psalm 119 above, is a popular and oft quoted verse from the Word of God. This is the first essential to surviving life in the real world. Without the Word of God hidden in our hearts there are so many pitfalls that we can more easily fall into. His Word serves as the conscience of the believer, ever reminding us of our purpose, and of the commands and promises of the Saviour. It also serves as encouragement when the pressures of the world threaten to swallow us, and when the winds seem to blow without clear direction. In the midst of the storm God's Word is our ever faithful guide, our joy, and our light.

Does Bible School Count?
In August I am looking forward to attending one of the best Bible colleges in the country. The Lord has immensely blessed me with a scholarship, and parents who are willing to part with me for four years so that I can study the Word of God in depth (actually, they are probably happy to get rid of me). I know that some feel that going to Bible class two or three times a week, doing class homework, and attending church are sufficient means to "hiding His Word in their hearts." I don't deny the wonderfulness (is that a word?) of Bible classes and fellowship with other believers, but is that really sufficient to ensuring that we are constantly growing in our relationship with Christ?

Notice the second half of Psalm 119:11, "that I might not sin against You." It doesn't tell us to hide God's Word in our heart so that we get a good grade in Bible class, or so that we can appear really smart to all of our church friends. It says the purpose of hiding God's Word in the depths of our being is so that we will not sin against the Saviour of our soul.

Time Alone
From personal experience I have found that the only way to do that kind of serious "hiding in my heart" is to spend time alone in the Word of God each day. When I do not I find my day frustrating, and I find myself sinning against the Lover of my soul, but when the first moments of my day are spent in the presence of the King with His wisdom illuminating my heart I find that my focus stays more securely on His throughout the rest of the day. Do not deny yourself the security, the beauty, and the utter majesty of early mornings in His presence. If you do the real world will not appear to you as the beauty of His creation, but as the brutality of a world set against us. The light of His Word not only shines through us to illuminate the darkness around us, but also to illuminate the state of our own hearts.

Once Is Not Enough
Again, from personal experience I have found that beginning my day in God's Word is a good start, but that once is not enough. I also strive to end my day in the light of God's Word, just as I have begun it. Again it brings my focus to the Author and Finisher of my faith as I thank Him for the day and look to Him for the next. He who is the Alpha and Omega of all things ought all to be the Beginning and End of each day He gives me to live.

If time permits I also enjoy reading the Psalms just before or after lunch to refresh my mind and to prepare me for the next set of tasks I have to do. By the grace of God I pray that this routine would be so imbedded in my life that I would not be able to function without feeding on the Bread of Life and Living Water at each time of the day that I would sustain myself with physical nourishment. Life is not worth living if it is not lived in Him, and life is not lived at all if we starve our spirit by not absorbing all we can from the Living Word.

Following are some questions concerning living in the Word, and its essentiality to our daily lives.

What is your daily routine in the Word of God?

How can you increase your Living Word "calorie intake"?

What are some other Scripture passages that talk about how important the Word of God is in the life of the believer?

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