Keeping the word of the Lord

book-92572_6401Chronicles 10:13: So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it; (KJV)

The whole of the bible is about keeping the word of God or not, and the result of the two. That theme runs right from the first book to the last. In the book of revelation, seven churches were given their score cards, showing what they lacked and the changes that they need to make (Revelation 2-3). The word was a mirror showing them the needed areas of changes (James 1:21-25).

The first miracle that Jesus performed through which he manifested his glory, happened because some people acted based on his word, even though it did not make sense at the time (John 2:1-11). The life of Jesus was about doing the will of God as outlined in the pages of the Old Testament. Many times he said that he needed to go through some experiences to fulfil scriptures (Luke 24:44-46). He kept the Word of God. At the time of his death he said: it is finished (John 19:30). Among other things it means he has fulfilled all in the heart of God.

The life of John the Baptist was a fulfilment of scriptures. Some people travelled over a distance to ask that John the Baptist tell them who he is. In answer, he quoted the scriptures, saying: I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord (John 1:19-23). He said his was a life fulfilling the word of God.

Peter acted on the words of Jesus and he caught more that his net and boat could handle. Paul launched into the work of ministry based on the word of God as revealed to him. Jesus said: man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). That means the word is our “everything”; it is what we live by. Paul said we should let our heart be full of the word of God, so that we would be able to communicate it as we should (Colossians 3:16).

Adam and Eve’s rejection of the word of God defines the world as we know it, with all its decay and topsy-turvy state.  And to restore things God sent the Word (Jesus) which became flesh so that those who believe in him will not perish but have eternal life, that Word brought grace and truth to us in all their dimensions (John 1:17). Jesus is the wisdom and power of God (1Corinthians 1:24); that means he communicates God’s thinking process and his divine ability. Paul said that it pleased God though the instrument of preaching (the Word) to save those who believe (1Corinthians 1:21), save us from the decay of death.

Faith’s building block is the word, as it is written: faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17), and it is through that faith that we connect to God (Hebrews 11:6).

Jesus is God the word, through whom the whole world was made in the beginning. In the first chapter of the book of Genesis God set things in order on the earth through His Word (Genesis 1). God said: let there be light and there was light etc. The worlds, we were told, were framed by the word of God; the things which are seen were not made of things which do appear (Hebrews 11:3), everything comes from the word.

Just as the world was set in order by the word of God, so also you can set your world in order by the word of God in your mouth; the bible says that the power of life and death resides in the tongues (Proverbs 18:21), and we shall be filled with the fruits of our lips; that will define our experience on earth, whether reflective of life or death.

You can start in prayer. You can prayer as Jesus taught: let your (God) will be done on earth as it is in heaven. It means you strongly desire to have your life line up with the word of God (Matthew 6:9-10). It means you want a change from the practice of the people around you, and you don’t want to copy those you grew up with. You want your life to be pattern after the word of God as you do his will. It means you’ll rather have the will of God than anyone’s will not matter how eloquent they put their case or forcefully they tried to shake us from our conviction.

Paul wrote that we should not be conformed to this world but be transformed from the inside out by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:1-2). The world, which is people around you, (cyberspace inclusive) will want nothing more than to pressure you into their own image. They use scare and bullying tactics sometimes.

They are scared of your distinction, your independence, they are threatened when they cannot control you, they will not let you be yourself because they are uncomfortable being themselves. They need your conformity to validate them, to shore-up their self-image, since your conformity will show that they are powerful.

Because they suffer from inner uncertainty (a sense of emptiness), they want to derive validity by bending you to their will, they want to use you to complete them. If you allow them to do that, it means you have decided to abandon you path of transformation.

Joseph had a dream in which he seemed to suggest that he was going to be supreme among his family (Genesis 37). The brothers could not stomach that then they decided to kill him and later decided to sell him as slave. So if you want to keep the word of God get ready to be persecuted by the high and the low. Paul said that if we would live righteous in this world we suffer persecution (2Timothy 3:10-17). Joseph was persecuted for being true to word of God as revealed to him in a dream, speaking of it.

Jesus was similarly persecuted because he laid claim to a special relationship with God, which was true. He once said that he would be lying if he said he does not know God (John 8:19-59), but for his bold assertions that he was a son of God, they killed him. Jesus died and resurrected into a new life; death was a gateway for his transformation into a life-giving Spirit (1Corinthians 15:45); similarly, the persecution of Joseph was directly responsible for his transformation into the prime Minister/Economic Minister in Egypt.

Therefore, just as being true to the word of God will generate persecution; it will inevitably push you to the fulfilment of the will of God in your life. Because of Paul stance for the truth he was severely persecuted in his lifetime. Though on the pages of the bible we do not see how that turned out well for him, but it was clear he had his eyes on the eternal reward. At the end of his life he said: I have fought the good fight I have kept the faith; there remains for me the crown of righteousness (2Timothy 4:6-8).

If ever there was a man that should have yielded to his persecutors because of the intensity of the persecution, it should be Paul. But when he stood in the law court in defence of himself, he said that everything he did, which drew the grievous persecution, was to keep the word of God.

He declared that he was not disobedient to the heavenly vision (Acts 26:14-23). He was giving a word for God, a command from God, a mission from God and he ran with it, he counted the grievous persecution as small compared to the reward in heaven. He was a man with his eyes on eternity, which was why he kept the word of God no matter what. He was true to the revelations he had till he died.

 

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