No empty word

Deuteronomy 32:47: For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.” (ESV).

parrot-4078_640The word of God is powerful. It is very important. Our very life depends on it. Jesus told the devil: man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Luke 4:4).

Habakkuk decided to set some time aside, leave some other engagements, to hear what God will say to him (Habakkuk 2:1-4). That was how serious the word is to him. The bible says: the law (word) of the lord is perfect enlightening the eyes (Psalm 19). It takes an enlightened eyes to see right. The psalmist prayed: lighten my eyes so I do not sleep the sleep of death (so I will not suffer from spiritual slumber [Ephesians 5:14]) (Psalm 13:3).

To be enlightenment is to be alive to the words and the ways of God, otherwise we are in darkness.

In another place we see the psalmist pray: send your light and your truth, let them guide me and lead me to your habitation (Psalm 43:3).

The words of God leads us to him. It is not just a list of right and wrong behaviours, but a manifestation of God himself to bring us into union with himself. Jesus told the disciples that if anyone loves and obey him then both he and the father will come and have their abode in him (John 14:23).

The word of Jesus, the words of God are life-giving words. Obeying them is not for nothing. It is the pattern of God for us. In obedience, our lives weaves a beautiful tapestry in worship of God. If we are not patterned by the word, we will live in confusion, not having clarity about anything. We will live self-contradictory lives.

A man came to Jesus saying that he wants to be shown the way to life, but when he told him to sell all he had and follow him, he refused. But he could not reject the word of Christ and experience life because in Jesus is life as the eternal life that God sent to the world (1John 5:11-12). He could not refuse to follow him and find life.

That man held his possession dearer to him than eternal life. He held on to the temporal, while rejecting the eternal. He professed a desire to do the right thing, but he rejected the word of God, a contradiction sets in which led him into a mild state of depression. He could not give it all up based on and so could not have peace.

We saw the same thing happen in the life of King Saul. Here was a man who had everything going for him, he came from obscurity to be king, but eventually it became clear that he had conflicting allegiance.

On the surface of it he was supposed to be committed to the word of God, carrying out his commandment as conveyed from the mouth of Samuel. That was the prophet who anointed him to be king in Israel. He accepted the word to be the king, but rejected the word of God to totally destroy the Amalekite (1Samuel 15). He wanted to be a king on his own terms. He later discovered that things do not work like that.

He embraced the suggestions of his men, his subordinate as more important than God’s and therefore treated God less than a subordinate. He lost the kingdom because of that.

David, the man who was made king as a replacement to Saul, was different. He had the opportunity to act based on the words of his servant to kill Saul, as against the dictate of his conscience but he did not.

The conscience was the word of God written in his heart and he did not want to violate it in order to get reprieve from the oppression that King Saul had subjected him to. He obeyed the word of God even if it meant extending his difficult moment (1Samuel 24:1-8). He chose the word above personal pleasure. He followed God to the letter. His confession matched his action.

But King Saul professed one thing, and did another. The man who came to Jesus confessed one thing, the desire for life, but did another, walking away when he was shown the way. They both expressed commitment to themselves, their comfort, rather than to the word of God.

Words carry life or death. We get to live with the reality the words our mouth create.

Realise that to be born again we need to make some confession. It is fallacious to say that to be born again, one has to go through some lessons, get to inculcate a series of biblical truth. It is not necessary. Whatever was not necessary for one of the thieves crucified with Jesus to do before Jesus said he will meet him in paradise is not necessary for you (Luke 23:38-43).

A jailor suddenly found, in the middle of the night, that the door to the prison he was supposed to guard was opened. He wanted to kill himself. When Paul calmed him down, he asked Paul: what should I do to be saved?

Answer: believe in the lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved (Acts 16:25-33). And that belief is expressed in a confession. Paul outlined in the book of Romans that confession is made unto salvation (Romans 10:9-10).

Philip was supernaturally directed to meet with an Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:36-38), and at the end of his conversation with him, the man asked to be baptised in water. And Philip led him in a confession of faith in Jesus, after which he was baptised, symbolising his salvation.

The confession of faith to be saved is not empty confession. Our confession of faith in Jesus activates us into salvation.

That thief crucified with Jesus confessed that Jesus is king though hanging on a tree. That was an expression of great faith. He told Jesus: remember me when you come into your kingdom. That was a confession of faith that led him to salvation even though he had lived a rotten life. The bible said that by our words we will be justified or condemned (Matthew 12:37).

Power is conveyed through words. Jesus said that if we say to this mountain, be lifted up and cast into the sea, without a doubt in our heart, it shall be like that (Mark 11:1-24).

The day before he said that he cursed a fig tree saying: no one shall eat anything from you again. The next day the fig tree started drying out from the root, showing his people the power of words, and how serious they should take it. The bible says that the worlds were framed by the word of God (Hebrews 11:3). Those were no empty words.

Because he does not want to say the wrong words, David prayed: let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you (Psalm 19:14). How transformed we are is shown in the words of our mouth. That is why James wrote that the one who is perfect in words is perfect indeed.

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