A LifeWord: Off the Pages & Into Your Heart
“The life is in the speaking words.”
God wants to breathe a word into your soul and over your life. Did you know that? It happened to people in the Bible. It has happened to people throughout history. It has even happened to me and it is a moment not to be missed. It can also happen to you. As a matter of fact, God wants it to.
Of course, you may already know that God has written his words in a book, but the fact is. . .he also wants to write one on your heart. He has done so throughout the centuries in the lives of countless followers and you’re no different. God wants to write his word within you.
When God highlights a passage of Scripture someone’s life, it marks a specific moment with a specific insight from his heart to theirs. Once it has happened, you will never be the same. Such moments are transforming and alive. And such moments are deeply needed by my heart and yours. As a matter of fact, Jesus taught us that “man cannot live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).”
There is a great difference between casually reading a Bible passage and truly sensing that God is speaking that word directly to your soul. The fact is that God has left us with words, many of them, words to encourage and inspire us, to guide and correct, to heal and to help. And God not only wants our eyes to read and our minds to study the words he has left for us, there are times when he wants to breathe one of them upon our souls.
Bored with the Bible?
The Bible describes itself as “alive and active” and “sharper than any two-edged sword” (Heb. 4:12), but, I must admit, there have been times I have read it when it felt more “dead and inactive”, even a bit dull.
Don’t worry that lightning may strike this page because of my admission. If you’re honest, you have probably felt the same way before, right?
I still believe, however, that in those “dead-feeling” moments, the words of God were at work in me. I believe that my efforts to read, when the motivation to do so was less than desired, were not in vain. But, nonetheless, there have been times in my life when getting into the Bible simply felt flat and uninspiring. And, then, on the contrary, there have been moments that have seemed powerfully enlivening, explosively transforming and deeply enriching; times when a passage has leaped off the page and into my mind and heart.
I call these times the LifeWord Moments.
Since discovering several years ago that the Bible is our primary source of spiritual nourishment, I have feasted upon it and often. There are now times when I can get so caught up in certain insights and promises of Scripture that I, at least for a time, forget about my problems, and even about myself (wonder of wonders!). In those moments, I find a great source of joy.
There are other times, however, when getting into God’s Word feels like breaking through rock. The water seems to trickle out, rather than flow. In those moments, Bible reading and study is hard work. Nonetheless, the diligent student of Scripture, I’m convinced, will persist in digging deeper, regardless of the immediate felt results. But, just like a prospector digging for oil, there are times when a gusher will hit.
There have been moments (i.e.: LifeWord Moments) where something jumps off of the pages of Scripture and right into my heart. It is as if an entire powerful principle is implanted into my soul. As if a truth capsule is swallowed containing time-release nutrients each waiting its ordained moment of release. In such moments, I know that God has spoken to me and taken hold of something within my life he wants to powerfully change, shape, correct, confront, remove or transform. In those moments, I not only believe that the God’s word is “sharper than any two edged sword,” I feel it. I feel the razored edges of both blades severing the sins in my life and carving out the will of God within me. Such key seasons can impact our lives and catapult us into God’s purposes with the force of a booster rocket.
The Word of God is more than ink on a page, much more. Before it was ever etched in stone or printed on a press, it proceeded from the very mouth of God himself. Jesus made this clear when he said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4, check version).” The word used in this instance is rhema. Even the words in our Bibles, before the biblical writers ever transcribed them onto the first scroll, were first breathed from God’s mouth and upon their hearts. And they accomplish the most when God’s Spirit freshly breathes them within ours, as well.
Yes, I am convinced that the written Bible we have is, in fact, the fully inspired word of God. It is complete and it is God-breathed (1 Tim. 3:16). And yet, the Bible is a physical manifestation of something that is spiritual. In other words, we should ask, what was the Word of God and where was it before man discovered paper and ink and printing techniques?
It was just what is has always been – “alive and active”. Before the hand of man recorded it, the Word of God poured from the mouth of God.
It still does.
God’s breath and voice and words are what ordered the planets into place and called sinews and ligaments to hold vital organs together and to rise from the dust of the earth and to form man, you and me. His word is not only printed on pages, it fills the universe. It is not only something you look at and read, it is at work within and around you every moment of every day. His word is what keeps this planet spinning. His word is what holds back to this day a cataclysmic outpouring of wrath from yet destroying the earth. One day His word will unleash that wrath. His word is what uniquely synchronizes our DNA. It is the force that microscopically compels every atom with power. It is what put breath within the body of man. It is what brings hope and change and forgiveness to our souls. His word is powerful and wonderfully mysterious.
The Bible reveals that: “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth . . . . For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast” (Ps. 33:6, 9). “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God” (Heb. 11:3).
A. W. Tozer further explains the mystery: “Again we must remember that God is referring here not to His written Word, but to His speaking Voice. His world-filling Voice is meant, that Voice which antedates the Bible by countless centuries, that Voice which has not been silent since the dawn of creation, but is sounding still throughout the full far reaches of the universe.”
In the beginning He spoke to nothing and it became something. Chaos heard the words of God and immediately came into order. Darkness heard it and became light. Emptiness heard it and took on substance. “And God said. . .and it was so” (Gen. 1:9, emphasis mine).
A QUESTION FOR YOU: What about you? Have you had a LifeWord? …or a LifeWord moment? I would be interested to hear about it.