Training for Reigning - 41 - Power from the Word


PERHAPS NOT TOO many of us have realized the possibilities of God’s Word as a source of energy, power, for our daily lives. We recognize that the Bible should be a power over our lives; but the idea of gaining imparted strength from it is foreign to the thinking of most Christians, alas! Nevertheless, it cannot be stressed too strongly that, being an instrument of the Holy Spirit, POWER IS RESIDENT IN THE GOD-BREATHED WORD. (Cf.-Psa. 119:50, 93, where "Chayah" indicates to give vital power, anima, life: Heb. Lex. See also Heb. 4:12).
The writer of Heb. 4:12 understood that the Word of God is active, energetic. And even the youngest of us will recall that the Gospel of Christ "is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth"; Rom. 1:16. We all recognize, too, that its promises do give us comfort, courage and stimulus in times of stress. Yet there are the continuing every-day needs for Spirit-begotten energy which seem so very often to go unnoticed and un-met . . . perhaps because we do not understand that, through the Spirit, the Words of God are repositories of power. Let me tell you a few stories, disguised, but true, to explain what I mean; and to show you how literal strength-of-spirit can be derived from this great power-house.
Jack, out of work, was a timid sort of fellow who, through a series of failures had come to think that he was no good, that life was too hard, that it were better had he not been born. Yet, since it was a case of work or starve, he simply had to find himself a job somehow. He prayed frantically about it; but his fears so dominated his thoughts that the best he could do was to go to possible places of employment . . . and then walk past them without venturing even to ask for work. Then, when his fears really were getting him down, someone told him about Phil. 4:13, urging him to say it over-and-over to himself, whether or not he believed it, and a hundred times a day if possible, until the power of the Word gripped his soul. It seemed hardly sensible, yet he tried it. His confidence in the Lord stimulated, he got himself a good job, and continued to keep going on the strength he received from the living and powerful Word.
Mac’s story was different. He didn’t like his work. It bored him frightfully, and he sought for excuses to give it up. He had "several good reasons," however, for keeping at it, so continued with his disheartening service. One day the last clause of Col. 3:24 laid hold of him. It seemed to repeat itself over and over in his mind for several days. At last he yielded to its claim, went at his work with fresh vigour, and actual joy-sawing off boards for no less a Master than the One Who had redeemed him. For he had discovered in the Words of God a hidden source of energy and gladness. And these, plus the Grace of Acceptance (Matt. 11:26) transformed him and his disagreeable employnient . . . Yes, the Word is both living and powerful!
But knowing the Word is not enough. IT MUST GET HOLD OF US if we are to experience its energetic power. And since its ultimate value to us lies in the re-routing of our thinking, the over-and-over repetition helps to push us past the earthly- mindedness that keeps us existing, so much of the time, on the levels of the woridlings all around us.
"A certain woman" lost her position; then, to top it all, her doctor ordered her into hospital for an operation. To her original dismay was added, now, fear-fear of the operation itself, fear of what the surgeon’s scalpel might discover. In her distress she was directed to Psa. 23:1. Over-and-over, over-and-over, she repeated the words, "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want." As she did so their power took possession of her soul, enabling her to go calmly to the operating table-and afterwards to praise Him for the deeper realization that had come to her of Himself as her own all-wise, tender, never-failing Shepherd.
Truly, Beloved, there is power in the Words of our GOd!
More examples might be cited, but let me make a few suggestions, instead.
Some of you young people will be returning to school, or college-if the Lord wills it so. Hence it may be that they (or you) will be thinking about (and dreading) renewed contest with the worldlings when you seek to carry with you your separation unto the Lord. You may feel so weak and unequal to the task, and may wish with all your soul there was some way out of it. But let me hurry to your aid with the suggestion that you read 1 Cor. 6:19-20; and then, for ease of application, begin to recite to yourself, over and over:
"Ye are bought with a price."
"Ye are not your own."
If you wish you may add Psa. 27:1, or Heb. 13:6, or any other positive statement in the Bible that may suit your wilting spirit. This exercise may not seem of much value at first; but keep it up, and before long the Spirit’s Word will be at work within you pushing out the weakness of your resolve, altering your attitudes, relating-by-faith your daily life more fully to the Living God, and His infinite resources.
Possibly someone who reads these pages may be laid aside with illness or an accident, or some disability. In Isa. 26:3 we read, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee." How then, shall we go about it to stay our minds on the Lord? Isa. 40:28-31 tells us that strength to overcome faintness comes from waiting on Him. Many Christians see in these words only an exhortation to prayer. But Prov. 8:34-35 shows us clearly that the soul which truly waits on the Lord Is the one who is listening for His voice. So, by all means let us seek His face in prayer; but let us not be content therewith. We simply must have His strengthening Word to empower us.
Unnumbered hosts of saints have found comfort in passages like Isa. 43:2, or Heb. 13:5. But when it is strength we are seeking we shall need to find positive statements in His Word that can be rightly applied to our condition. Consider such positive statements of the Word as the following-which turn our thoughts, in different circumstances, away from our helplessness to His all-sufficiency.
Psa. 25:15; Isa. 41-10, 14: Isa. 49:23, last clause; Isa. 50:10-il; Psa. 138:8, first clause, with Phil. 1:6. This brief list might be extended to cover every possible human contingency. For it is not our Heavenly Father’s will that we should stagger through the wilderness like weaklings; Eph. 6:10. Everything pertaining to life and godliness has been given to us We get into these resources through full knowledge of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ And the exceeding great and precious promises are the principal avenues thereto (2 Pet 1:2-5)
So if you are needing strength for the journey, or the service or the conflict, will you try out my suggestion? (But don’t bother NE SERIOUS PROBLEM that often faces young people when they if you don’t need it)