ACCORDING TO YOUR WORD
As I read through Psalm 119 recently I noticed eight things that happen according to the Word of God. Shall we look at them?
1. CLEANSING ACCORDING TO THE WORD
Psalm 119: 9, “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to your word.”
We are exhorted in James 1:27 “to keep ourselves unspotted from the world.” Do you want to keep your life pure and cleansed? Come daily to the Word of God. Jesus said, “Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” (John 15:3) It is as important to wash our souls and spirits in the Word, as it is to wash our bodies. The Word of God will also keep our homes cleansed. Read it personally. Read it together as a family at the dinner table. The Word washes us from the deceptions of this world and the spots of sin that tarnishes our souls and the atmosphere of our homes.
2. REVIVING ACCORDING TO THE WORD
Psalm 119:107, “Revive me, O Lord, according to your word.” Read also verses 25, 50, 93, 149, 154 and 156.
The Hebrew word “revive” is “chayah” and it is one of those “re” words. It means, “to rebuild, recover, restore, relive, repair, refresh and revive.” The Word of God will renew you, recreate you, revitalize you, replenish you and refine you. It will also reform, rearrange, redirect, retrain and yes, reprove you.
Do you feel as though you are losing strength, losing the joy of life and becoming stale? Do you need re-ing? The Word of God will “re” you! It is animating. It is life-giving. In fact, it is your very life. Jesus counteracted the devil with these words, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4 and Deuteronomy 8:3)
Jesus also said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the fresh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are LIFE.” (John 6:63)
Every mother needs refreshing. She dreams of having some time on her own, taking a relaxing bath, going out to dinner or watching a wholesome movie. But the greatest way to get refreshed is often the way we think of last! It is opening the Word of God. It is your life. It will refresh you. It will restore you. It will revive you.
When Colin and I were first married over 47 years ago, we had the privilege of living in a home owned by the China Inland Mission in Whangarei, New Zealand. The only people who had ever lived in this home were missionaries. We ourselves were waiting on the Lord and preparing to go to the mission field. When we left this home a very dear couple took over from us. They had served the Lord in China for 40 years. When China closed, they continued to serve the Lord in Formosa (which is now Taiwan). At last, in their eighties, Mr. and Mrs. Beard were retiring.
Arthur Beard was such an inspiration to us. He loved the Word of God. It was his life. Every day he read The Daily Light, and without glasses, mind you! This book is a compilation of Scriptures for each day on a certain theme. The Scripture references are listed at the end of the page. As he read the Scriptures for each day, he would check to see if he could remember where each verse was found. He was nearly 100 percent right each time. Colin and I still read The Daily Light at our dinner table each evening.
At one stage, while on the mission field, Mr. Beard got cancer. But it didn’t stay in his body long. He read the Word of God out loud daily-- and he was healed. His body was revived and made anew by the living Word of God! (Psalm 107:20)
Let the life-giving Word of God “re” you!
3. STRENGTHENING ACCORDING TO THE WORD
Psalm 119:28, “My soul melts from heaviness; strengthen me according to your word.”
The Psalmist is grieving. The tears pour down his face and his chest heaves with weeping. He feels his soul dissolving and dropping away. The Hebrew word ‘melts’ actually means ‘ to drop away’. It is the poetical way to express weeping.
Oh dear one, are you going through a time of grieving? Are you overcome with sorrow? Do you feel your soul dropping away because your heart is broken? You don’t have to continue this way. Even in his anguish, the psalmist knows there is an answer. It was God’s living words. He knows its power to strengthen his soul and his emotions.
Dear grieving one, get down on your knees and open the Word of God. Ask God to speak into your heart. His Word has the power to strengthen your heart. Claim His promises. Start speaking them out loud. They will restore your soul. They will strengthen your innermost soul and emotions.
God not only has the power to strengthen you physically, but to strengthen you inwardly. His strengthening Word will even put a song in your heart. Read these verses - Psalm 27:14; 31:24; 73:26; 118:14; 138:3; Ephesians 3:16.
4. MERCIES AND SALVATION ACCORDING TO THE WORD
Psalm 119: 41, “Let your mercies come also to me, O Lord, your salvation according to your word.” Read also verses 58 and 76.
God’s mercies are very great. They are plenteous. They are abundant. But they are according to the Word. His everlasting mercies line up with His everlasting Word. We cannot expect mercy when we violate God’s written laws because mercy does not compromise truth. Mercy and truth are twins. Psalm 25:10 says, “All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.” (Psalm 85:10; 89:14)
But we can receive mercy when we repent and receive the cleansing of the precious blood of Jesus, because this promise is written in the Word. The Word is filled with precious promises, but most are preceded by a commandment. When we obey His commandments we will receive the bountiful mercies of the Lord.
It is through the mercies of the Lord and the living Word of God that we are saved from sin and born again. 1 Peter 1:23 says, “Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the Word of God which lives and abides forever.” And Titus 3:5, ”Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us…”
5. GOD’S GOOD WORKINGS ACCORDING TO THE WORD
Psalm 119:65, “You have dealt well with your servant, O Lord, according to your word.”
The Hebrew word for “dealt well” is “asah” which actually means “to do, to work, to make, to create, to build.”
God’s ultimate plan for us is to transform us into the image of His Son. He wants many sons in the likeness of His Son. He works in us by His Holy Spirit and by the power of His Word to change us into His likeness. The more we allow the Word to dwell in our hearts, the more we will be transformed into the way God wants us to think and live.
God’s Word doesn’t always suit our circumstances but if we know what’s good for us, we’ll put aside our desires and embrace the transforming principles of God’s Word. We will resist our humanistic reasonings and allow God to fill our minds with His life-changing thoughts that He has given us in His Word.
Everything that God has written is for our GOOD. God’s ways are for our best. Deuteronomy 6:24 says, “And the Lord commanded us to do all these statues, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always…” (Deuteronomy 10:12-13)
The Psalmist experienced God’s Words changing him for good. In Psalm 119:67 he confesses, “Before I was afflicted I went astray. But now I keep your word.” Again in verse 71 he says, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn your statutes.”
Allowing God to change us can be painful. It pricks our nest. It is uncomfortable. But who wants to stay the same for the rest of their lives? How boring. God loves us too much to leave us in our shallow, sinful state. He wants to take us on to victory. He wants to lift us up to the overcoming life. He wants to transform our thinking into His thinking.
There can be times in our lives when God’s rhema word comes to us and yet we do not see the fulfillment of it. This happened in Joseph’s life. God revealed Joseph’s destiny to him in two dreams. He was going to be a ruler and his father and brothers would bow down to him. Wow, this was pretty exciting. But things didn’t turn out like the dream. His brothers who were supposed to serve him turned against him. They would have killed him except for the intervention of his brother, Judah. Instead they banished him from their sight and sold him off to merchantmen on their way to Egypt. He was torn away from his beloved father, his family, his country and everything familiar.
Down in Egypt things went from bad to worse. Although he walked in integrity and refused to give into the seducing of Potiphar’s wife, he was falsely accused and thrown in prison. Even when he sought to do the right thing, it turned against him and he was doomed to a dungeon.
Was God’s word false? No. God, who lives in the eternal and who is not bound by time, was working and setting the stage for Joseph’s destiny. In His perfect timing, He delivers Joseph from the prison. Joseph miraculously becomes second-in-command to the Pharaoh of Egypt. Then comes the day, in fulfillment to God’s promise that Joseph’s brothers bow to him.
In that poignant moment when Joseph reveals himself to his brothers and they are reconciled together, he says these words, “God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me here, but God…” (Genesis 45:7-8) Again, at the death of his father, he reminds his brothers again, “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” Read these words again… “God meant it for good!”
All the suffering that Joseph endured was ultimately for his good – and not only for his blessing but also for his family and for nations.
Have you received a Word from God? Yet everything is turning out the opposite! Don’t give up on God’s promise to you. God does not work in your time. He works in His time. He sees the future. You can count on Him that He is working everything out for your good! His whole purpose is to do a good work in you.” Philippians 1:6 says, “Being confident of this very thing, that he who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
6. UNDERSTANDING ACCORDING TO THE WORD
Psalm 119:169, “Let my cry come before you, O Lord; give me understanding according to your word.”
“Give me understanding, Lord.” Is this the cry of your heart, dear mother? Oh how we need understanding each moment of the day. Proverbs 24:3 tells us that it is by wisdom and understanding that we build and establish our homes. That means that we can’t accomplish our great task of mothering without the anointing of understanding.
What is the middle letter of the word, truth? It is U, which stands for understanding. Understanding is the heart of truth. You can’t have understanding without truth. And you can’t have truth without the Word of God.
There is worldly understanding and there is godly understanding and they can be poles apart. Don’t be content with humanistic understanding and what seems good to you. Make sure it lines up with God’s eternal Word. Add an extra sentence to your prayer, “O Lord, give me understanding according to your word.” It is as you are immersed in the living Word of God that you will be filled with His understanding.
Oh yes, when you get God’s understanding, you might be out of step with the rest of the world. I am always challenged by the Scripture Romans 3:4. “Let God be true but every man a liar.” Are we prepared to stand with God’s truth even if everyone else is doing something different?
How can we receive understanding from the Word?
1. By asking God. Make today’s Scripture your prayer each time you open the Word, “O Lord, give me understanding according to your Word. Open my eyes to behold wondrous things in your law.”
2. By digging. You need to get below the surface to hear the heart of God. It’s not enough to read the Word. You have to think about it, meditate upon and chew it over and over. I love to check out the Hebrew and Greek words. I use a wonderful Bible, which helps me to do this. It is the Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible edited by Spiros Zodhiates. I wouldn’t use another Bible. I read the King James translation but also like to check other translations that often give further understanding.
There is one thing that is very important to remember. The truth of a particular subject is not found in one Scripture. It is what God says about the subject from Genesis to Revelation. When you check out every Scripture in the Word of God on a particular subject, you’ll then have a full understanding of what God is saying.
3. By divine insight. God comes to my spirit with a flash of enlightenment. Oh I love it when this happens. But mostly I have to dig. Read Ephesians 1:18 and Colossians 1:9.
4. By discussing. Whenever I am meditating on a certain Scripture or thinking about a specific subject, I talk to my husband or daughters about it. “What are your thoughts about this?” I will ask. We always discuss our latest thoughts and revelations when we get together. It’s our favorite thing to do. It’s a great way to fine-tune your understanding. As we discuss together, we adjust one another, and are spared from getting on a tangent. Our thoughts are also deepened and expanded. There is nothing more satisfying than discussing the Scriptures and sharing insight and revelation with fellow believers. The only sad thing is that so few believers really want to do it.
Get into the habit of asking your husband for understanding. “Oh but he’s not walking with the Lord,” you exclaim. That doesn’t matter. God has made him your covering, whether he walks with the Lord or not. Ask him for his insight on all matters. Ask him for his understanding about Scriptures too. There’s nothing like asking him to get him searching. And because God has ordained for him to be your head, you’ll be amazed at what insight God will give him.
7. SUSTAINING ACCORDING TO THE WORD
Psalm 119:116, “Uphold me according to your word, that I may live.”
God’s Word is able to hold you up. When you feel as though you are sinking, resort to the Word. It will bear you up. It will bear you up above your circumstances. Oh yes, you’ll still face them each day, but you will walk in the power of God’s Word that will carry you above the difficulties.
8. DELIVERANCE ACCORDING TO THE WORD
Psalm 119:170, “Let my supplication come before you; deliver me according to your word.”
God is a God of deliverance. He has promised to deliver us when we cry out to Him. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Psalm 22:5)
There is no pit too deep, there is no problem too big and there is no predicament too difficult from which God cannot deliver you! Are you bound by fears, anger, self-pity or negative habits? God does not want you to live in this state. He is waiting to deliver you. Cry out to Him and use the power of His Word.
What about fears? David confessed in Psalm 34:4, “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” You don’t have to live with one fear! Find antidote Scriptures about fear. Memorize them. Confess them out loud constantly. Use them against the enemy every time fear begins to take hold. Here are some examples -- 2 Timothy 1:7; Hebrews 13:5-6; Deuteronomy 31:6,8; Psalm 91 and Isaiah 41:11,13.
Do you have a problem with spouting out angry words? Fill your mind and heart with Scriptures like these -- Matthew 5:44; Ephesians 4:1-2,32; Colossians 3:12-13; Leviticus 19:18; Psalm 119:165; Proverbs 15:1; 16:24 and 31:26. Whenever you feel anger rising up, speak one of the Scriptures out loud.
Are you in the habit of always complaining? Check out these Scriptures -- Ephesians 5:20; Philippians 2:14-15; Colossians 2:7c; 1 Thessalonians 5:18; Proverbs 17:22 and Psalm 34:1; 35:28; 44:8 and 71:8. Memorize them so that you can quote them out loud every time you start to grumble and moan.
I think that one of the worst habits that we tend to fall into is selfishness! It is easy to make a life-style of this habit but it destroys marriage and family life. If you tend towards this one, check out these Scriptures -- 1 Corinthians 10:24, 33; 13:5; 2 Corinthians 5:15 and Philippians 2:3-4; 6-8.
What about evil or immoral thoughts? Oh yes, you can be delivered from these as you wield the sword of the Word of the Lord. Every time an evil thought enters your mind, don’t receive it. Don’t dwell on it. Instead quote the Word of God, even as Jesus did when Satan came to tempt him. This was Jesus’ way to overcome the enemy. It’s your way too. Start the new habit of saying, “It is written…” (Matthew 4:1-11 -- Philippians 4:8; James 4:7)
God’s powerful, living words are able to deliver you from your habits. A habit is “a tendency to act constantly in a certain manner.” God’s Word can help you change that tendency to a different tendency. Thomas A Kempis said, “Habit is overcome by habit.” I have also read that it takes about three weeks to change a habit with another habit.
What negative habit do you want to be rid of in your life? Here’s an answer. Search for the antidote Scriptures. Memorize them. Each time you start to get in the groove of your habitual tendency, stop, and recite the appropriate Scriptures OUT LOUD! I am sure that if you will do this for at least three weeks, you will be delivered. You will begin walking in a new and positive habit instead of the negative one.
May you be blessed by the Word of God.
Blessings from NANCY CAMPBELL
Editress of Above Rubies.
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