If someone told you the key to your very life was right under your own roof, wouldn't you search high and low until you found it?
If they said the answer to success, blessing, and fulfillment was at your fingertips, wouldn't you listen with undivided attention? My answer is a definite yes! There is little joy in living life by trial and error, hoping things work out all right. Hit or miss, sink or swim, just plodding along through life is not my idea of the good life.
The Creator himself has given us a foolproof, time-tested answer to life: the Bible. Many believers are unaware of its value. Though they say they believe the Bible, they don't realize it has the very power to save their souls. Though their spirit was made new at salvation and they have the assurance of eternal life, their soul--which consists of the mind, will, and emotions--remains virtually unchanged. They live no differently than the unbeliever next door. Why is that? It is because they are not applying God's Word to their life.
Jesus explained, "The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)" (John 10:10, Amplified Bible). He told us plainly that we have an enemy who is determined to destroy us. Then, Jesus made it clear that He came to provide life--not just any old existence, but a full, abundant life with more than enough, overflowing with blessings.
Does that sound too good to be true?
In the world we live in, which is continually bombarded with bad news, the gospel or "good news" might seem too good to be true. Through reading God's Word we come to know the nature of God; we get a picture of a merciful, kind, loving God who desires to be in fellowship with His creation. He has done everything He could possibly do to bring us into relationship with Him. He even sent His only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross to pay the price for our sin. Our Heavenly Father is the essence of everything good, and Satan is the essence of everything evil.
Am I saying that once you are a believer you will no longer face problems or have any trials? No, and Jesus didn't say that either. But He did show us how to be victorious when those attacks come our way. Through Jesus Christ and the promises in His Word we can stand strong no matter what comes.
Remember the time Jesus fasted for forty days? (See Luke 4.) He immediately encountered a time of testing and temptation. The devil approached him and said, "If you are the Son of God, turn these stones into bread." Jesus responded directly to the temptation by speaking the Word of God. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God" (Luke 4:4, NKJV; cf. Deut. 8:3). How did Jesus respond in His time of great temptation and trial? He spoke the Word of God. Jesus is saying our very life should depend on the words that proceed from the mouth of God.
God's Word contains a specific word for whatever situation we may encounter. When we search His Word as if our very life depends on it, we will find the wisdom and power to live victoriously. Deuteronomy 32:46-47 says, "Set your [minds and] hearts on all the words which I command you this day . . . . For it is not an empty and worthless trifle for you; it is your [very] life." Many have mistaken God's Word as a supplement to life. They may see the Bible as a list of rules, or they may believe it is an ancient work of literature or a good book. But they do not believe it is the key to life, or they would read it daily.
How are we to find direction from God's Word?
Is it possible to mistakenly interpret God's Word as we read it? First, we must begin by committing ourselves to read God's Word daily. If we allow Satan to intimidate us by telling us the Bible is too difficult to understand, then he has stopped us before we even begin. If you have made Jesus the Lord of your life and have been baptized in His Holy Spirit, then He will lead you into all truth. (See the "Prayer for Salvation and the Baptism in the Holy Spirit" below.)
The Gospels, which are the first four books of the New Testament, are a great place to start reading. They record the life and teachings of Christ. The entire New Testament was written to the church and will help the believer grow. The Book of Proverbs is a practical guide for living wisely. Reading from it often and applying its principles will drastically change your life.
"Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and is profitable" (2 Timothy 3:16, Amplified Bible).
Making God's Word a priority in your life is the most important decision you will make after receiving salvation and being baptized in the Holy Spirit. God's Word is the key to life.
Prayer for Salvation and the Baptism in the Holy Spirit
"Heavenly Father, I come to You in the name of Jesus. Your Word says, 'Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved' [Acts 2:21, NKJV]. I am calling on You. I ask Jesus to come into my heart and be Lord over my life. I confess that Jesus is Lord, and I believe in my heart that God raised Him from the dead [Romans 10:9-10]. I also ask You to fill me with the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, please rise up within me as I praise God. I fully expect to speak with other tongues as You give me the utterance [Acts 2:4]. I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen."
Begin to praise God for filling you with the Holy Spirit. Speak those words and syllables you receive--not in your own language, but in the language given to you by the Holy Spirit. God will not force you to speak. You have to use your own voice. Don't be concerned with how it sounds. You are speaking in a heavenly language!
By Gwen Miller