Do you know how powerful God's Word is? The more I acquaint myself with it, I realise the repercussions of putting it first place and making it the final authority of my life. I'm beginning to understand what God has intended for those who have chosen to delight in and devote themselves to abiding in and continuing in His Word and doing what it says to do. If I had to write down all the benefits and consequences of treasuring and obeying God's Word, this letter would never end. So I'm going to scratch the surface of this glorious truth that has and continues to become a precious revelation to me, with the full expectation to see your enthusiasm and devotion towards it grow fuller and stronger too.
There is a beautiful CONFIDENCE we receive when we put the truth of God's Word first place in our lives. In 1 John 3:21-22, it says, "And, beloved, if our consciences (our hearts) do not accuse us [if they do not make us feel guilty and condemn us], we have CONFIDENCE (complete assurance and boldness) before God, And we receive from Him whatever we ask, because we [watchfully] obey His orders [observe His suggestions and injunctions, follow His plan for us] and [habitually] practice what is pleasing to Him."
As children of God, our spirits have been born again into the image of Jesus Christ. We are new creations in Christ, full of His Spirit of life and love and power! Because we are children of light, it only makes sense that we walk and live our every day lives in that light right?
What does that mean? Well, I read a phrase once that said, "...you should walk in obedience to the light you have." In other words, when we have spent time in God's Word, and the Holy Spirit has revealed its truth to us, and we decide to receive and believe it - it's important that we go ahead and act on that truth by applying it to our lives.
When we do this, a CONFERENCE begins to rise up on the inside of us. It's a confidence that comes from doing what we know is God's will for us, and that we will walk in the benefits of that obedience. Here's a good way to explain this confidence: It's just like putting effort into learning about a particular product by reading and studying its manufacturer's manual. The manual tells you how to apply the correct principles to the product in order to get the optimal potential and use from it. Following its instructions gives you a confidence that as you apply the knowledge gained, you will get the results you are looking forward to.
The Word of God is our creator's manual for abundant, kingdom life! It's filled with valuable principles that when applied, benefit us tremendously! This particular verse in 1John 3:21,22, highlights the benefit of a CONFIDENCE in God! It's a confidence that we will receive what we ask for, when we pray.
For a moment, let's take a look at what happens when we don't obey what we know is God's will for us, and we choose to walk in disobedience to His voice. The Bible tells us that it's only a matter of time before our own hearts will start to condemn us. I know you know what I'm talking about - I've experienced it myself. Have you had times where you allowed your anger and frustration to get the better of you and you lashed out with words that hurt others? Or maybe you did something that was dishonest or selfish, either way, you know that your heart will not let you off the hook about it, it will cause that uneasiness to tug at you until you do something about it.
The trouble is, if we continue to brush it aside and ignore it, when we come before the Lord in prayer, we find our thoughts being filled with doubt and fear, that keep our prayers from being answered. That's what it means in John 3:21, when it says our hearts accuse and condemn us, making us feel guilty. As a result, we loose our confidence in God answering our prayers, and in the Word doing what it says it will do.
Now I know that Romans 8:1 says there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! That's exactly right! It's really important for us to read the whole part of that verse though, to keep it in accurate context. It says, "THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit." When we walk after the things of the Spirit, by living in obedience to the light or truth we have, our own hearts will not condemn us, and we will have a bold confidence to believe and trust God and His Word concerning us, particularly when we pray!
Gloria Copeland wrote this important piece of wisdom, "Remember this: Even though the eternal price for your sins has been paid, a life of disobedience will still cost you dearly. It will cost you the boldness that is rightfully yours in Jesus. It will rob you of faith and rock you with fear."
But living and abiding in God's Word and obeying the truth we have received from it, will cause us to walk in a wonderful confidence, filled with faith! We won't be filled with doubt and worry that our prayers won't be answered, or that the Word of God won't work for us. No, we will be filled with confidence and faith that it will! And when we lay our burdens at His feet, and pray His Word concerning them, we enter a place of confident rest in Him! Knowing that what ever we have asked, being in line with His will, is exactly what we will receive! And that's just one benefit of living obedient to God's Word!
Over the next few letters, we will take a look at some other wonderful benefits of putting God's Word first. For this week, enjoy the confidence you have in God, by walking in the light He has given you!
All my love,