Most Christians know the importance of reading the Bible, but many do not understand the importance of abiding in the Word and allowing the Word to abide in them. Jesus told His disciples, “If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7, The Amplified Bible).
To abide means “to remain, to continue in, or to dwell in.” When we are diligent to study the Word and hide Scripture verses in our hearts, we have instant access to them whenever we need them, and Jesus promised that we can ask for whatever we need in prayer and receive it.
Abiding in the Word and allowing the Word to abide in us gives us more power in our prayer lives. And having power in prayer gives us power over the enemy.
Jesus also said, “If you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them], you are truly My disciples. And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32).
Consider 1 John 2:14 and you will see that abiding in the Word of God produces victory over the wicked one: “I write to you, young men, because you are strong and vigorous, and the Word of God is [always] abiding in you (in your hearts), and you have been victorious over the wicked one.”
I can testify that the Word of God has caused me to be victorious over the devil. I was a Christian for many years-a church-attending, tithing Christian who loved God and was active in church work. But I had zero victory because I did not know the Word.
Many believers go to church every week to listen to someone else preach the Word to them, but they never know the Word for themselves. If you want to live in victory, you must do your own study of the Word-dig out for yourself the gold that is hidden in the pages of the Bible.
I am talking about something far beyond reading a chapter a day. That is good and may be a place to start, but if you really want victory over the devil in these end times, you must give God's Word a place of priority in your life.
You abide in the Word by staying in it. Practically speaking, this could mean that you get up in the morning and, while taking a shower, you begin confessing or singing the Word. Perhaps on the way to work you listen to a good teaching or music CD that is filled with the Word. The Bible is available on CD if you want to listen to it while doing your work around the house. You should hear anointed preaching and teaching regularly. Several times a week is not too often.
You may want to use your lunch hour to read the Word or walk outside and pray (remember to fill your prayers with the Word). When the workday is over, listen to good teaching or music on the way home.
I am not suggesting that you ignore your family or become irresponsible in other areas. While you are at work you need to give your employer a full day's work for a full day's pay. No one can keep the Word going in his head or ears constantly. Abiding does not mean “unceasingly.” I define it as “relentlessly”-on a regular, continuing basis. Giving the Word a place of priority will change your life.
If you have been wondering why it always seems that you are under something-facing one problem or another-and don't have victory in your life, perhaps you need to spend more time abiding in the Word.
Can you honestly say that you have spent your years as a Christian abiding in God's Word … and allowing it to abide in you? If the answer is no, I encourage you to take action. Make reading and studying the Word a priority. Start memorizing Scriptures and hiding them in your heart. Then when you face the battles of life you will be fully armed and prepared to win the war.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and one of the world's leading practical Bible teachers. She has written more than 70 books, including the popular Beauty for Ashes and Battlefield of the Mind, and her most recent, Look Great, Feel Great (all Warner Faith). She is also the founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. and the host of Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide.