"If they obey and serve Him, they will spend their days in prosperity and their years in pleasures" (Job 36:11).
"If": the biggest little word in the Bible. What is it that we are missing in our Christian walk today? As I travel and minister, I find so many hurting and sick, frustrated Christians. I am continually asking the Lord, "Why is this?"
He always brings me back to this Scripture: "My people are being destroyed because they don't know me" (Hos. 4:6a, NLT).
"They don't know Me!" That burns in my heart. I've traveled many roads and gone through many seasons in my Christian journey of 40 years, and I think I'm just beginning to understand that the Word of God is a spiritual book, written by a Spirit being to a spirit being. We have to understand how to live as new creations in Christ Jesus, living in a sin-cursed world. Conversion gives us the ability "to see and understand the kingdom of God."
We get so busy living life, and storm clouds of the world roll in and block our vision. Deep down, I knew God was there, but He seemed so far away. Then it happened one day. I heard the voice of God! I was reading Psalm 23:1, 4 (MEV): "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want ... I will fear no evil; for You are with me."
Like many people, I had read and heard these verses many times. I had seen them on plaques hanging on the wall. But this day, I felt like God was saying, "This is My promise to you. Are you living in it?" As I meditated these words from the Lord, He began to reveal to me this psalm written by David, which was about a life without lack and no fear or anxiety.
Psalm 23 was not just some nice words but an accurate description of the kind of life that is available to the child of God. That day, I made a decision that I wanted this life, and I was willing to dig deep for it. I began to study the Word of God, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to me the goodness of God. I began to cry out of my heart, "Lord, I want to know You and the power of Your resurrection" (see Phil. 3:10.)
As I continued in the Word, seeking the Lord to know Him, revelation began opening the eyes of my understanding. I understood that as a child of God, I had a role to play in every promise of God. I had to create an environment to hear His voice.
I lived in Scotland for 12 years, and there are many sheep there. My husband and I loved to travel throughout the countryside. Many times, we had to stop and allow the sheep to cross the road. The one thing that stood out to us was the sheep had total trust in the shepherd.
That same thing is true with the child of God. John 10:4 says, "When he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them. And the sheep follow him, for they know his voice" (emphasis mine).
I learned that submission to God came from commitment to His Word. James 4:7 tells us, "Therefore submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." I used to hear people say, "Resist the devil, and he will flee!" In desperation one day, I cried out, "How do I do this?" But the crowd of people I was with didn't have any idea. Then one day, I saw James 4:7 myself: "Therefore submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
I had to be submitted to God! There is always a condition to every promise. If you will, I will. The only way to grow in totally trusting the Good Shepherd in your life and become a partaker is to be committed to the Word of God. Proverbs tells us it is life to those who find it and health to all their flesh (See Prov. 4:20-23.)
Hunger for the Word of God comes from reading the Word. When you step into the river of life, you will find that revelation begets revelation. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Live in Psalm 23 and walk in obedience, and you will live your days in prosperity of spirit, soul and body, and live your years in pleasure.
Joyce Tilney is an author and Bible teacher. In her new book, The Real Woman Grows Roses from the Thorns of Life, Joyce shares how the seed of God's Word planted in your heart will transform you into the child God created you to be. For more information email: [email protected] and visit her blog wogministries.com/the-real-woman-blog/. Books available on Amazon.
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