“…my heart standeth in awe of thy word” (Ps.119:161)
The adage: “Perception defines reality” is only valid in a limited sense. Perception doesn’t truly define reality; God’s Word, absolute and eternal, defines that which is true and real. However, it is true that how we perceive things has a tremendous effect on our attitude toward them; this is especially true regarding the Scriptures.
Our conception of the world (our “worldview”) determines how we live in the world. How we view the world is the result of dominant influences that have shaped our lives. Similarly, if the Word of God is the dominant influence, it will result in a “biblical worldview.” The depth of influence depends upon how we perceive the scriptures. What we truly believe about the nature and character of God’s Word plays a big part in transforming our lives.
Hebrews 4:12-13 contains the truth necessary to enlighten our understanding as to the Personality of God’s Word: “For the Word of God is quick [alive], and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”
No ordinary book! Alive and powerful, not merely paper and ink! This portion of scripture sheds light on a vital truth that should affect our reading of the Bible. “There is a supernatural, indivisible union between God and His word; therefore, unlike human words, God’s words have a life of their own “…the word of God which liveth and abideth forever.” (1 Peter 1:23). Jesus said: “…the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63).
Upon salvation, God permanently joins Himself to us by His Spirit, “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” (1 Cor.6:17) and speaks to us on a personal level through His Word.
Right Motive for Reading the Word
Attitude determines the outcome. Our motive for spending time in the Word shouldn’t be one of obligation but rather desire to hear: “Speak, LORD for thy servant heareth” (1 Sam.3:9). We must approach the Scriptures from the standpoint of awe and submission; we are not to judge the Word but rather allow it to judge us. “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Ps.139:23-24)
Remember, God’s Word is “…a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12). So, in reality, while we are reading God’s Word, He is simultaneously reading us: Searching our hearts, discerning our motives, causing introspection, provoking thoughts, all the while convicting the conscience.
To neglect God’s Word is to shut your ears to His voice, to deprive yourself of His counsel. “There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand. (Prov. 19:21), guidance “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Ps.119:105) correction, “For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” (Prov.3:11) and comfort, “This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.” (Ps.119:50). And so much more.
“Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” (Job 23:12)