"Oh, that my ways were directed and established to observe Your statutes [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying them]! Then shall I not be put to shame [by failing to inherit Your promises] when I have respect to all Your commandments."
- Psalm 119:5-6 AMP
I have a deep desire to see all the biblical promises that God has for me fulfilled in my life. Knowing this, the Lord led me to Psalm 119:5-6 (AMP) during my devotional time with Him earlier today. These verses reveal how you and I can cooperate with God to reap more of the blessings of His promises, and how we can avoid "failing to inherit" them.
Notice that the Lord says that we need to be "hearing" His Word on a regular basis. That means we must spend time listening to it in ways that will feed our spirit, just as we feed our bodies each day. Romans 10:17 (NKJV) says: "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Listening to good, solid preaching and teaching-especially on the subjects that we need to focus on most-can build our faith in God's Word and promises. Years ago, I heard a godly man say, "You will either be filled with the Word, or with the world." If you constantly listen to worldly news and ideas, without keeping yourself on a steady diet of God's Word, you will get off the Lord's path for your life, and you will fail to receive the good things He has in store for you.
Next, we have to purposely "receive" the Word in order to benefit from God's promises. Do we accept the Word of God as truth? Or do we reject it--seeing it as invalid, irrelevant, or out-of-date? When Jesus was praying for His disciples, He said to the Father, "Your word is truth." (John 17:17 NKJV) When we get into agreement with God, and see His Word as the truth it is, we open the door for Him to work mightily in our hearts, lives, and circumstances. The apostle Paul wrote: "And we also [especially] thank God continually for this, that when you received the message of God [which you heard] from us, you welcomed it not as the word of [mere] men, but as it truly is, the Word of God, which is effectually at work in you who believe [exercising its superhuman power in those who adhere to and trust in and rely on it]." (1 Thessalonians 2:13 AMP)
We also need to learn to "love" God's Word if we expect to reap the fullness of its benefits. Psalm 119:140 (NKJV) says: "Your word is very pure; therefore Your servant loves it." No matter how busy we are, we should make time each day to read, study, and listen to the Word of God. We must arrange our schedules around our quiet time with the Lord each day, instead of trying to squeeze Him into our schedules. One of the best ways to prove to the Lord that we are serious about growing closer to Him, and getting to know His Word better, is to refuse to let a day go by without devoting some time to the Scriptures. The author of Psalm 119 declared, "I will not neglect Your word." (v.16 NIV). We should have the same attitude.
Obeying the Word is another essential aspect of seeing all of God's promises to us fulfilled in our lives. James wrote: "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." (James 1:22 NIV) Then James stresses the fact that we will be rewarded for our obedience, when he says that doers of the Word "will be blessed in what they do." (v.25) The Bible contains a multitude of promises of God with your name on them. Will you cooperate with Him to reap every single one-for your good, and for His glory?
Prayer: Lord, teach me how to listen to, and feed on, Your Word in ways that will build my faith. Show me how to receive and accept it as the truth of God. Help me to cultivate a love for Your Word by giving it first place in my life. Thank You that as I become a doer of the Word, I will reap all of the blessings and rewards that are my inheritance in Christ!
- J. M. Farro