If you have followed this blog for any length of time, you have probably come to realize that I am what you might call a Word person! From the earliest days of my personal encounter with Jesus, I have been taught by both precept and example concerning the power of His Word. If I had to blame any one individual for my leaning in this direction, I would have to point my finger directly to my lovely wife!
As I have mentioned before, from our first meeting as juniors in high school, she talked and acted like Jesus was her best friend. She referenced the words she read from her bible as if they came directly from His mouth… and whatever He said, she took quite literally! I don’t recall that same degree of oneness with the rest of her family when we first started dating, but their house was definitely a place where Christianity was the norm of life.
A good example of my wife’s way of thinking was demonstrated when we were asked out to the local ice skating arena during the first year of our marriage by the Assistant Pastors of our church. At one point during our time together the Pastor mentioned that they almost had to cancel as he had not been feeling well. When we asked what was going on, he kind of chuckled and whispered that he had “the runs.” Well, without missing a beat, my little freckle faced 22 year old wife looked him directly in the eye and quoted from Matthew 18:18 saying, “Well, you know that the bible says that “whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven!” (New American Standard)
The Pastor immediately broke into laughter but then stopped short when he realized that although she had a big smile on her face, that my wife was quite serious. A discussion filled with a lot of “um’s” followed the incident and then the subject was quickly changed! But Piper’s response to that situation has continued to be our first line of defense to any need that has arisen throughout the 45 years of our relationship.
So, when faced with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s back a few years ago, we naturally defaulted our opinions and our plan of attack to what God’s Word says about the subject of sickness and disease. The Greek translation of 2 Samuel 22:31 says: “God—unblemished is his way. The saying of the Lord is tried in fire. He is a defender to all the one’s yielding upon him.” (Apostolic Bible Polyglot) That translation reached out and grabbed hold of me this morning as I nodded in agreement with the understanding that the truth, strength and miraculous intervention of God’s Word only comes out through the fiery testing’s in our lives! In other words, in order for the Word to work, you have to work the Word.
As I meditated on this revelation, I was reminded of Jesus’ prayer as recorded in John chapter seventeen. At one point He says to Papa God, “They (meaning us!) are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them though thy truth: thy word is truth.” (John 16-17 KJV) Another translation declares that “They don’t belong to the world…” (Moffatt) But for our purposes here, I like The Message Bible’s paraphrase saying, “They are no more defined by the world than I am defined by the world.”
According to Jesus, as born-again Christians, we no longer belong to the world. The world and its ways do NOT define who or what we are! The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges comments that “The word expresses God’s destination of them for their work.” I think we could also justifiably add that “the Word expresses His destination for our lives!”
Think about that for a moment. If the Word defines who we are as well as the destination of our lives, then we have neither need nor right to look to the world for direction, solutions and/or definitions for the course of any situation or circumstance in our lives. Jesus clearly stated that our allegiance belongs to Papa God and not to the world’s way of thinking… or to what the intellectual or scientific community declares what is possible or not!
That’s why it was the failure to adhere to that way of thinking that really knocked me for a loop when Christian folks that my family and I spent over forty years developing a relationship with immediately opted to look to the world for reasons and solutions for Piper’s needs rather than to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33 MKJV)… and it is still going on!
As far as I am concerned, the Word’s destination is the place I want to be! How about you? What is it that best defines you? Where do you first look for your directions in this life? When the dictates of the enemy of our souls are loosed against you, what is your first line of defense? With whom do you entrust the power to bind what is happening to you or a loved one? For me there is only ONE WAY – HIS WAY! My plan is to stick with the defense of that little but spunky, freckled faced young but powerful women of God and to loose the power of God and His Word against any hapless attack that the enemy might attempt against me or mine!
Have a great day. Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What our Whom am I expecting to DEFINE WHO I AM today?”