God Speaks Through His Word
There was a black cloud emanating from my own heart. It was hatred, and it scared me. I had allowed ugly thoughts to seep into my mind for a few years and now that I was in Bible Study classes, they had become exposed by the Word of God.
I was sitting in our Bible Study assembly as the teaching leader expounded upon the week’s scriptural text to cement it into our hearts. She was reading Exodus 20:12, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.” (New King James Version). I proudly thought, ‘I do honor my father and my mother’ however, the sword of the Word of God pierced my proud heart and exposed my sin.
The next thought I had was, ‘You do honor your parents, but you do not honor your husband’s parents’. Quickly my thoughts responded to the “silent” voice inside, ‘But they are his parents, not mine’. The Lord’s rebuke was swift and sure. I immediately remembered Genesis 2:24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” If we were one flesh, then his parents were also mine! I was guilty and had nowhere to hide. My pride had made me defenseless to the Truth of God’s Word.
My husband and I married at a young age. Our households growing up were very different. Being insecure, unsaved and prideful, I had “issues” with his family’s way of doing things. In addition, I felt his mother detested me and therefore, I never felt comfortable when around his family.
As the tension grew between my mother-in-law and me, I began to seethe with a hatred inside. I was religious, but not a true Christian at the time, although I attended church regularly. Not fully understanding the Word of God in regard to forgiveness, I felt entirely justified in my feelings and thoughts until the Word of the Lord pierced my heart.
I sat in that assembly of 400 women feeling entirely vulnerable, but grateful for the opportunity to hear the Word of God and humble myself before the Truth that stared me in the face. It was like looking into a mirror that showed my flaws. I prayed a silent prayer based on my new revelation, ‘I do not have the faith for the ability to love right now, but I ask you for the ability to be tolerant of my husband’s parents’. I knew honor must come but at the moment, love and honor seemed impossible to me.
I began to walk out my challenge with the Lord’s gracious help, having asked Him to show me why my husband’s mother seemed so against me from the beginning. I prayed about how to show his parents honor and not allow our differences to bring division. I especially worked on guarding my tongue when around my mother-in-law by not trying to defend myself when I felt accused or alienated. One glorious day, I heard the answer to my prayers come forth from my mother-in-law’s own mouth. She quoted a phrase I had heard years before which I realized she had believed regarding marriage; “Have a daughter, gain a son; have a son, lose a son.” She disliked me and considered me her enemy because she thought I was stealing her son from her!
Truly, I had never intended to do that. I had wanted our families to be close and enjoy being around one another. That day I knew my task was to prove to my mother-in-law that I was not interested in “stealing” her son, but I wanted to blend into their family as he had with mine.
God humbled my prideful heart and enabled me to reverse the curse of hatred by changing my heart and making it possible for me to love her and my father-in-law. A couple of years before my mother-in-law died, my husband and I were visiting the nursing home where she and my father-in-law were living. I felt the need to make sure all was right between us so I asked her to forgive me for anything I may have done over the years that was hurtful to her or disrespectful. I had grown to love her and knew her time was drawing near to pass on from this world. Her reply was amazing. She said to me, “There’s nothing to forgive, to me you have been the daughter I never had!” My eyes filled with tears and I left that day humbled, knowing God spoke to me many years before through the reading and hearing of His Word.
“For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart”. Hebrews 4:12 Amplified Version.
There have been many times in my life when I sat down to read the Word of God (Bible) and received the answers for which I had been praying. I have also had many experiences when I received revelation of the deeper meaning of a scriptural passage I had read many times before. God was expounding and clarifying His Word to me.
Because the Word of God speaks, it has the capability to change our mindset, convict us of sin and reveal truths previously unknown to the reader (seeker). The Spirit of God is active and working on behalf of those who read and study the Word of God. The Word of God builds our faith while strengthening our resolve. “So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17 New King James Version.
The Word of God speaks to us and directs our path. Through His Word, God illuminates our Christian walk, leading us in the way we should go. It sheds light when we are in darkness and gives us answers to our questions. “The entrance and unfolding of Your words give light; their unfolding gives understanding (discernment and comprehension) to the simple.” Psalm 119:130 Amplified Version.
The Word of God is a powerful instrument used by God for the saving of our souls (mind, will and emotions). It not only washes us clean from sin as it did me, it also transforms our thinking and world view, enabling us to stand in times of extreme persecution and darkness because it has become engrafted into our hearts. “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves”… “But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:21-22, 25 New King James Version.
God speaks to His people in many ways. In How God Speaks Part 1, I showed that God speaks through His creation. In Part 2, I am teaching that God speaks to us through His written Word. We must also remember that Jesus is the precise manifestation of God and the written Word of God contains the spoken Word of God. His Word was not only given to His messengers, but was spoken through Jesus himself. These are not only words to guide our lives and build our faith, they are words which have the power to change the entire course of our destiny and eternity.
“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.” John 14:23-24 New King James Version. We must never become numb to the Word of God nor think we know it all. Pride and a disregard of God’s Word breeds deception and eventually apostasy.
What a privilege it is to be loved by God and to have the God of all creation desire to not only have a relationship with us, but to speak to us directly. He uses many ways to open dialogue with Him, but His Word is something we can experience every day, any time we open the pages and read with a seeking heart. God truly speaks; are we listening?