As I was reflecting on the passage in Psalm 119: "Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee", this thought entered my mind, "How can one hide something that
they do not possess?" In other words, in order to "hide the Word in my heart", I must first actually become familiar with it--I must read it, I must embrace it, I must grab a hold of it--then, and only then, can I hide it (store it) in my heart.
Then I read this excerpt:
Keep the Word, and the Word will keep you: as the first receiving of the Word regenerated your hearts, so the keeping of the Word within you will preserve your hearts. "Let the word of God dwell richly in you" Let it dwell, not tarry with you, in its commands, promises, threats; in all that is in you, in your understandings, memories, consciences, affections, and then it will preserve your hearts.
"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." It is the slipperiness of our hearts in reference to the Word, that causes so many slips in our lives. Conscience cannot be urged or awed with forgotten truths; but keep it in the heart, and it will keep both heart and life upright.
"The law of his God is in his heart: none of his steps shall slide;" or if he do, the word will recover the straying heart again; Matt. xxvi.57 - "Then Peter remembered the word of Jesus, and wept bitterly." We never lose our hearts, till they have first lost the efficacious and powerful impression of the word.
(Volume 5, page 504-5, Complete Works of John Flavel, Banner of Truth)
Then these thoughts came to me: How do we keep the Word, if we aren't in the Word--if we don't know the Word? How can it dwell richly in us, if we spend little time in it? How do we hide the Word, if we are not in the Word and don't know the Word? How can the law be in our hearts, if we do not know your law?
Why do I not spend every possible "free" moment in the Word of God? That is where the power is. That is where the promises are to be found and learned and embraced. That is where I encounter God. That is where true wisdom, and peace, and joy, and life, and strength, is to be discovered and embraced. That is where I will find my savior and my God. Why don't I want that more than anything else?
Why, if I have been blessed with "free" time, do I turn on the computer and check emails, or pull a book off the shelf and devour it, or turn on TV and watch some rerun that I may have already seen? Life is so short. If our life will have any meaning and any purpose, if we have any hope of impacting this World for the Glory of God, for the salvation of souls, for finding joy in our own afflictions; for comforting and ministering to others that will have a lasting value; for having His truth and His wisdom and His love planted so deeply in our souls that our life can be used by Him to reflect His Love and to bring His light and Truth to others--we must be equipped--and the thing that equips us is THE WORD OF GOD. The promises contained within make that crystal clear. Why do we not want His Word more? Why do we not place a higher value on it, then we do? We have been given THE WORD OF GOD! Why do we not cherish it more? Why do we not hunger for it more?
For me, I think it must be--for I can come to no other conclusion--it has to be "the enemy". What do I mean. Knowing my hearts affection and passion for my Lord, the only possible reason that I can come up with for not placing the Word of God above all other ways to spend my "free" time, is that the enemy has more influence over me than I choose to admit. All of the distractions that he has placed in my life; all of the harmless "free" time alternatives that are available. The enemy is quite content with me "loving the Lord" and living a sweet life. However, he does not want me actually "equipped"!
This coming year, I will be wagging a WAR against the enemies influence in my life. If I am to put on the "Full Armor of God", that means more than just wearing the "helmet of salvation" and resting in my own redemption. That means more than having the breastplate of righteousness in place in order to protect myself--without love and care for others. If my feet are to be fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel; I must know the gospel so well that it flows from my mouth with confidence, joy, love and ease. If I am going to wear the "belt of truth" buckled around my waist--I must first know the truth, intimately . If I am going to take up the shield of faith and the "Sword of the Spirit" which is the Word of God; I must be in the Word--I must know the Word!
No wonder we have no impact on the world. No wonder many are sad and depressed. No wonder we feel that we are waisting our life. WE ARE! The enemy and our own flesh has effectively kept us from the one thing that will solve all of these problems; the one thing with promise and power. The one thing that most of us spend little time in--the WORD OF GOD.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
Lord, I plead with you. Grant me (in the coming year) by the power of your Spirit, this desire of my heart. Sweet and Mighty God, revive your people! Place in them, by the power of your Holy Spirit, I new and fresh hunger for You and for your Word. Turn their eyes from all the distractions that this world and the enemy has to offer, and all of the things that entice their flesh; turn their eyes, Oh Lord from those things to Christ and to His Word! Oh, Lord; hear the cry of my heart and revive your people in this coming year. It is in the precious name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ that I pray. AMEN
After thought: I can already hear some of your thoughts: "We need balance in our lives". Yes, we do. Fitness is important for a sound mind and body, fellowshipping is important; keeping up on current events is important, etc. When I say "free" time, I mean those times when we sit in front of the TV channel surfing or looking for something to "entertain" us. If we search our hearts and listen to the Spirit of God convicting us; we all know what I really mean. Don't we.