How are you and God doing right now? Are you hearing much from Him? Are you struggling through life right now? I think a lot of these questions can be summed up by the question, “How is your Bible intake right now?”
This isn’t a question to induce guilt, but to induce power and deeper intimacy with the God of the universe who has given you everything you need to navigate this life with Him, rather than trying to do it on your own. Does He spell out your exact situations and circumstances in life in the Bible? Not usually, but He does tell you how to seek Him in them and how to find Him.
Do you worry that you’re doing this whole “life thing” wrong?
You can’t know how to live right and well and abundantly if you don’t know God through Jesus and the presence of His Holy Spirit. And you can’t know Him if you don’t know His heart and who He is. And you can’t know His heart unless you know His words…summed up in His Word.
Your life, like mine, I’m sure, is not picture perfect. Things are not the way they were supposed to be overall. That’s hard. So hard. But there is hope that you will not only survive, but also find redemption and hope past the wastelands you are traveling through.
We Were Made for the Garden, Not the Desert
I’ve been thinking a lot about how life was supposed to be. It was supposed to be a luscious experience of walking with God through the Garden and enjoying a full life without the hard things. It was supposed to. And at first, that’s how it was. But then, paying attention to the wrong words, lingering on them, and then acting on them did the exact opposite of what we were created for. The wrong word led us into the wasteland of the soul.
Maybe that’s why we often say, “Life isn’t all sunshine and roses.”
Yet, in the wasteland that this world is, Jesus has met us right there by the power of the Word of God. He stepped into the desert to lead us back to the fellowship that was broken in the garden. And He took the wrong words head on with His perfect Word.
The desert, where Jesus was tempted by Satan, was the complete opposite of the Garden, where Eve was tempted by Satan.
In both places, the Word of God was spoken and offered to bring life if it was obeyed.
In the desert, the very representation of the post-Garden of Eden condition of our souls, Jesus fought the word of Satan with the Word of God. The word of Satan was twisted. The Word of God was direct. The word of Satan had potential for destruction and death. The Word of God had power to bring and sustain life. The word of Satan offered temporary gratification. The Word of God offered eternal transformation.
If Eve would have recalled and obeyed the words God spoke to her, she never would’ve suffered or been cast out of God’s presence. She was looking for the wrong kind of sustenance.
Jesus showed us that despite our conditions, we can have life and sustenance, but it all comes from the Word of God resonating deeper in our souls than the words of Satan resounding in our circumstances.
“The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
Jesus is the Word made flesh (John 1:14) and He is the Bread of Life (John 6:35). He’s the only One who satisfies and the antithesis of the fruit that Eve tried to find fullness in.
All throughout the Bible, we see the message of the gospel is the message of restoration. David says about the Lord, our Shepherd, in Psalm 23:2b that “He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” Did you know that the word “restore” means: “to bring back a precious right”? Again, I can’t help but think about where humanity started…walking with God in the Garden and then where the world is today…walking without God in the desert. Jesus came to restore our souls.
The Way to Know Restoration Is to Know God’s Word
The way we start to know this restoration is through His Word. Psalm 1:2-3a says, “But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season…”
Your Bible reading time may not be picture perfect, but for the sake of your soul and the goal of hope, start somewhere. Spend time reading God’s Word even when it’s hard to get to it. And chew on it by memorizing it and meditating on it. The more you meet God there, the more He will meet you. For real. You need help and I need help combatting the wrong words that are hovering over our hearts, begging us to stay stuck in hopeless darkness. But the Word of God is the right series of words…perfect words… to get you unstuck, moving toward hope by the power of the Light of the World.
God’s Word really is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our paths (Psalm 119:105.)
What can you do today to turn that light on in your hard things and regular things?
Pick up God’s perfect Word and let Him meet you in your imperfect picture with the right words to combat all the wrong words.