A few week's ago, I did a short study about considering the words we listen to and how many words we both speak and hear in a day. Learning to choose wisely those we embrace (take to heart) is important just based on the constant barrage of words we each hear. Even words we may find a little difficult to embrace are often the very words we need to hear at the moment - this is especially true as it applies to the words of God's commands. There are times when we'd rather not consider those words - seeing them as onerous and a little too "restricting". Yet, we give what I would call "lip service" to them. For example, when God tells us to love unconditionally, we think this is a good idea and we even proclaim to do so - putting this into "operation" in our lives is quite another thing. When we begin to see God's commands as something other than "restrictions", but more like "miracle words", we might just consider them differently. If you haven't stop to consider the miracle of obedience to what God says - then maybe it is time to do so!
Every word you give me is a miracle word— how could I help but obey? Break open your words, let the light shine out, let ordinary people see the meaning. Mouth open and panting, I wanted your commands more than anything. Turn my way, look kindly on me, as you always do to those who personally love you. Steady my steps with your Word of promise so nothing malign gets the better of me. Rescue me from the grip of bad men and women so I can live life your way. Smile on me, your servant; teach me the right way to live. (Psalm 119:129-135 MSG)
By definition, a miracle is something which surpasses all human or natural powers. In stopping for a moment to consider how God's words affect us, we might just begin to see the connection between embracing his words (those which surpass our human or natural power) in helping us to actually "do" the things in our life which have escaped our ability to do in our own power or strength. In the realm of obedience, the one thing we struggle with the most is us "trying" to do what is right, but then producing what is wrong. We need power which surpasses our own ability - all 'trying' is really just us relying upon our own ability! When we embrace God's Word as a tool by which we see released God's "surpassing power" in our lives - there is a transformation made possible in those very words!
We are indeed "ordinary" people, aren't we? We are kind of "undistinguished" in our walk on this earth until God's Word ignites a fire within us which begins to change our actions and attitude. This "miracle-power" of his Word actually brings about a transformation for the "undistinguished" character we have - just one of the crowd of millions - into this unique individual referred to as a child of God. Whenever we go about living as though we are 'ordinary', we are living far below the potential God has for us in this life. He has determined to make us 'extraordinary' by the effect of his "miracle-words" in our lives.
There is somewhat of a transformation which happens to us when we begin to see God's surpassing power break into areas of our lives which were previously areas of struggle and defeat, isn't there? We begin to see life through different "eyes" when God's Word begins to transform the tough areas of our character which were previously 'untouched' by divine power. As long as we continue to believe the words we so commonly hold onto (those spoken by others about how we will never change, or those spoken deeply into our own hearts by our own minds believing we cannot ever overcome areas of struggle in our lives), we will not be open to embracing God's "miracle-words" into our hearts.
What happens when we begin to see God's commands as those things which produce God's miracle-working power within our lives is this thing we call "sanctification" in church circles. It is a big word to describe our life changing from being so "ordinary" into us being quite "extraordinary" through the application of his power within. In the process of God speaking to us through his Word, we are brought to a place of choice - that of continuing in the limiting "rat-race" of trying to be transformed in our own power, or that of stepping aside and allowing God's power to invade the spaces of our lives which have been areas of continual defeat and struggle for us. We don't overcome addictions - God's power within us does! We don't break free of harmful sins - God's power within us does! We don't walk away from hurtful pasts - God's power within us does! This power is released in his commands and is set free in us when we embrace those commands as something other than onerous "rules" we have to keep.
David puts it well - we are rescued (kept) from all that maligns (is harmful and hurtful to us) when we allow God's words to begin to take deep root within. They actually "steady our steps", so to speak. If you have ever walked on a very uneven surface, or perhaps across a suspension bridge, you know how "unsteady" your steps can be. Trying to do things in our own power is just like walking on than uneven surface, or swaying suspension bridge. The more we try to "steady" our steps, the harder it becomes to take the next step forward - because each step forward only brings a return of the unsteadiness of our journey! We find it hard to find firm footing when it is us trying to control the sway, or produce "evenness" in our path!
The "right" way to live is not learned by trial and error. Although we do a lot of "trying" and equally as much "erring", I don't think we actually make much progress forward in our lives by these means. It isn't until God's power is released within that we begin to make our steps count. Herein is the challenge - will we keep seeing God's commands as onerous (impossible to keep), or will we embrace them as having the potential and promise of producing "miracle-power" within? Just askin!
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