Spiritual Health Check - Part 2: Governed by His Word?

Last month I began to post about a book that I have been revisiting, Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health by Donald Whitney.  As the name suggests it poses 10 sobering questions for us as believers to reflect on to see whether we are growing Spiritually in a healthy way.  The first question which I addressed in a previous posting was Do you thirst for God? 

Question 2 is Are you governed increasingly by God's Word?
This question is filled with all kinds of challenges, for one, most of us, if we're honest don't really want to be governed by anything.  But to be governed by God's Word is to allow it have full authority over the way that we live our lives. It requires that we bring our whole selves in submission to this authority.  Whitney quotes Thomas Chalmers saying, "The sum and substance of the preparation for a  coming eternity is that you believe what the Bible tells you and do what the Bible bids you."

Because the Bible is not simply another book, but is in fact the very word of Almighty God, it is utterly unparalleled in its truth, its reliability, its power and its authority.  As 2 Timothy 3:16-17 reminds us, 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 complete, equipped for every good work. 

Psalm 19 likewise tells us that the Word of God is perfect, sure, right, pure, true and righteous, sweeter than honey and more to be desired than fine gold.

In God's Word we find His revelation of Himself to us.  We learn who God is and what He is like, and we learn who we really are and what we are really like, and accordingly how much we desperately need Him!  When we have a right understanding of who God is, who we are, and what He requires of us, then we find ourselves joyfully compelled to live entirely surrendered to Him.

Whitney explains, "No Christian, of course, always and perfectly lives in accordance with Scripture.  Only Jesus has done that.  So we speak of being governed by Scripture as 1) a general characteristic of a true follower of Jesus, and yet 2) something that increasingly characterizes the growing Christian."

Do we increasingly desire to know God, and to live in such a way that honors Him and brings glory to Him.  If so we must, Whitney continues:

  • Seek to be growing in our desire for God's Word (this can only happen by reading it, and asking the Lord to birth in you a passion to know Him better)
  •  Diligently make time to spend in His Word
  • Read it daily and do not close it until we know how we ought to respond to what we are reading
  • Train ourselves to ask the question - "how does the Bible speak to this situation that I find myself facing?"

Sadly, there is in much of the evangelical church a focus on knowing about the Bible, but often a little energy is given to living out the Word.  But, we do not truly know God's Word until we allow it to take a hold of us, and when we do, we will discover as the Psalmist said, Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

May you know the joy, the freedom and the confidence that comes from walking according to His Word!


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