Â“CAN I TAKE GOD AT HIS WORDÂ”
In the last few months, I have studied the Bible, searched my heart and meditated on this question over and over again. I believe I can now give an answer from the Word, and from my heart as it has gradually been unfolded to me. On the grounds that I am a child of God, I dare to say; yes, I can take God at His Word, yes, I must take God at His Word, and yes, I do. But it must be by faith.
I must because it is His revealed Word, because His Word must be obeyed, even though sinful man has lost that power to obey through the fall of Adam. So man is without excuse, and when it comes to the
final judgement, when all hearts shall be open and revealed and all in exposed, then the justice and judgement of God will be seen and acknowledged. He is a righteous God who cannot look upon sin, and nothing that defileth shall ever enter heaven. I must take God at His Word because His Word is altogether true, everlasting, and enduring. It will never fail. It is settled forever in heaven. His Word is spirit and life and God is holy and I sometimes tremble at His word. So I must take God at His Word because I dare do no other, because He is my Holy Father and I revere His name and know from he Word and in my heart and experience that He cannot lie. As in the family relationship a little child looks up to his father who gives Him love, correction, and protection, and father’s word is law; so in the spiritual family my Heavenly Father is even more to me than my earthly father and what He says to me is His Holy Word, and I accept it all, believe it, and love it. I am often a disobedient child, a forgetful child, but because I love Him this causes me sorrow and I know that the invitation to return for forgiveness is addressed to me, is to all the family, and if I do not go to Him quickly at every prompting then I may suffer.
“If any man sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2.1).
“If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1.9).
Must I take God’s Word in His holy law in the Old Testament? I am not under the law as a covenant of works now, but under grace, but am I going to do less than those people of God did under the law? Am I going to rob God in tithes and offerings or say it does not matter now I am under grace? Furthermore Jesus teaches that the very thoughts of our hearts are sins against the law. But I do not want to sin and although I fall and fail. He sees my desires and then
His Spirit within helps and strengthens that resolve not to grieve my
heavenly Father. When I am tempted and fall into sin I am drawn away of my own lust (James 1.14).
God’s Word must be heeded. I feel to lack wisdom: His Word says:
“Let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1.5).
Must I endure temptation?
“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation” (James 1.12).
Action is called for when I read:
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1.22).
“But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and
continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed” (James 1.25).
“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain” James 1.26).
The following verse in this same chapter plainly declares that:
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
The “do nots” of the Bible and all those little words “Let” are here for the exhortation of believers and I ignore them at my peril. But I do thank God for every prompting and teaching to help the believer to seek more grace and more love to serve Him with a pure heart and fervently love the brethren. Seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and setting our affection on things above, not on things on the earth. I cannot pick and choose from God’s Word what suits me and then leave the rest.
How do I feel I can take God at His Word? Some portions of the Word are made very special, particularly special, to an individual and they carry them through life. When, for example, I read “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee”, I believe it and accept it with deep gratitude. The Word teaches me that when I was born again then I died to the world, to the law as a covenant of works. “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3.3).
Christ is now my life and one day I shall appear with Him in glory. When I read that He keeps the feet of His saints and do not accept it, then I undermine my appreciation of the doctrine of the final preservation of the saints.
“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him” Colossians 3.17).
The implications of this verse just make me hold my breath. How easily could I dishonour Him with careless behaviour? Colossians 2 verse 9 says that all the fulness of the Godhead bodily dwells in Jesus and we are complete in Him – glorious words – addressed to all parts of His body, His beloved Church, built upon the finished work of Jesus Christ, the great corner stone – Head of the Church – Head of the body. And because of His great and wonderful work of redemption I can say that my hope is built on nothing less than His blood and righteousness, and trust in His name alone.
That is why I believe the Apostle Paul by the Holy Spirit implores us; beseeches us to “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Ephesians 4.1).
That worthy walk is provided for by a sevenfold unity:
“There is one body and one spirit even as ye are called in one hope “of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and father of all who is above all, and through all, and in you all” [Ephesians 4.4-6).
What a provision! Satan’s devices are very subtle and powerful and he would rob us of our confidence in the Lord and that is why I find those words so comforting and thrilling:
“For all things are yours . . . And ye are Christ’s and Christ is God’s” (1 Corinthians 3.21,23).
We are bound up in Him, secure, no power on earth can destroy, no man able to pluck us out of His hand. Our sustenance comes from the vine, the Head, without whom we cannot act or move or perform any good thing.
What a paradox is this:
“Without me ye can do nothing”;
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”.
“I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live yet not I, but Christ liveth in me, and the life that I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me” [Galatians2.19-20).
The key to understanding all this is to sit at the feet of Jesus, where we find the place of humility, the place of worship, the place of learning, the place of love and the place of appeal.
“According to your faith be it unto you,” said Jesus.
Yes, I do take God at His Word. I am His sinful child who loves Him, and I believe He does have mercy upon those that fear Him. When I find acceptance of His Word in my heart and mind, even when difficult to heed and follow, then I am at peace. My confession is that I am often slow to learn and need much teaching.
“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way, by taking heed hereto according to Thy Word” (Psalm 119.9).
“Great peace have they which love thy law (His Word) and nothing (in it) shall offend them” (Psalm 119.165).
My prayer is:
Holy Lord God.
Teach me Thy Way.
Lead me in the right path.
Guide me with thine eye.
Grant me wisdom to understand Thy precious
Word and heed its exhortations and directions.
May I be more aware of what it cost the Saviour,
and be found often at His feet.
Teach me how to serve Thee with greater devotion and loyalty.
Keep me faithful in all things.
Cleanse me from sin, secret and seen.
All Glory, honour, power and blessing be Thine.