This scripture is a favorite of mine. I saw it posted on facebook and downloaded it for myself. I shared it, but then realized I had more I wanted to say.
I was a very young child when our Sunday School teachers had us memorizing scripture verses, and even entire chapters for contests, prizes, etc. Many people complain about contests in church, or prizes you can earn in various ways, even the team play our church would organize. But I have to tell you that it honestly helped me so much. I was able to memorize a lot when I was young, and I felt like I could do something right. I felt I could contribute to the team, unlike with the physical activity the school was having us compete in.
The best thing about attending a church where the Bible was important, and where you were encouraged in any way possible to read and to know it, to feed it into your heart and mind, was that I still remember those verses today! I don’t always remember the references (where to find them in the Bible), but I can look them up. When I was young, it didn’t count unless you could say it correctly and quote the reference correctly. I call the reference the address of where the verse lives in the Bible. I found that singing it, turning it into a song, was the easiest way for me to remember the verse and reference.
The point is, no matter why I memorized them, or what my motives were, I fed my spirit those words, and kept them deep inside.
When my nephews were very young, they lived across the street and I saw them daily. I bought them a few cassette tapes called G.T. and the Halo Express. It was a first of sorts. Cassettes of kid stories and every song was a scripture verse and reference. To this day, 25 or so years later, I can sing every one of those songs and always know the reference to the verses from our favorite tape, God’s protection by day and by night.
Why is this so important? The scripture verse above says it well. It pierces our hearts with truth, God’s truth, the way He says it is. Sometimes I realize something is hidden in my heart and thoughts I hadn’t been aware of. I read a passage and the truth is staring me in the face. I can either ignore it and continue on with my ugly self, who and how I really am, or I can repent, and ask God to work this in me, to live in truth and not be deceived about myself. I find that I can deceive myself and think I am doing better than I am. Have you caught yourself in that one? Don’t you hate that?
Have you ever had a moment where you come to a realization of how wrong you are about something or someone? It can be a shock, and painful to realize you are so far off, especially if it is you that you are wrong about. This is the sharpness this verse talks about. It slices between the soul and spirit. Soul is usually referred to as mind, will and emotion, while spirit is the part of you that is sensitive to spiritual things, places, people, and especially to God Himself. It is a part of you that grows stronger with feeding, and weaker if starved, like the body does. It is also the part of you that makes you feel empty inside when you don’t have Jesus in you. You were made to be with Him, and to know Him. When you find that you are trying to feed a need or a desire in your life, but nothing satisfies it, this is why. He made you for Him! That part is your spirit part. If you are trying to make yourself happy with physical things, or with people, it can only last so long. Those things can make your body or soul happy temporarily, but your spirit is still famished. He is the only thing that can fill your Spirit with contentment.
Have you ever asked yourself what you are feeding yourself? I do sometimes. After a certain amount of television viewing, including news, I can really feel a change in myself. My soul is responding to what I’ve been feeding my spirit. If I haven’t read God’s Word, and remind myself of how He thinks, how He feels, what His priorities are, I find myself with different thoughts and opinions, and different priorities than His. I can also feel an increase in alarm, sadness and weariness with the shape this world is in, instead of reminding myself that He answers prayer and cares very deeply about all that is going on. He is never caught off guard and knows the whole truth about everything. He is waiting to be invited into these situations and to help.
Since He authored my life, and has a purpose in my life, I try to stay plugged into my life-source keeping myself well-fed and in communication with God. That includes prayer and honesty. You know, honesty. Like asking myself, hmm…what would He say to my attitude about …whatever it is, or whomever it is.
I can know the answer to this with certainty. Yep! It’s true! Just open His Word and read. He will be sure to talk with me, shine His light on what I need to see. He has never failed me in this. Because He knows the reason I am reading is to know Him, what He thinks about, and how He feels. He shows up every time! I just pray first to know what His Spirit wants me to know, and to see what He wants me to see.
Psalm 119:11 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
11 Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.
Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.
We don’t naturally have the same kind of thinking as our Heavenly Father does. We just don’t see as He sees. We need to know Who He is, how He sees, how He thinks, and how He feels about certain things and situations. We need His perspective or we can find ourselves so far from where we should be. We also need to be reminded of what He says is sin, like thinking we are not as “bad” as someone else, or that our pride isn’t as big a sin as someone else’s sin. And that sin of ours is what separates us from Him, even while we are feeling like we are fine.
We are natural, and He is supernatural. If we eat His words into our spirit they will come up for us, from inside of us, when we need them the most. Conviction of sin isn’t fun, and sometimes hurts, but the end result is that we are able to make a choice to kick free of what He says is wrong, and to live in freedom from sin’s consequences and in liberty from the prison and deception that sin is.
This all keeps us in a loving relationship with the God who created everything that is, seen and unseen. With the God Who holds all things together, and is the giver of life. This brings deep, abiding peace that nothing else can give.