Sin is a nasty word in a culture that makes excuses, tolerates, and places blame elsewhere for evil. Nobody is held accountable anymore for their sin. And even worse, what is sin is no longer considered wrong. But I digress.
Will you allow me to get a little personal? I'm a wretched sinful person. Yes, I write Christian books that hopefully glorify God, but my heart is as dark as can be. I don't know about you, but the closer I grow to God, the more pitiful and evil I find myself to be. Which I guess makes sense since Jesus said that the light exposes the darkness for what it is. Yet, so often when the evil within me is exposed, I cry out to God for help and it is then that He can begin to change my heart. Still, it seems to be taking so long!! I don't think I'm getting worse, I just think that God is exposing my heart bit by bit... and it ain't pretty. I know I'm forgiven. I know Jesus paid the price for all my sin, but I want to be free of the struggle. Perhaps I won't be until I'm in eternity, but still, there must be something I can do to get better faster and deepen my walk closer to God.
I remember one of my favorite Bible teachers, Derek Prince, say that the Bible was God's Medicine Bottle. At one point in his life when he was suffering from a terrible illness, he felt led to read God's Word 3 times a day with his meals. Just like one would take medicine for a sickness, he opened the Word and read 3 times a day. For some reason, I remembered this after all these years and I started doing just that. Derek was eventually healed, by the way, and even though I'll never be completely cured of sin in this life, I figured maybe I could get rid of some of the symptoms at least.
So, I set about to read the Bible three times a day. A chapter from the Old Testament, a chapter from the New, and a Psalm at night.
This is what I discovered
- The Devil will do everything he can to stop you from doing this. He will throw every interruption, stressor, mind-blocker, problem, sickness and struggle in your way. Which says one thing to me. This is IMPORTANT!
- Even after a week of doing this, I felt different. I felt stronger, closer to God, more at peace, had more joy, more faith. It was incredible. I literally only spent 10-15 minutes reading the chapter, meditating on it and talking to God about what it said. (In addition to my normal morning prayers)
Then I remembered David... the only person in the Bible whom God referred to as "a man after My own heart." David LOVED the Word of God. (And he didn't even have all the Scriptures we have today!)
How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119: 104-105
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.
So often we Christians take the Bible for granted. It's just a book, after all, with some really cool stories. But how does it apply to my life today? Will it pay my mortgage? Heal my sickness, find me a job, help my marriage, save my kids? Ah.... actually yes, all of the above! We need to look at the Word of God differently. It is Alive. It is Powerful. It can and will change your heart and your life!
For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
I challenge you to take God's Medicine 3 times a day. You may mess up and forget some times.. no worries. Keep at it! Keep doing it until it becomes a habit, until you miss it desperately when you skip a time. I guarantee it will change your life for the better!