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This Covid-19 pandemic has acted to expose many government officials who never live according to the rules they themselves make. The news media has been inundated this week with news of many leaders who ask people to stay home due to the Covid-19 but who themselves never follow the rules. It is a common malady that people like “the do as I say” but not the “do as I do” kind of life. Christians do not have this luxury because God has called us to live by His Words. I believe the most important aspect of being a Christian is the idea of living by the Word of God. It seems it is also the most difficult. Quite often it is easy to live by the Word of God when that Word is advantageous to us. It is not that easy when the Word requires us to go through actions that are difficult or painful. Valley experiences seem to make us forget who we are. We are children of God and “in Him we live and move and have our being” – Acts 17:28a(NKJV). We live by the Word whether in the valley or on the mountain.
Being followers of Christ, there is no better model for us Christians than our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ Himself. Right from the beginning, in His humanity, He was familiar with the written Word of God and was willing to abide by it. “It is written, ‘That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God’” – Luke 4:4. Knowing the written Word of God and fully understanding the context in which they are used was obviously helpful in how Jesus Christ dealt with the machinations of the devil. Being familiar with God’s Word will help us, like our Lord Jesus Christ, not to fall into the fowler that Satan is always preparing for us. “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.” – Psalm 119:11(NKJV). The Word of God is our great protector. It helps to insulate us from living the sinful life. Therefore, one of the most important activities we should engage in as Christians is learning the Word of God. We must make sure that we learn the Word of God, know its correct meaning, and be ready and willing to apply them whenever the situation arises. “Therefore, you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes” – Deuteronomy 11:18(NKJV).
Studying the Word of God is however of no use if we are not determined to live by what we learn from Scripture in all circumstances. Learning the Word of God but being unable to put them into practice makes the study of the Word an exercise in futility. We do not learn the Word of God just for the sake of learning; we learn so that we can put the Word into practice. The idea of growth and maturity in Christendom is about putting into practice what we learn from the Word of God.
The high point of living by the Word of God is that His Word comes to our aid in times of trouble. Psalm 119 is full of several examples of the Psalmist calling on God to come to his aid in accordance with His Words. During that time when we are in the valley of life, we are able to call on God to save us according to His Word; and only those who know the Word of God can make reference to it. When the times are hard and we are on our last strength, then it is time to call on God to strengthen us according to His divine power. “I am afflicted very much; Revive me, O Lord, according to Your word” – Psalms 119:107; “My soul melts from heaviness; Strengthen me according to Your word” – Psalms 119:28. In these times God’s Word can revive, God’s Word can strengthen, God’s Word can save; and only those who know about the efficacy of God’s Word can take advantage of it.
Every time we appeal to God’s grace, mercy, and power according to His Word, we are also saying that we have been living in line with God’s Word and living by the provisions of His Word. We need the help of the Holy Spirit to accomplish this because it is through the Holy Spirit, that God works in us both to will and to do for His good pleasure – Phil. 2:13(NKJV). There is nothing we can do on our own. However, when we make our human efforts and ask the Lord to help us through the power of the Holy Spirit, God is gracious. It is when we ourselves have all we can to live by His word that we can look back and say to God, like David who lived according to God’s word, “You have dealt well with Your servant, O LORD, according to Your word” – Psalm 119:65. When we live by His Word, He deals with us according to His Word. May God always deal with you according to His Word, in Jesus’ name. – Pastor Simbo Odunaiya