"No matter how serious your spiritual condition or problems, as you call on the keys of change, and desire and seek after that change with all of your being, you will have it!"
The Secret of Spiritual Strength
The Bible instructs us to "no longer walk as [unbelievers] walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God" (Ephesians 4:17-18). How can we become alienated from the life of God?
We become separated from the Lord when we become separated from the Word, because Jesus is the Word. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:1, 14).
So it is the Word-whether or not we live in the Word-that determines whether we are close to the Lord or alienated from the Lord. When we neglect the Word, we neglect the Lord.
This is whatâ€™s wrong with many Christians. They rarely read their Bibles or delve into the Word. They might have a little daily devotions or something, but most of them hardly even have that. They depend on Sunday church services to give them all the Word they need for the week. Well, itâ€™s Word for the weak, all right, and usually pretty weak Word! It certainly isnâ€™t enough to last them all week. Thatâ€™s like expecting one meal to last them all week. They donâ€™t treat their bodies like that; they feed them well, three times a day. Food for the soul is important. You have to feed yourself spiritually or your soul is going to suffer!
You have "been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the Word of God which lives and abides forever" (1 Peter 1:23). "Desire the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby" (1 Peter 2:2). Without the Word, we will not only stop growing spiritually, but eventually we will wither away spiritually.
What is the life-giving flow that gives life from God? Itâ€™s the Word! Just like we have to eat food in order to have physical strength, we have to eat of the Word to have spiritual strength. That is what gives us spiritual life and nourishment and strength and health. When someone gets cut off from the Word, itâ€™s like cutting off their food and stopping the flow of nourishment.
A lot of Christians never mature. They stay spiritual babes and never get very deep spiritually, and many of them go back on the Lord. They stop trying to please or follow the Lord, and sometimes stop believing in Him altogether. They "follow afar off," like Peter did, to the point where they could even deny Him, like Peter did (John 18:25; Matthew 26:58).
What is the process that Christians follow that in the end completely estranges them from God? Ephesians 4:18 says: "Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God". Now that doesnâ€™t mean they lose their salvation-thatâ€™s impossible-but they become separated from fellowship with the Lord through neglecting the Word.
When people get separated from the Word they go back on the Lord. When they lose faith in the Word or are separated from it, thatâ€™s when they become "alienated from the life of God."
What is the life of God? Jesus said, "It is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63). Think of that! They are spirit and they are life. His words are real things! These are things that canâ€™t be seen or touched, but without them everything would be totally dead spiritually-and without the Word, people become completely dead spiritually.
Science still doesnâ€™t understand the essence of life. Minutes or hours after a person is dead, they are still all there physically, materially, but somethingâ€™s gone that science canâ€™t isolate or measure. Something was missing-some spark, some energy. The spirit was gone, which gave that body life. The life of God is in His Word.
Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6) and, "I have come that they might have life" (John 10:10). The Word came that we might have life. How do we get the life? Through the Word-Jesus. His words, both the recorded Word and the words He speaks directly to us today, are life.
People backslide because they get away from the Word. If they were living in the Word, they wouldnâ€™t fall away. They couldnâ€™t fall away, because they would be full of the life of God, the Word.
That is why we should memorize and study and get so full of the Word that we canâ€™t get away from it. Jesus is the Word, He is spirit and life, and we have to have a good dose of Him every day.
What starts people on the road back? What is it that causes their love for the Lord to cool off? Well, what feeds a fire? Itâ€™s the fuel. What is the fuel? It is the Word. Itâ€™s the Word that feeds our flame. And when people run out of fuel, like the five foolish virgins ran out of oil (Matthew 25:1-13), the fire goes out, the light goes out, and they wind up in darkness, alienated from the life of God. Their fire dies because they havenâ€™t fed it with the fuel, the Word, which is Jesus.
It is dangerous to neglect the Word. The minute people start crowding the Word out of their lives, they are getting too busy. Or the minute they lose confidence in the Word because it offends them or they donâ€™t like it, theyâ€™re in danger. Without the Word you will be totally defeated at the first attack of your spiritual enemy, the Devil.
You wonder how Christians could possibly go back on the Lord. It is because they werenâ€™t really followers of the Word. They didnâ€™t build their spiritual house on the Word; they had the wrong foundation. In fact, they didnâ€™t even have a foundation-just sand. When the storm came, their house fell because it wasnâ€™t built on the Rock (Matthew 7:24-27). Who is the Rock? Jesus, the solid Rock foundation of the Word! He is the Word, and if they donâ€™t build their lives on the Word, they have no foundation. Their lives are not built on the Rock, so they fall.
You would probably find by their own confession that those who have turned away from the Lord were weak in the Word, didnâ€™t really live in the Word, and were not real students of the Word, and so they lost any interest they may have had in doing what the Word says (James 1:22-25). You would probably find the strongest Christians today are those who really know the Word. They are strong because they really have faith in the Word and they live in the Word.
So thatâ€™s the secret-the Word. The secret of power and victory and overcoming and fruitfulness and fire and life and warmth and light and Christian leadership-everything-is the Word. The lack of the Word is the secret of backsliding and failure and coldness and darkness and weakness and dying spiritually.
There is nothing wrong with worshipping the Word. The Word is Jesus. He says He has exalted His Word even above His name (Psalm 138:2).
That is why people backslide. It is because they neglect the Word. Neglecting the Word is almost as bad as rejecting the Word, because if anyone doesnâ€™t love it, they donâ€™t believe it. You believe in the Word as much as you read it and live in it and practice it and obey it.
Even Christians can become filled with the lies of the Devil. Because they have rejected the Word, the Lord allows the Devil to send them lies in its place, and they believe the lies instead of the Word (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11). They are going to believe one or the other. They are either going to be filled with the Word and Godâ€™s truth, or they are going to be filled with the lies of the Devil and darkness.
We have to not only read it and hear it and agree with it in theory, but we have to obey it. We have to do it to prove our allegiance and our loyalty and our faith in it.
Some Christians count neglecting the Word as a little thing instead of one of the most important areas of their Christian life.
So thatâ€™s the secret! Itâ€™s the secret of victory or defeat! Itâ€™s the secret of success or failure! It all depends on how you treat the Word and how you live in it, or try to live without it.
Edited by Almondtree Productions