The Power of the Word; May 11, 2023

Psalm 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word;
let no sin rule over me.

When we fail to recognize sin for what it is, it can get its roots into us to the point that we are controlled by it. It doesn’t take much perception to see that many, many people are exactly that way. An expression taken from the King James translation of Hebrews 12:1 is “besetting sin.” That means a sin that we just can’t seem to shake off. That’s exactly what the Psalmist is talking about here. The answer to such issues is always the Word of God, which is why the devil has always done everything he could to discredit the Bible. The devil’s power is lies, and lies can’t stand in the face of God’s truth. That’s why Jesus said, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) However, we have to accept the truth for what it is in order to receive its benefits. That’s why people who are truly ruled by their sins deny the Bible, either that it is valid or that it applies to them. An incident came up just recently where a school faculty member was caught hiding the Bibles that were in the faculty lounge, because she didn’t want the other faculty members to be reading them. That showed that she knew full well she was in violation of the truth contained in the Bible! In Japan there is no such public awareness of the Bible as the Word of God, but that doesn’t change what it is. We need to let the Bible “dwell in us richly” (Colossians 3:16) for it to set us free from all the lies of the enemy.

I’ve been very familiar with the Bible from childhood, but that doesn’t mean I’ve always lived by it. As I preached this past Sunday, I’ve got to apply it, live it out, for it to be effective. However, I have found that God is incredibly faithful. I find I have more and more empathy with whoever wrote Psalm 119, because I have yet to experience anything the Bible didn’t speak to, and I’m sure I never will. I have had my struggles with “besetting sin,” and it was the Bible that set me free. 2 Peter 1:9 broke through and gave me the revelation that God’s forgiveness is absolute: when I am cleansed, I am cleansed. The name, “Satan,” means “the accuser,” and I realized that because of the power of the cross, his accusations about already-con­fessed sins were meaningless. That broke the power of the sin in question, and it could no longer rule over me. I was then free to walk as the Lord directed me.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Yesterday I thought I knew what I was speaking on this coming Sunday, but now I think it’s this, since this is a pressing issue for many. Help me be faithful to share Your Word exactly as You intend, under the power of Your Spirit, so that all of Your purposes for it may be fulfilled indeed, (Isaiah 55:10-11) for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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