The Operative Aspect of the Personal Word
By John Thiel
God wants us to bask. To bask in what? In the fact that no matter how frail and weak we may be, if we come to Him in contrition and in true dependence upon Him, He is a Father that smiles upon us. He is a Father that wants our salvation and He has given us Jesus to bask in the sunshine of His mercy. We are to drench ourselves with that healing comfort that comes from Him. We are confronted with making these choices that we would be able to live a life in the New Year better than the last year, a life of eternal value. We need to make choices all the time. The choice we make needs to be appreciated.
1 Peter 1:24 For all flesh [is] as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
As we look back at the areas of life that we thought were going to come to fruition from man’s view point, we’ve discovered that the glory we anticipated has withered away. There is nothing that is eternal at all in some of these issues. It is the Word that endures forever. How imperative it is if we understand it is the Word of the Lord that endures forever that we follow the natural intelligence of common sense that I should make that mine more fully than ever before so that as we proceed into the New Year, we will not make the same mistakes as we take hold of God’s word and act on it.
Let us explore the Word that endures forever to be able to absorb it as my own experience rather than holding the Word as letters on the page or information in my head. We are reminded that when we deal with the Word that endures forever, what are we relating to?
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.
We identify that scripture well. We understand that we are dealing with Jesus Christ as it says;
John 1:14 And the Word was made 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.
As we come to face to face with a choice of making the Word that abides forever part of us, we are identifying the Word that we are to become entrenched in so that it is something that will abide forever. It becomes entrenched in a man. It is being involved with someone else in my life. Not just me and the reading of the Word but me and the experimental engagement with a person.
All Things Were Made By Him
As we look out into the starry host and we permit our mind into the understanding of what is out there, it is an immense infinity. The Word made all that. We are to go beyond the narrow spectrum of our own visual appreciation that we are reaching out to one that is beyond our comprehension. You can travel into eternity in space. There are no horizons there. That is that which lasts forever and the glory of man withers away. We have a choice we need to make.
Revelation 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon Him [was] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes [were] as a flame of fire, and on his head [were] many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he Himself. 13 And he [was] clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
The Word that endures forever is a person. It is a person who is the master and creator of all the enormity of the universe and down to the finest detail of a cell, and atom. As we grasp hold of the theory of these things, we are called upon to go beyond the theory into an intimate relationship with that Word. Go beyond the spectrum of what is written on the page and grasped in our own mind but into an intimacy.
The Relationship that Lasts Forever
What does it provide?
Proverbs 2:1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; 2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, [and] apply thine heart to understanding; 3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, [and] liftest up thy voice for understanding; 4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as [for] hid treasures; 5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth [cometh] knowledge and understanding.
Don’t you want that? How much I need understanding for the affairs of life. Just now as we see the world and its infrastructure whether it be social, spiritual or natural all crumbling, we wonder how I can work my way through all this mess.
Is this year going to be a happy new year? It’s just like a tease. What have I got to look forward to as we look at the circumstances? Here we have something that in the Word will be wisdom and understanding to find your way through this mess and how to relate to the negativities that are crowding in upon us.
Proverbs 2:10 When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; 11 Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:
What will preserve us where everything is falling apart? Discretion shall preserve thee.
Proverbs 2:3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, [and] liftest up thy voice for understanding; 4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as [for] hid treasures;
The knowledge of good and evil was not a literary understanding. They ate of the tree and made an experience. The Word that lives and abides forever is an experimental engagement, an action that makes wisdom and understanding part of our experience. This will preserve us and give us understanding. I know this to be true.
I’m always looking at the souls of who I have laboured and I trembled as they rely on their human understanding. I wish that the wonderful internal support system will function 100% in every one of us so whatever comes our way whether it is human relationship or financial that we are personally and individually in tune with the Word as a person so we are never alone but guided by wisdom from someone who has the whole universe at His finger-tips. As we look at the future, we think how am I going to survive? It is not a problem. You don’t have to respond to everything crashing down around you when you have the one in control of the universe. John speaks of the knowledge of this truth more deeply than a literary engagement.
John 8:30 As he spake these words, many believed on Him. 31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
If there is anything in your and my life that still holds me down in a lack of freedom? I need to make a new decision that I will entwine myself more fully with the Word, the Word in a way in which Jesus explains it, in the words of Jesus that you may continue in my Word. This represents being His disciple as He is the Word. Then we will have knowledge as we have knowledge of good and evil.
We will have the knowledge as it is in Jesus Christ as a living experience. A knowledge that is a not an academic exercise. To know absolute unadulterated truth, you know how it is today, everyone claims they have the truth yet everyone disagrees. I always face this challenge in my own heart and it has been my experience in my heart. Every church says they are Gods church. What makes mine right? Everyone believes they have a knowledge of the truth and yet they disagree and I walk along a path of what I think is truth. What makes mine right?
We are to scan a truth that is unadulterated with error. I want to be absolutely sure I have truth. I rely very heavily on a plain thus saith the Lord. As I share it with you and others, I read and I look deeply as to what is contained in that Word as I can’t rely on my own opinion. This has come heavily on my shoulders. I have to rely on the experience of the Word which is a revelation, a person revealing Himself to us. It becomes a very humbling experience. A humiliation where I truly don’t know but I have just been shown. I live by the Word that is shown to me not merely as an intellectual thing but an experience of discovery. This is what the Word is saying.
We are to make the Word our counsellor in every situation. You know what it’s like, what is it Lord, what shall I do, speak to me, I need to know. If you rely upon your own understanding you can go from pillar to post. Things can appear contradictory in certain places. You say Lord what are you saying? Until He whispers into your heart and He sorts out the confusion of your own mind. It is obviously, you shall know the truth if you continue in my word. It is an ongoing continuation in the word.
John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
It’s all truth that Jesus imparts to us. Is it possible to have unadulterated truth in reference to any subject that I need to become engaged in in regards to what I should eat and dress, the detail and impact on the world around me?
Relationships in marriage and in the church. Have you a perfect relationship in the church with each other? Jesus says if you will continue in my word, then you will know the truth and then you will be free. Apparently pure knowledge and truth is a possibility otherwise would Jesus have said it?
I often think about how people argue and debate over truth but Jesus said you will know the truth. Pilate asked, “What is truth?” and walked out. Intelligent men discover that truth is very evasive. What is truth? The reason why he walked out and why many people deviate from pure truth is because they have unbelief that such a thing is possible. But those who believe the Word, there is a call that we should abide in that Word. How is this operative? That we can be absolutely sure that I have the wisdom that comes from God and I can be preserved so when you are preserved you don’t fall apart by discretion, wisdom and understanding.
The Operative Aspect of the Personal Word
The operative word identifies how that word can be truly part of you.
John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
Jesus identifies Himself as the Word. He says He is the bread which came down from heaven. I will give my flesh for the life of this world. The Jews thought they were intelligent people.
John 6:52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us [his] flesh to eat? 53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise Him up at the last day.
This is when the Word will preserve us in eternity because the word is eternal. I have to eat Him the person.
John 6:55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in Him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
The Wilderness Wanderings
They died in the wilderness yet the very life giving bread of heaven was among them. The rock that followed them and still they died. Only a few people benefitted by that.
John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life.
This is not intellectual but it is spirit and life that is communicated from Jesus Christ and He identifies it as something you must eat and drink. The concept of digesting words comes into focus. To actually do what is commonly understood by readers digest. The world knows that you can actually digest what you are reading. Go for the Word, meditate on it, imagine what is being written, let your imagination grasp it. As you go about your daily work, your mind is occupied what you have been reading and it keeps playing back.
Jesus says if you will do the will of my Father, what happens? You will know the doctrine. It has to go into the being in practise. This is the operative part of it to digest something. You need to read and experiment of it. Only as you experiment of it does it become real to you. The priests had to go to the River Jordan when it was told them to go and when they went into the water it parted for them. When the Word of God says do something, do it. When you touch the waters and its cold and you think I’m going to drown in this but low and behold it becomes a reality.
Isaiah 55:1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2 Wherefore do ye spend money for [that which is] not bread? and your labour for [that which] satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye [that which is] good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. 3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, [even] the sure mercies of David.
Study the life of David and you will see what he is talking about. We are to eat and drink. It is to make what you read your own philosophy of living so that you are living by every word that proceeds out of Gods mouth. If we will do this, look at the enduring nature of our future. If we will take God’s Word and abide in it, we will know the truth. Here is the preservation;
Matthew 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken Him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
How many people hear the sayings of Jesus but don’t do them. When you hear what God says, He wants you to do it. We need to build upon something that cannot become a sink hole. Do you know what a sink hole is? It has happened in many places around the world. When houses are built upon soil and sandy material and the water surges through underneath and eventually it sinks away and the house goes crumbling down. Beautiful mansions plunge down in to a hole. A rock won’t have that happen.
The water will go around the rock but not through. We are called upon in a world that is now so stilted up and the floods are going to penetrate all that and all that people have depended upon will crash down all around them. Haven’t we seen it already in losses in our life when everything we have depended upon falls? You have put things in to practise and things fall down around you. God says it may fall down around you but you don’t have to fall. Although everything has fallen down round me, I haven’t fallen down into a hopeless state. It’s important I keep on hanging onto the Word as everyone around us is going to fall but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.
My life has fallen apart in regards to what I wanted to build and that sand is going to give way but what I’ve built for my own soul won’t. The Word of God ensures forever. It is a rock that will not under storm let you down. We will endure the most horrifying circumstances around us if we are entwined in eating and drink the flesh of Christ.
The Word is A Person
Because I am entwined with the Word and the Word that controls the universe, I have allowed it to become part of me by digesting, obeying and doing it. If I do that what will happen?
1 John 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
There is only one reason by which we will be abide forever and that is if I have made the Word part of me. If the Word is intimately woven into my very fabric, can I be destroyed? Impossible.
1 John 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; [and] he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
He is the Word, the eternal Word. It is such a simple equation. That I do not rely upon my own understanding but I rely upon a thus saith the Lord in any given situation in my life. If the Word of God says don’t do this, do that and I go on doing what it says don’t do, I will crash. Although I may crash, the Word of God helps me back onto my feet again. The Lord permits us to make mistakes. He is ready to pick us up again. Ultimately we need to come to the point where we will take hold of that Word and learn from our past mistakes and cement my hole and experience with that Word.
As we look back at the past year we can look back at the mistakes we made. We must learn how by the past experiences how to identify the word in living experience. The Lord teaches us through experience. He says my child you didn’t listen to the Word here and there now do the Word that comes to deal with your mistakes. Start afresh. Take hold of what God’s Word is saying and don’t deviate and then we will be preserved. We will live forever but not because of poetic fancy thinking I am alright and doing what I want, but because I’m engaging in a person that I digest every aspect of Him as a person and I have an ingredient within me that is a principle of life and that sternly and firmly holds its own emotional confusions in control and leans heavily upon the Lord in the word as a person.
May we appreciate this. It is the most important choice as we launch out into the New Year that we take Word and bask in it. It will solve all our problems. In our church where we are all focusing on the Word of God. If we all do it, are we going to fall apart? If we will concentrate together, we are to deal not only with the do’s and don’ts of God’s word but with that person, the Word. Jesus’ Word comes to us and says alright, you are weary, your experience has been negative, and you are all worn and shot through by the many mistakes of your life, come unto me and rest.