PROVERBS 8:32-36: “And so, my children, listen to me, for all who follow my ways are joyful. Listen to my instruction and be wise. Don’t ignore it. Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home! For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord. But those who miss me injure themselves. All who hate me love death.” NLT
OBSERVATION: How do I follow Jesus? How do I walk in His steps? How do I get to know Him? How do I grow in His character? How do I experience His presence daily?
Every believer should be a Christ-follower. Yet, unlike the apostles, we do not have the privilege of walking with Him as they did when Jesus walked this earth. Is prayer the key to walking with Jesus? Is worship how we walk with Jesus? These verses from Proverbs give us the key to answer this question.
- “And so, my children, listen to me, for all who follow my ways are joyful. Listen to my instruction and be wise. Don’t ignore it. Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home!”
To walk with Jesus is to abide in the Scriptures. In Proverbs 8 we see that wisdom, understanding, and knowledge are personified. This chapter is speaking about the living Christ, the Logos (Word) of God. Wisdom is personified in Jesus. Understanding is personified in Jesus. Knowledge is personified in Jesus. To walk with Jesus is to abide in Him. To abide in Him is to abide in His Word!
- “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.” John 1:1-4 NLT
- “But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love…When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.” John 15:7, 9-10 NLT
Why is this so important? Why is God’s Word primary to even prayer and worship? The Scriptures never say prayer was God, or worship was God. Yet, they do say – “The Word was with God, and the Word was God.”. Prayer and worship are important elements of our life in Christ, yet they are not the primary way that we follow Christ. Let’s look at the reason why.
Prayer is our means of sharing our heart with God and God sharing His heart with us. Jesus spent much time in prayer with the Father. Jesus taught us how to pray. Yet, prayer without God’s Word will have no foundation, no direction, and no power. Without the Word of God, it will inevitably lose its focus. Jesus taught us to pray – “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…”. The only way we know His will is through His Word!
Worship is the surrender and expression of our life and love for God. We are to offer our lives as living sacrifices. We are called to sing to the Lord in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Yet, if we rely on worship alone we are prone to be swept away by mere emotions. We are called to worship God in spirit and truth. The truth is God’s Word. Throughout the Scriptures, we have example after example of how the people of God worshipped incorrectly because their worship was not focused on the Word of God.
God’s Word is not words printed on a page. God’s Word is the living revelation of Jesus Christ. It is through God’s Word that we meet Jesus in all of His glory and splendor. As we abide in God’s Word we abide in Jesus. Our prayers are answered because we begin praying according to the will and heart of the Father. Our worship is accepted because it is worship that is based in spirit and truth.
When we seek God’s Word with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength – we are seeking Jesus!
Is it any wonder why the greatest struggle in most believer’s lives is maintaining a disciplined program of Bible reading, meditation, and study? The enemy of our souls does not want us to walk in the power and favor of the Lord. The enemy of our souls does not want us to abide in Jesus. If he can keep us out of God’s Word he can diminish our prayer life, tarnish our worship, and keep us weak and ineffective in the work of Christ.
I am convinced that the greatest call of the believer’s life is to seek God’s Word. To seek and abide in God’s Word is to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. It is how we follow Jesus each day. It is where we get our marching orders for the day. It reminds us of the priorities of life and refocuses us on our mission. It produces joy, life, and favor from the Lord. There is nothing that can compare with the joy of abiding in God’s Word!
Years ago I was frustrated with my inability to maintain a simple discipline of Bible reading, meditation, and journaling. I had tried every reading program – only to fail. Then, one day, I feel the Lord gave me a plan that is so simple. It does not have any reading schedule or dates attached to it. I simply read three chapters of the Old Testament and one chapter of the New Testament each day. With this method, I can miss over 60 days of reading and still complete the Bible in a year. Since I started using the L.I.F.E. bible reading program I have successfully read through the Bible every year. It has become the joy and passion of my life!
Whatever method or program you use, I pray that you will find the joy of abiding in Christ by daily abiding in His Word! If you would like more information about the L.I.F.E. bible reading program, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I am praying for you!
In Jesus Name!