Proverbs 4:20-21King James Version (KJV)
20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
Joshua 1:8King James Version (KJV)
“8This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
When the going gets tough, the pressure builds, and it seems like everyone in the world and all hell together are arrayed against you, God demands that you walk by the Word and nothing else.
The Psalmist said:
Psalm 119:97 King James Version (KJV)
97O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
Closely related to step four,
Key Five to Effective Ministry is to look to the Word day and night.
Looking to the Word will produce several effects on your life and ministry you simply cannot get any other way.
Proverbs 4:5-9King James Version (KJV)
5Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
6Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.
7Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
8Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.
9She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.
The ornament referred to here, is being clothed with the favor of God.
It is the result of seeking God’s wisdom by exalting his Word, which in turn brings divine favor.
The wisdom of God places a Crown of Glory (God’s grace or favor) upon your head.
This grace, or favor of God, is available to every person on earth, without exception. Remember, “God is no respecter of persons.”
However, there are conditions.
Favor cannot be earned. It is the gift of God you do not merit it; you receive it.
Although it is for all, God’s grace is not automatic. It must be appropriated by the believer through faith.
We already know that “faith comes by hearing and hearing, by the word of God.”
The basis for receiving God’s favor is through faith.
Therefore, you receive God’s favor through the Word.
The Word promotes.
If we will refrain from self-promotion and refuse to exalt ourselves, but, instead lift up the word of God – then He will promote us and bring us to a place of honor.
Peter tells us in 1 Peter 5:6-7King James Version (KJV)
6Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
7Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
We humble ourselves by:
- Placing ourselves in God’s hands
- Casting all our cares upon him
- Holding our tongues
- Refusing to pull strings or vying for power
Look, you might get what you desire!
But if you wrangle it on your own, then you will have to maintain it on your own without any help from the Spirit of God.
If he didn’t place you in a position, he’s not obligated to sustain you there.
You will be responsible for your own failures.
Why all this time in the Word?
Think about what I asked earlier:
How effective do we want to be?
A music major in college practices hours every day. Olympic skaters spend 6 to 8 hours daily in training routines.
We as ministers, ought to discipline ourselves in the Word constantly – especially in our beginning years.
We must permeate our minds with the Word and solid Bible-based sermons.
We must do whatever it takes to become totally saturated with the Word.
Many of you have done that for years. The rest of us will benefit from your example.
A side benefit of looking to the Word :
Looking to the Word, helps control your flesh.
Psalm 119:11King James Version (KJV)
11Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Hebrews 5:12-14King James Version (KJV)
12For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
13For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
14But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
People have the mistaken idea that as Christians, we have to fight against carnality until Jesus comes to free the body of Christ.
This is not true!
Sound strange? Listen:
We simply have to learn to consistently walk in the spirit.
We must walk in the spirit in order not to fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
Galatians 5:16King James Version (KJV)
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
The body has no nature of its own. It will do whatever it is told.
Many people have said, “When you’re born again. The nature of God is in your spirit, but the adamic nature is in your body.”
Hey folks! That is simply not a true statement!
In the first place, sin was never Adam’s nature. Adam’s original nature was perfection – he had the nature of God!
After the fall, satan’s nature took root in him and caused the problems.
Adam invited that nature through his high treason.
But it wasn’t in his body. It was in his spirit. His body was trained to follow his spirit.
Now, lest you think I’m somehow talking about “sinless perfection.” Let’s be clear. I am not! But we can sin less.
Our bodies will do whatever they are trained to do.
If our reborn human spirit dominates our flesh, more of our actions will be Godly ones.
Did you ever notice that we can sin without even thinking about it?
Most people sin without even trying – it just comes “naturally”!
How then can we ever hope to overcome this situation?
The answer is found in Romans 12:1-2:
Present your body as a sacrificial offering to God.
Reprogram yourself to automatically act on the word in obedient faith.
In sports, it is called “muscle memory.”
You repeat an action so often, that it becomes unconscious.
By continuing to put the Word of God into your mind, spirit, and body, you will eventually come to a place where the Word controls all three.
When that happens, the spirit becomes the dominant force in your life and everything else will conform to it.
We will have become separated from the world and we will have become Word controlled.