Making Progress on Purpose This Year: Spiritual Pt. 1 (The Word)

by Rick

Today we continue our new series, “NEW LEVELS IN 2021!”  I provided you with the introduction yesterday.  This morning I will pick up where I left off.

I will keep driving home the fact that we have to be intentional about making progress this year.  Remember, God provides all He provides by grace.  You can’t make it happen.  You must discern His will and wait on His timing.  As you do so, the Father requires your faith.  It is with your faith that you access God’s grace.  Faith is something you SAY (words your speak), something you DO (actions your take), or a seed you SOW (financial move you make), strictly based on what God revealed to you in the Spirit.  You do this without any sense-realm evidence to support what God is leading you to do (see Hebrews 11:1).  Many times, not only will you NOT have sense-realm evidence to support it, but there may be plenty of evidence (in the natural) that is directly against what God is leading you to do.  This is why living by faith often requires a resolve to do what God leads you to do, even if you have to look foolish in the process.  God will lead you to do things that are so seemingly crazy, that like Paul, you will not be able to “consult with flesh and blood” (Galatians 1:6).

Now that I have told you that I believe God is declaring NEW LEVELS for us in 2021, I want you to consider what this may mean for you in a very practical way.  Since you are multifaceted, you must consider the many aspects/facets of your life.  Over the next few days, I will discuss Leveling Up in five areas:

1.  Spiritually

2.  Financially

3.  Physically 

4.  Internally

5.  Externally

As I discuss these five areas, please take this as a time of introspection.

  • Carefully and prayerfully consider your life (where you are and where you are not).
  • Take self-inventory (what is working and what is not).
  • Be honest with yourself.  You will never address what you are afraid to confront.

As we address these areas, I will provide probing questions for you to consider.  Ask the Holy Spirit to help minister to you as you think about your answers.

So what does this mean for you today?  Today I will begin to address #1 of the five areas I listed: Spiritual progress.  

What does it mean to walk in NEW LEVELS (a.k.a., LEVL UP) in 2021 SPIRITUALLY?

I will address the SPIRITUAL aspect of your life in three areas:

1.  God’s Word

2.  Being led by the Holy Spirit

3.  Prayer

For today, we will only address part 1: God’s Word.

What will it look like to make progress where God’s Word is concerned?  Let’s talk about it.

1.  Do you realize the importance of God’s Word?

John McArthur said the following about the Bible

“This book contains: 

  • The mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers.  
  • Its doctrine is holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. 
  • Read it to be wise, believe it to be saved, and practice it to be holy.  
  • It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. 
  • It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s charter. 
  • Here heaven is open, and the gates of hell are disclosed.  
  • Christ is the grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. 
  • It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. 
  • Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. 
  • It is a mine of wealth, health to the soul, and a river of pleasure. 
  • It is given to you here in this life, will be opened at the judgment, and is established forever.  
  • It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and condemn all who trifle with its contents.”  

2.  The author of the Word of God is God Himself.

The Bible is a compilation of 66 books, written by ~40 authors, over a period that spanned over 1500 years.  Its last recorded words were documented about 2000 years ago.  It was written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek and has been translated into almost every language on the planet.  The mere fact ~40 authors can write 66 books over a 1500-year-span and they all come together as ONE SACRED TEXT is nothing less than an act of God.  

I can round up 40 people from the same neighborhood, the same culture, the same economic background, and similar mental capacity and I could not get them to come up with anything comparable to the Bible.  Its books were written by different people, in different times, for different reasons, but they have all come together as one work.  Why?

  • Because the people penned the scriptures, but they were not the authors.  
  • They wrote the letters, but they did not manufacture the words.  
  • They were the tools, but the Holy Spirit was the mastermind.  
  • The Holy Spirit breathed and inspired the words in the Word!  

A few thoughts about God’s Word:

  • Because the Holy Spirit is the author, and the men who penned the scriptures were merely conduits of God, the Bible is a Spiritual Book.
  • The words contained in the Word of God are Spirit and Life!
  • As a result, there are levels and levels of revelation in the Word.  You can open your Bible to the same passage of scripture every morning for the next 365 days, only to receive FRESH insight from the Holy Spirit every day.

3.  Some questions about the Bible to consider in introspection?

  • Am I reading the Word like I used to?
  • Am I maintaining a level of discipline when it comes to my Bible reading habits?
  • Do I only open the Bible when I am in church or when I need something from God?
  • Am I teaching the Word to my children?
  • Am I doing my part to impart God’s Word into those He has given me charge over?
  • Am I meditating and medicating on God’s Word like He instructed me to?
  • Do I think and act like God?  If not, is it because I have not renewed my mind through a steady diet of God’s Word?

4.  A few final thoughts about the Word for today.

  • The Word of God contains the character, attributes, and nature of God.  The more you read and meditate on the Word of God, the better you will come to know the God of the Word.
  • The Word of God contains the will of God on paper.  Many people say they want to know God’s will.  One easy way is to read God’s Word.  If it is clear in the Bible, then you don’t have to question God about it in prayer because He will NEVER go against His Word.
  • You have to settle any questions in your heart about the validity of God’s Word.  If you have any lingering thoughts, in the back of your mind, about whether or not the Bible is valid, then you need to deal with those.  If you give the devil an opening, he will exploit it and cause disruption in your life.  You must be convinced that the Bible is the authoritative, inerrant, infallible, and inexhaustible Word of God… PERIOD! 
  • Renew your mind with the Word of God.  When you first come to God, you don’t know how to think like Him.  You spent years learning how to think like the world.  The moment you were Born-Again, your spirit was made new, but your soul was NOT.  Your soul contains your mind (the way you think), emotions (the way you feel), and will (the way you make decisions).  The more you meditate and mediciate on God’s Word, the more you will think, feel, and choose in ways that are pleasing to God.
  • Make the Word of God the ruler by which you judge decisions.  There are some things that are not clear in scripture.  So you will have to ask the Holy Spirit about those.  But if something is clear in scripture, there is not need to pray.  Align with the Word, and you will be aligning your life with God’s will.
  • Make a determination to get back to Bible reading in 2021.  Peter told us to crave for the Word like a baby cries out for milk (1 Peter 2:2).  Job said that he esteemed the Word of God over his necessary food (Job 23:12).  So fast, if you have to, but make time to spend time in God’s Word.

Final thought: If God went through all the trouble (get 40 authors over the span of 1500 years to write 66 books) to get us the Bible, and it really does contain His will on paper, then are you really giving it the value it deserves?  The fact that you are reading Today’s Word is great.  Thank you.  But please don’t stop here.  Be committed to the Word of God in 2021.  This way, you will make progress on purpose! 

Declaration of Faith:

Father, I thank You for giving me Your will on paper in Your Word.  I honor Your Word.  I read it daily.  I meditate and medicate on it day and night.  I get it through my eyes gates, and it gets down in my heart.  I get it through my ear gates, and it gets down in my heart.  Your Word is an incorruptible seed, and as I get it down within the soil of my heart, the seed of Your Word produces a glorious harvest in my life.  Because of Your, I learn to think, act, and make decisions that align with heaven.  Your Word is the ruler by which I judge my decisions, and my decisions are just because I align with You.  In 2021, I renew my commitment to Your Word, and my renewed commitment helps me to experience Your best.  Greater is coming for me because I am going to LEVEL UP my commitment to Your Word!  I declare this by faith.  In Jesus’s name, AMEN!    

This is Today’s Word.  Apply it and prosper!

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