There will often times be seasons in our lives that feel spiritually dry, difficult or testing. There will be times where we’re not so sure exactly what God is up to, or why He may feel distant or quieter. Our first response may be to worry, grow faint or give up. We may become frustrated and wonder ‘why God?!’, or simply behave as though He has deserted us!
I am starting to see that it is the firmly rooted and guarded Word that carries us through such seasons, as well as our better seasons of course. But it is during these difficult times in particular that the Word that was deposited in us will keep us in peace. We will be able to press onwards and live by faith as we hold tight to the Words and promises received in previous seasons. We will be able to remain faithful and continue to diligently seek after His face. (Note that when I refer to the Word I mean both the written and spoken promise of God)
Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. –Hebrews 2:1
We have to understand that the Word of God is like a seed, planted in the garden of our hearts. If we correctly guard and nurture this Word then it will bring forth fruit, but if we allow it to be choked out or stolen from us then we cannot expect to see a harvest. The Parable of the Sower in Luke 8:4-15 is helpful in understanding this.
So how do we guard the Word?
1. Understanding the Word & its importance
Before we can even guard the Word deposited in us, we need to believe it wholeheartedly and understand its importance. We also need to seek God for understanding the meaning and application for the Word otherwise it will be easily snatched away. A few reasons why the Word itself is so vital to us…
It is Christ in us, it brings life (John 1:1/6:63/14:20)
It keeps us from sin (Psalm 119:11)
It sanctifies us (John 17:17)
It gives us direction (Psalm 119:105)
It sets us free (John 8:32)
It reveals our hearts, giving instruction and correction (Hebrews 4:12/2 Timothy 3:16)
2. Using your shield of faith and sword of the Spirit! (Ephesians 6:10-18)
Every time you are tempted, or the enemy speaks a lie; you have to actively guard the Word by speaking the Word. Lift up your shield of faith and say No! The enemy is a liar and I believe God when He said…
During my hard seasons, or when I am not seeing a promise come to fruition, the enemy will speak thoughts of God being a liar. Do I believe him or let those thoughts settle? No, because my Bible tells me that God is not a man that He should lie. He cannot lie, it’s completely and utterly impossible. When He sends His Word out it does not return to Him void, but accomplishes what He sent it for, regardless of how long it takes. The enemy will then proceed to make me feel guilty. Do I feel guilt for those wrong thoughts? No, because I recognise that they are not my own and take no responsibility. I have hidden the Word (that God is not a man that He should lie) in my heart that I might not sin against Abba in believing a lie about Him.
See how important it is to not only guard the Words God gives to you personally, but to know His written Word also? You cannot stand against the enemy if the Word is not in you.
2. Confessing & Meditating on the Word
If we are meditating on and confessing the Word, morning noon and night, that Word grows our faith and guards our minds. We need to be intentional about meditating on the Word. It’s such an important part of our spiritual lives that often times we neglect for being busy. If we took a minute the times a day just to roll over a scripture in our minds, we’d be better guarding and adding to the Word that is deposited in us. Then it would bring forth fruit in our lives. See, if we don’t speak and think on the Word, then how will it grow in us? How will our faith be strengthened? How will we be transformed and conformed into the image of Christ?
3. Staying Kingdom Minded & Eternity Focused
Our busy schedules sometimes make it easy to bring our focus back to earthly things. Social media makes it easy to look at other people’s lives and complain or compare, sowing in our hearts seeds of discontentment. Situations and circumstances make it easy for us to worry; what shall we eat and wear, letting the weeds rise up and choke the Word. Yet when we keep our minds stayed upon Christ and seek first His Kingdom, we are able to remain at peace. The storms of life will not hit us because we will be soaring above them with Him, trusting that He will keep every promise made, and fulfill every Word spoken.
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. –Colossians 3:2-3
4. With Patience
“But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.” –Luke 8:15
Nobody sows a seed and reaps a harvest the next day. Yes the Word is alive and powerful, and Abba is able to perform miracles in an instant, but if we’re thinking about growth and bearing fruit that remains, we need to guard the Word with patience. Don’t be tempted to give up or let go of the Word. As you continue in prayer and worship, and chew over the Word in your mind it will grow and sprout as a seed does. You will see it bear good fruit in your life if you cling to and diligently guard it.
I hope you’ve been encouraged to guard the many words and promises that Abba has deposited in your heart, and I pray He increases our hunger for His Word.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual song, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. –Colossians 3:16