The Centrality of the Word
We will not live victoriously with a closed Bible.
‘How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.’ (Psalm 119:9)
When I was a young Christian I knew there were all kinds of temptations that I had difficulties with. One day I got out a piece of paper and made a list of all the temptations that I was ever likely to fall into. Then I tried to find a verse that addressed every one of these temptations. To my surprise I found a verse for each one! I used to carry it in the back of my Bible and turn to those verses, quoting them in the face of temptation – until one day when I left my Bible out at a youth conference I was speaking at. Someone found it and looked inside to see whose it was. They found my list of temptations and passed it around. I have never kept it in my Bible since!
What I found was that the Word of God is a tremendous power in fighting temptation. It is what Jesus did in the wilderness when tempted by Satan. Each of His responses began, ‘It is written…’ and He quoted the Word of God. It is not that the Word of God gives power, but that the Word of God settles the issue. The psalmist says, ‘I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you’ (Psalm 119:11). Notice he has hidden the Word of God in his heart, not in his head. It is in the centre of his personality, and there it keeps him from sin.
Are you grounded in the Word when you face temptation?
Bible in one year: Psalm 79 | Numbers 35