Read His Words Before Ours!
We’ve all heard evangelists preach truth to the lost,
but have you ever preached truth to yourself?
It may sound odd, but it’s a beneficial practice. Reminding ourselves of the truth of Scripture impacts our real, everyday lives.
For example, His great faithfulness is equally true both in times of devoted worship and as we fold laundry. His plans for our hope and future remain, even as we potty-train our toddlers or wait in the car-rider line.
We’re often encouraged in church, yet promptly deflated as we smack headlong into life. Preaching truth to ourselves helps us remain in the confidence of worship and move forward in strength, rather than living in perpetual frustration. Hymns and worship songs provide excellent material for preaching truth to ourselves, and My Victory by Jimmy Needham is no exception.
“Never turning back to the way things were
I’m stronger now than I was before
I hear the sound that freedom brings
It’s ringing loud
Now I am free to lift my eyes
For grace is alive”
The first stanza prompts a glance over our shoulders, recalling life when Christ found us. As I remember from what He’s saved me, I rejoice! My empty life was suddenly infused with the breath of God. What was dead, is now alive!
“You are the hope that broke the dark in me
You are the light that shines when I can’t see
You are, You are, my victory”
Because Jesus is God in human form,
our divine Redeemer,
resurrected and ascended King,
He is the only one truly qualified to be our living hope.
Through His death and resurrection, Jesus purchased an all-access pass to the resources we need for a fruitful life in Christ. As believers, we have access to an arsenal of truth, a “truth trifecta,” we can use to fight lies in Jesus’ name. This truth trifecta is Scripture, prayer, and the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Scripture is our “light when we can’t see,” our battle-sword, and our bedrock of truth. Therefore, Scripture’s words about God’s character, our sinfulness, His grace, and our victory in Christ are absolutely true, regardless of our feelings. Standing upon Scripture is standing upon truth. It is bedrock, especially in the heat of battle.
The Holy Spirit serves as our internal compass and intercessor. Because the Holy Spirit connects us to the same power-source that resurrected Christ, we’re empowered to live fruitful, flourishing lives in enemy territory.
Through the phenomenon of prayer, redeemed humans can enjoy free-flowing communication with God. For example, the psalms illustrate raw, unfiltered conversations with God; the writer is often an open book. Because the astounding privilege of being known and loved by The Ancient of Days is our reality, our deepest heart-cries and most treasured dreams are His immediate concern.
“My weakness Yours, Your mercy mine
My God, You’re not the leaving kind
I sing the song that freedom brings
It’s ringing loud
Now I am free to lift my eyes
My God is alive”
Here, we’re reminded of the paradoxes within Christianity. In our weakness, we are strong. Because we surrender our weakness to Him and in turn, are suffused with His strength. Instead of abandoning us to our sin, He redeems us, bestows riches upon us, and fights for us.
I know this is true, because for years He fought for me, empowering me in my weakness. Preaching Scriptural truth to myself, praying like an open book, and drawing strength from His Spirit sustained me as weighty circumstances threatened to crush me.
My preemie twins needed a skilled, compassionate mother; it was a rewarding yet exhausting and thankless task.
Matthew’s special needs intensified my load and isolation. His medical needs steadily increased, along with his seizures.
My solid (but previously untested) faith was called into action. Throughout our struggles, truth was my ever-present companion, and preaching it to myself, through tears of desperation, became my means of survival. Prayer became my lifeline, often resembling a signal flare launched into the darkness. Truth was my bedrock, prayer sustained me, and the Holy Spirit empowered me to care for my boys well in Jesus’ name.
“In times of trouble
When I’m not able
You are, my God, You are
My chains are broken
Your gates are open
How easily we can identify with Needham’s words! A quick scroll on social media screams of a world is in chaos. Covid19, political vitriol, and the “Cancel Culture” exasperate and disorient us.
Yet, He remains our foundation. When Matthew died, I stared numbly into his casket and was engulfed in a swirling fog of grief; yet He shared my burden, lifting my tear-stained face toward eternity and the temporary nature of my affliction.
The truth of Scripture stabilized me throughout my care-giving years and in my grief. For truth remains, no matter the circumstances; what is true in the sunlight is equally true in the pouring rain.
His Spirit gave me steely fortitude in heartbreaking circumstances; His Word and His Spirit spoke of eternity and our blessed hope. Though we now dwell in enemy territory, building outposts of truth in occupied land, we know how this story ends. Jesus wins! Therefore, “we sing it out, we sing it loud! He is our victory!”
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!