Editorial

Finding Strength and Wisdom Through the Word of God

Have you ever found strength and wisdom through the Word of God in a moment of temptation? It happened for Jesus. Three temptations are recorded during His time of fasting and prayer in the wilderness, and each time Jesus found strength and wisdom in the Scriptures. . .

-Editor of Ministry

Have you ever found strength and wisdom through the Word of God in a moment of temptation? It happened for Jesus. Three temptations are recorded during His time of fasting and prayer in the wilderness, and each time Jesus found strength and wisdom in the Scriptures. Jesus knew that we, His followers, would also experience times of temptation, and He gave us the promise that “ ‘the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you’ ” (John 14:26).1 We will find strength and wisdom as the Holy Spirit brings God’s Word to our remembrance.

How, then, can we saturate our minds with the Scriptures so the Holy Spirit can remind us of that Word in a time of temptation? Several years ago, I interviewed Barry C. Black for Ministry.2 He shared a simple strategy for saturating his mind with God’s Word: on his commute to the United States Capitol, where he currently serves as chaplain to the Senate, Chaplain Black listens to the Bible on CD. By using his commute time in this manner, he listens to the entire Bible four times per year as he intentionally chooses to saturate his mind with the Scriptures. I do not doubt that Chaplain Black comes under spiritual attack, but he finds strength and wisdom through the Word of God.

Ron du Preez, communications director for the Michigan Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, maintains a hectic schedule informing and equipping pastors and lay leaders, but he also takes time to saturate his mind with the Scriptures while exercising. He listened to the entire New Testament while training for a triathlon! He also reads the Bible while riding his stationary bicycle. Throughout his life, God has brought His Word to Ron’s remembrance in times of need. On one occasion, when Ron was particularly frustrated, the Lord reminded him of His counsel through the prophet Isaiah: “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, . . . for He will abundantly pardon” (Isa. 55:7). Under deep conviction, Ron prayed, “Lord, forgive me for even thinking those thoughts,” and the peace of God filled his soul. He found strength and wisdom in a moment of temptation as he listened to a word from the Lord.

I have developed a habit of reading the Scriptures on my iPhone while taking my walk every morning. 3 Walking and reading at the same time may be too hazardous in a high traffic area but it works well on a designated walking trail. This time with God’s Word leads spontaneously to praise and prayer. Recently I came under spiritual attack and a Bible passage flashed into my mind: “ ‘Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you’ ” (Deut. 31:6).

Filling your mind with the Word of God is particularly important for spiritual leaders who are special targets of the kingdom of darkness. I recently read the counsel of Moses recorded in Deuteronomy 17. While addressed specifically to kings, his counsel seems relevant to any leader—especially those called to lead the people of God. Moses encourages the leader “ ‘to write for himself a copy of this law in a book. . . . And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes, that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left’ ” (Deut. 17:18–20).

Beware of a haughty spirit where you become preoccupied with being heard by others more than listening to God. Pray for a hearing heart. Read and listen to the Word, all the days of your life, and then live in harmony with what you learn. Solomon encourages us to “listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days” (Prov. 19:20). That was good counsel more than 3,000 years ago, and it is still good counsel today. You will find strength and wisdom through the Word of God.


FOOTNOTES

1 All Scripture references are taken from the New King James Version.

2 “Preaching Out of the Overflow: The Spiritual Life of the Preacher” (March 2004).

3 I am following the M’Cheyne Bible Plan described in my May 2011 editorial.


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-Editor of Ministry

September 2011

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