I don’t know how it goes for you on the brink of a new day but for me it goes something like this.
- I wake up.
- Satan starts messing with my head.
- God says, “Shari, come to my room. He’s not allowed in here.”
Where’s God’s room? Just down the hall from mine. It’s a pink door with my name inscribed in gold, there’s also a black door, burgundy door, even a digital door. God’s high tech you know. It’s the Word of God, and in my house it can be found in various colors and forms and in my only preferred version, the King James. That for me is God’s room, the only place that I can make sense of the day and find strength for the day.
The writer of Hebrews said in the last verse of chapter 5, “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (vs.14)
Exercised senses? I’ve been in the process of bodily exercise to try to reshape this shape of mine for a few months now and its hard work, especially for this aging woman. But the writer, who is believed by many to be the Apostle Paul, says that the strong meat (the Word of God) belongs to those who are “full age.” Those who have grown up! Those who have used the Word of God in a disciplined fashion to discern (recognize) good from evil.
There is some serious truth in that one verse (and all the verses proceeding and following it) But for the sake of this morning and getting you and I off to a good start let’s just unpack this one verse.
Carrying the Word of God is not for the faint at heart
Just like building muscle takes repetitive strengthening exercises, strengthening the spirit takes spiritual exercise and discipline. Being full of age has nothing to do with the physical age you are, but rather the spiritual age. How much weight can you carry? If the world were to heap a few thousand pounds of grief on you today are you prepared to carry the load? Not unless you own the gospel; and by own the gospel I mean that you walk in the confidence of the Word of God, having read your portion for the day, seeking the wisdom of God that you might walk in His strength.
Using the Word of God is not for the feeble in mind
Discerning good from evil is sometimes the splitting of hairs and at other times it’s the splitting of wood. Both are tedious, one takes focus, the other brute strength. The decisions you face today may take some serious consideration for direction, or the opposition you face today may take great strength to defend yourself. The writer to the Hebrews knew that when he penned verse 14. Many of them were trying to live life being spoon fed the gospel in the form of milk rather than meat.
They probably attended services…well at least once a week. But when they relied on others to give them the Word of God rather than reading and studying for themselves, it was like hiring their exercise out. Wouldn’t that be awesome! Yes, and totally non-beneficial. In many churches the preacher has to be as strong as an ox because he’s doing everyone’s fitness routine! It’s not until the body or day is in crisis that they turn to the Word of God, but because they haven’t picked it up in a month of Sunday’s it’s heavy and hard to understand. If they’d have read it every day the words would have built spiritual strength within them and the trials and troubles they faced could have been fought off with the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Glory! That runs joy through my veins to think that in reading and studying even this one verse this morning God has strengthened my spirit!
Good and Evil. They’re both out there and one will win today’s battle. Here’s a few training exercises:
Isaiah 40:28-31 – STRENGTHEN YOURSELF (READ THE WORD)
Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
1 Thessalonians 5:14 – STRENGTHEN OTHERS (SHARE THE WORD)
Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
And it never hurts to wear cute exercise outfits! Have a blessed day!