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I’m going to ask you a question. Ultimately the answer requires you to be brutally honest, not with me but with God. Are you ready? Here it is: How do you FEEL about God’s Word? Say what? You’re kidding me, right? Nope. I’m quite serious. How do you feel about God’s Word? Assuming your answer is something like “I Love God’s Word!” let me ask you this: Do your actions support that answer?
Welcome to The Point of Purity Podcast. I’m your host, Steve Etner, Author, National Speaker, and Purity Coach for The Pure Man Ministry. This is episode #80, and in this week’s episode, we talk about the importance of not just reading your Bible, but truly delighting in God’s Word.
The psalmist writes that the one who experiences true happiness is the one “whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.” (Psalm 1:2) To experience true happiness, contentment, and fulfillment – to be blessed of God – we need to “delight” in God’s Word. God doesn’t say here that you will be blessed if you appreciate His Word, nor if you merely respect it. We are to DELIGHT in it.
The words “to delight” means to find great pleasure in something to the point where you are longing for it constantly. I can remember back in college when my wife and I were dating. As I got to know her, I found myself constantly thinking more and more about her throughout the day. Every moment we were apart was sheer agony. I couldn’t wait until my classes were over for the day so I could be with her again. The long walks just talking were pure heaven. I hung on to her every word. The more I learned about her, the more I wanted to know and the more I wanted to be with her. I truly delighted in her.
Today, 41 years later, every moment we’re apart my heart aches. It’s true! Every time my phone dings with a text from her my pulse quickens just a little bit. I can’t wait for the workday to be over so that we can be together again. I look forward to sitting at the dinner table and listening to her as she tells me about her day. Even today I’m still learning things about her that I never knew. The more I learn about my amazing wife, the more I want to know and the more I want to be with her. I am so privileged, honored, and humbled to be able to say I still delight in my wonderful wife!
Now why did I say all of that? Well, beside the fact that I just wanted to take a moment to brag on her, I wanted to use that as an illustration. You see, God says you are blessed when you choose to delight in His Word. You should long for the time each day when you can sit down with your Bible and listen to your Heavenly Father speak to you. You should go throughout each day anxiously looking forward to the moment when you can sit down with your Bible and cling to His every word.
The Psalmist writes, “Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in His commands.” (Psalm 112:1) If you really want to know God’s blessing on your life, find great delight in His Word! Again, the Psalmist says, “Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight ... I delight in your commands because I love them ... if your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.” (Psalm 119:35, 47, 92)
The truth of this passage of Scripture became very real to me a few years ago. You see, there was a time in my life when I chose to turn my back on God. I chose to pursue the pleasures of sin for a season, not wanting anything to do with God. Because of that choice, I nearly lost my family and my life. During those dark days, my wife and I went to numerous “Christian” counselors, but nothing seemed to help. That is, until we began meeting with a couple from our church.
This couple, who have now become dear friends, began taking us deep into the Word of God. Each time we met, we invested our time in seeing what God had to say about our situation and how He had the answers we were searching for. Each time we met, we were challenged to read the Scriptures during the week and were given Bible verses to memorize.
During those weekly sessions, the Holy Spirit awoke within me a deep desire to study my Bible every day. I began hungering and craving for more. I relished every moment I could invest in reading and studying God’s Word. I discovered verse after verse that spoke to my heart’s issues, and I committed them to memory. I also found myself looking forward to the times each day when I could focus my thoughts in prayer and talk with God about the things He had revealed to me.
Today I am still excited about the Word of God. Hopefully, as you listen to each week’s episode, you have picked up on the fact that God’s Word is all I want to talk about. I am truly passionate about reading God’s truth and hiding His principles and promises in my heart. I genuinely get excited every time the Holy Spirit shows me another precept, and I am able to dig into my Bible to compare Scripture with Scripture. I submit that this is what it means to delight in God’s Word.
You see, it wasn’t until I began digging into the Word of God, studying the Scriptures, meditating on them, and memorizing them, that true change started happening in my life. Digging into God’s Word and getting to know God more required action. No one else could do it for me. It was personal. It is personal. Everything we do here at The Pure Man Ministry is a direct result of the journey God has taken me on. Everything I’ve shared with you in these podcasts, everything I’ve written in each of my books, everything I’ve taught in my conferences, seminars, and videos – none of it is just something to teach and something to do. I believe in this with all my heart. This is what the Psalmist is talking about when he says, “If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.” (Psalm 119:92)
Had I not begun to study, memorize, meditate on, and seek to obey God’s Word – and if I don’t continue to do it even now – I would still be gripped by my sin. I would be perishing in my affliction. Truly delighting in God’s Word means you are going to invest your time in it, you are going to study and memorize and meditate upon it, as well as walk in obedience to it. As a result, you will find great peace and direction in the midst of your greatest conflicts. That, my friend, is God’s promise!
We need to say as Job did, “I have not departed from the commands of (God’s) lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread.” (Job 23:12) And we should echo the words of Jeremiah when he said, “When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight.” (Jeremiah 15:16) So, let me close with this final question for you: Is your testimony that of the apostle Paul who said, “In my inner being I delight in God’s law”? (Romans 7:22)
If you would like to learn more about today’s study, or if you’re interested in learning more about our ministry, be sure to visit our website to see the multitude of resources we’ve made available to you – you can find our website at ThePurityCoach.com
One of those resources I would like to highlight for you here is my book entitled “Extreme Mind Makeover: How to transform sinful thoughts and habits into patterns of life pleasing to God.” This book takes you on a journey through the Bible to examine what God has to say about how your thoughts, words, and actions influence and impact your heart.
If you’ve followed this Point of Purity Podcast for any length of time, then you’ve heard me emphasize the fact that what you think becomes what you do. When you train your mind to think godly thoughts, the things you say and do day in and day out will be godly. On the flip side, when you allow your mind to think sinful, fleshly, ungodly, King Me centered thoughts, the result (your daily attitudes and actions) will be ungodly. So, how do I change the way I think? How do I change the things I do? How do I successfully and effectively guard my heart? This book, “Extreme Mind Makeover” takes you into God’s Word to help you answer those questions.
So go to our website, ThePurityCoach.com, and check out our resources page, or go directly to Amazon.com and purchase your copy of “Extreme Mind Makeover” today.
And if you have not yet subscribed to this podcast, let me encourage you to do so today so you won’t miss any of our upcoming episodes!
So, until next time this is Author, Speaker, and Purity Coach Steve Etner reminding you that if you are going to glorify God in your everyday living, He must first be glorified in your every moment thinking.