“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
In the ongoing battle against the forces of darkness, the bible is an essential part of our spiritual armament, and we must wield it with faithfulness and skill. No soldier would ever consider going to battle without his sword; no combatant would enter the arena without his weapon. Nor should any Christian go about daily life and work without the sword of the Spirit.
In the Colossians passage above, the apostle gives this directive: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” Does this not communicate the role of the word in the life of the Christian? It’s not simply a matter of memorizing key bible verses. It’s not simply about reading the bible regularly. It’s about the word of God dwelling in you richly. It’s about allowing the word to fill you and take up residence in your heart.
This is the message of Psalm 119.9-11: “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”
In fact, all of Psalm 119 is about the Word in the life of God’s people. Here are some excerpts:
Focus on the word and delight in it.
“I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your commandments, which I love.” (Psalm 119.15-16)
Ask the Lord to enlighten you and give you insight into his word.
“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law … Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.” (Psalm 119.18, 34)
Meditate and reflect on the word daily.
“Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.” (Psalm 119.97)
Let the Word enlighten you and direct your life.
“When I think on my ways, I turn my feet to your testimonies … Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119.59, 105)
Treasure the word above all things.
“Therefore I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold.” (Psalm 119.127)
Fully embrace the Word as truth. Obey its commands. Not just some of it; all of it.
“I hasten and do not delay to keep your commandments … The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.” (Psalm 119.60, 160)
The Lord has given us his word, and the sword of the Spirit is an essential weapon against the enemy. It is our responsibility to study and obey the word; to write it on our hearts; to let the word of Christ dwell in us richly so that his truth guides the way we live and work.