Where There Are Many Words, Sin Abounds (Proverbs 10:19)

According to quora.com, a staggering average of 5,479 new books are published every day.
Mediakix.com reports there are more than 440 million blogs in the world.

A thirty second commercial easily accommodates a seventy-five-word count. If data from the Wall Street Journal is accurate, the average NFL game in 2018 ran three hours eleven minutes and included sixty-three minutes of commercials.  If only half those commercial minutes contained just one hundred words, that’s three thousand, one hundred fifty advertising words in one televised game.

Don’t even think about adding the word count coming in from sports commentaries, talk shows, watching the news, listening to music, sitting through a movie, or interfacing with co-workers or family members and friends.

We read texts, mail, labels on products, Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram messages, work-related materials, billboards, and who knows what all else.  We also compose and send out words of our own, which add to the number of words our minds are working to process.

We have more options to read, listen to, or spew out words than ever before.

It reminds of me one aspect of my having worked for a highly successful law firm years ago specializing in corporate litigation.  We had seventy-five attorneys in addition to an army of paralegals and support staff. The firm’s seasoned litigators were known to coach those less experienced to remember that opposing counsel’s modus operandi might be, “If you don’t have a good case, create confusion.”  If the attorney with the weak case could overwhelm the jury with enough meaningless information, questions, theories, and blah blah blah, its members could easily lose the ability to think rationally.  It was our attorney’s job to resist taking the bait of trying to untangle all the confusion.  He or she was to stick to the truth, keep it simple, and stay focused on the key points of the law.

We have an enemy of the soul who has a losing case, and he knows it (see Revelation 12:12).  He doesn’t have truth or the eternal laws of God on his side (see John 8:44; I John 3:8). So what’s he doing?  He’s creating confusion, and doing a bang-up job of it. He is working to bury the Word of God with so many facts, opinions, and voices that we become desensitized to the truth and what’s most important for our everyday lives and eternal souls.

And make no mistake.  Satan is a skilled arbitrator when it comes to reconciling people with anything other than God’s Word. Even if it’s good stuff.  Anything – good, bad, or seemingly harmless – will serve his purpose as long as it creates sensory overload and keeps us from having deep, daily intimacy with God through His Word.

Genesis 1:1 begins, “In the beginning, God . . .”  This is God’s recorded word of the beginning history of mankind and His authority over it.  Right off the bat, these are bitter pills for God’s enemy to swallow. As a consequence, Satan works to reduce God’s Word in our thinking as merely another reading option.  And, unfortunately, we all too often take the bait.

Commitment to habitual reading of God’s Word unfortunately becomes similar to our society’s view of the speed limit.  Optional.

Yet it’s God’s Word that is living and will never become irrelevant (Hebrews 4:12; I Peter 1:25; Isaiah 55:11).  It’s God who spoke and the heavens were formed (Genesis 1:6-8; Psalm 33:6).  It is God whose words have the power to save souls (Matthew 4:4; James 1:21-23).  And it will be God’s books that are opened, read, and take center stage that everyone is going to care about after this earthly life is over (Revelation 20:11-15).

Don’t take the bait by thinking countless, temporal words are anything other than that.  God Himself warns us of the dangers associated with excess words:

When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable. (Proverbs 10:19a)

And you have spoken arrogantly against Me and have multiplied your words against Me; I have heard it. (Ezekiel 35:13)

For there are many words which increase futility. What then is the advantage to a man?  (Ecclesiastes 6:11)

Yet the fool multiplies words. (Ecclesiastes 10:14a)

In our culture of overabundance and the myriad of negatives accompanying it, there is one huge blessing available to us relating to words, at least for now: the availability of God’s Word.  We have access to it in hard copy, soft copy, electronically, and audibly.  But are we saturating our hearts and minds with it?  Daily?

We need the Word of God all the time. Every day.  How cognizant of that are we, however, in the midst of the hype on limited time offers for pizza?  And urgings to find our “inner power” or buy whatever kind of transportation someone is telling us we deserve?

My prayer for myself and for you comes out of Colossians 3:16: “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you with all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

What does God’s Word dwelling in us richly look like?  It begins when we allow it to come into our minds on a continual basis and transition its way into our hearts.  There, it takes up residence; we allow it to make itself at home.  It’s seated in the easy chair of our hearts, with shoes kicked off and feet propped up.  From there, it pulls us into intimacy, releases us from poisonous garbage, and grants us the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control that is only available through God’s Holy Spirit. All the things we need and subconsciously long for that those pizzas, cars, movies, goals, and sports championships fail to provide us with over the long haul.

Having God’s Word richly dwelling in our hearts requires us to personally pursue being in His Word, the Bible. This is not the same as absorbing from others real or imagined information about God and His Word.  It’s our own daily “skin in the game” time alone with God in Bible reading and prayer. And guess what? This is an area of intense, spiritual battle. It could redefine ugly.

God is more than able and willing to help us in this battle of carving out meaningful time with Him in His Word.  He is a God of relationship and designed and created us to be that way, too – with Him.  But His willingness, availability and immense power does not eliminate our own need to fight valiantly and intelligently for that lifestyle habit.  As for me, I get worn out some days.  I find myself preferring to relax with something like a game or two of Solitaire than going into battle over my truth intake.

Here’s a few practical suggestions to help you prep for this urgent and necessary warzone that I’m personally praying you will enter into:

  • Downsize the number of irrelevant, harmful words pounding your senses. This is easier said than done, and takes grit.
  • Make use of a good Bible app and Bible reading plan.
  • Dust off or run down a copy of the Bible you can hold in your hands in which you can underscore portions that are speaking to your heart.
  • Make a daily practice of thinking and praying about what Bible passage you’ve just read or studied.
  • Know this: It’s okay if you don’t understand everything you’re reading in the Bible.  We will understand it all, one day.  In the meantime, it’s easy to see what moves God’s heart and pray to have our heartbeat match His.

If we tackle this, we’ll be encouraged by reading truths that we are special, loved by God, and not left alone to stumble (or be lulled to sleep) through life.  His Word will shine light on the dark recesses of our hearts we didn’t know existed. And, through His Word and His Spirit, we will have hearts of gratitude for God’s solution to our sin problem – forgiveness and peace with Him through Jesus the risen Savior – every day. Divine, supernatural friendship!

Remember the instructions given to the up and coming attorneys?  Apply them to the tsunami of words our enemy is seeking to drown you with.  Don’t take the bait by going down rabbit trails of time-suckers that work against the health of your soul. Stick to the truth, keep it simple, and stay focused on the words of the One who loves you the most, can help you the most, and has the final, authoritative word for all of history and eternity: God Almighty.

May the below portions from Psalms come alive for you, accurately describing how God’s Word has moved into your mind and the easy chair of your heart.

O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.  (Psalm 119:97)

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.  (Psalm 119:105)

June

June

People Lover. Author. Blogger. Speaker. Forgiven Much & Wild About God. Learn about June's latest book on her website.

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