The Word of God is a major key to our sanctification. We should not underestimate the power of God’s Word to sanctify us. Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them by your truth. Your word is truth.” (John 17:17). To work in our lives, the Word should be heard often by us. It should be studied, understood, meditated upon, believed, confessed, prayed and most of all, obeyed. We then need to act on the Word or we deceive ourselves, thinking that hearing is enough (James 1:22).
The renewing of our minds takes place in the light of God’s Word. There are a multitude of revelations of God and His ways which the Holy Spirit can reveal to us through the Bible. Reading and studying the Bible will help us to think according to what is true, what is real and what is really important. It will give us insights into the character qualities and attitudes God is looking for in us. It will increase our knowledge. And it will get our hearts and minds off worthless things that have no eternal value.
As we read and study the Bible prayerfully, we will begin to see Jesus through the Word. The Word of God is compared to a mirror (James 1:23). It reveals who Jesus is and it helps us to see how we are and how we need to change. Change happens as a result of the Word and the Spirit working together in our life. “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Jesus is called “the Word of God” (Revelation 19:13; John 1:1). The Scriptures testify of Jesus (John 5:39). And He is our Saviour, the one who will change us. Jesus is the One who loves us more than life itself. If you love Him you will love His Word (John 14:21,23). Let God’s Word fully work in your life and it will produce the change God desires.
There are many truths that must enter our innermost being. Many of these truths are revealed even through very small portions of Scripture - a verse or a part of a verse for example. The Holy Spirit will sometimes cause a particular truth to come alive to us. When this happens it is very good to turn that Scripture over in your mind again and again. Read it out loud over and over until you know it perfectly. Think about how it applies to your life. Say it over and over until it enters into your heart. Let that Scripture unite with your imagination and your deepest emotions. Then the living water of the Holy Spirit will flow in your being.
“Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Colossians 3:16).
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8).
The key to success in the spiritual life or in any other domain in which God wants you involved is much meditation on the Word of God. It is more important to meditate deeply than widely. Even Science has shown that the more you repeat the same words the more parts of your brain are used. By meditating much and repeatedly on the same part of the Word it will enter your heart and it will transform your life. The Holy Spirit works to fix the Word deep in your heart when you fix your attention on it. When the Word arrives in the soft part of our hearts it produces faith, just as a seed in good ground produces a plant. This is the faith we need to overcome the world. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith.” (1 John 5:4).
We should not think that God’s plan for us is to arrive at perfection through isolation from others. God has placed us in a body of believers - the church. The members in the church, if they are walking in Christ, will edify us and build us up in our relationship with God. The messages of a spirit-filled, Word-filled preacher will build us up and give good revelation to us. There are also excellent preaching messages available in many parts of the world available on video or audio cassette. Listening to these messages can help us greatly in growing in the Lord.
We have to be continually in tune with what God is saying and bear in mind what God wants for us. Otherwise we will begin to listen to other voices rather than the voice of the Master. For this reason, it is good to be reminded of the things of God again and again. (2 Peter 1:12). It is wrong to switch off our minds when we hear repeated in preaching ideas we have already heard before. God’s word is so precious and every repetition of it has the potential to build us stronger and to establish us more in God.
Not only God’s Word is important for our sanctification, but also our words. “Death and life is in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). Our words are either in harmony with God’s Word, or they are not. We very rarely rise above the level of our confession, or what we say. Jesus is called, “the High Priest of our confession” (Hebrews 3:1). What we get from God will be influenced by what we are saying down here. If I believe God’s Word in my heart, what I say with my mouth will reflect it, for “those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart” (Matthew 15:18) and “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). Having the spirit of faith, “we believe, and therefore we speak” (2 Corinthians 4:13).
If we find that negative words our coming out of our mouth, it is a sign that our heart needs changing. We should determine to say less (James 1:19) and to listen with more patience. Listen to God and also try to understand what people are really saying. We should allow these outbursts of foolish words to become signposts for us as to where the problem in our heart is. Then we can search the Scripture to get God’s heart on the matter and allow God’s Word to change our thinking in that area.
Many things are spoken about the importance of controlling the tongue. “If anyone thinks he is religious, and does not bride his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is worthless.” (James 1:26). “For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body.” (James 3:2). “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it on the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36,37).
Faith operates through words. So do most of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. “He shall have whatsoever he says” (Mark 11:23). Words are very important. Be faithful to God in your use of them, and then they will work for you, being channels for God’s blessing to flow into the lives of many. “All things are possible to him who believes.” (Mark 9:23; Matthew 17:20). So believe that through your tongue will only come words of faith, hope, love and wisdom, which will build others up according to the need of the moment (Ephesians 4:29).