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I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW | Meditating on the word of God brings light to inner darkness

‘Indeed the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.’

When it comes to diagnosing illnesses of the human body, modern medicine has developed very sophisticated tools to expose illnesses and permit treatment. We have X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging and echocardiograms, to name just a few. We know the value of these tests and have benefited immensely from subsequent treatment.

However, for diagnosing the health of our spirit, the relation of our spirit to itself, to others and to God, there’s nothing like the word of God. The word of God came from our creator in the first place.

The Bible is a continuous series of health prescriptions that tell us our origins, where we are going and how to develop a healthy spiritual lifestyle to get there. To know that we were freely created by God and called to someday reign with Him in glory for all eternity is invaluable in opening our hearts to receive the love we need to develop healthy relationships with God and others and finally rejoice for all eternity in the results.

The word of God, in the Bible, is our diagnostic tool. “Indeed the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.”

Just as the body develops illnesses, so do spirits. Every day I experience a discrepancy between what I want to do and what God wants me to do. When I choose to do my will, I distance myself from my destiny, which is God. When I choose God’s will, I become more intimate with Him.

So, for example, if someone slights me ever so little, I may choose to get angry and reason that I have every right to be angry, simply because the other person was wrong. The more I insist on my way, the more frustrated and hurt I become.

However, God’s penetrating word brings relief. Paul tells us in Ephesians: “Be angry but do not sin. Do not let the sun go down upon your anger, so as to give Satan a foothold.” If I really want relief, that word of God spells relief through repentance and intercessory prayer. I simply ask for God’s forgiveness and remember Jesus’ exhortation to “pray for your enemies.” God’s word brings perfect relief and brings me closer to my God. Before turning to God I was focusing on the pleasure of nurturing anger that only intensified the misery.

If I allow my fantasy to explore possible sexual images and I choose to give in to sexual pleasure, I realize that the promise of exquisite physical pleasure quickly turns into remorse and into self-incrimination. If I do nothing, the darkness deepens. However, if I recall Jesus words: “He who looks on a woman so as to commit adultery with her has already committed adultery,” I am apprehended by Christ’s words. Again, relief comes through repentance.

The word of God is not to be used only as a remedy for getting out of sin, but more as a formula to keep me out of sin. Meditating on the word of God daily brings light to my inner darkness. The word of God helps me see the dangers of temptations. It helps me seek God’s help before the temptation even arises.

The word of God throws light on subtle inner movements and on where my unredeemed desires would lead me. In exposing my inner weakness and bringing this weakness to the light of prayer, I grow in virtue instead of dropping into the darkness of sin.

However, since there are new compulsions surfacing every day, I need to spend quality quiet time every day reflecting on the word of God so that I am forewarned as to where these compulsions are leading me.

Take a look at the Gospel this week. A rich young man asks Jesus what more he needs to do to inherit eternal life. He seems to be a very good man but lacks God’s word to direct his life. Hence, he came to the Jesus with his question. He probably thought that he had made all the right choices for a happy life, but he didn’t know about the afterlife. When the word of God revealed that to him, he was incapable of hearing it. However, we can only hope that Jesus’ words became a wake-up call.

How many of us go online to diagnose our medical illness, and yet we ignore our spiritual illness, which have eternal consequences.

I am truly edified when again and again I encounter people who spend time daily reflecting on the word of God. This confronts shortcomings and encourages them to move in the direction of virtue. Developing virtues brings them alive, encourages them and fills them with joy.

They find great relief when they begin to reach out to others to befriend them and offer assistance. They know that they are participating in the Father’s reaching out to others and the privilege this gives them.

Your lifestyle will take a dramatic step forward if you spend a few minutes each day quietly reflecting on God’s word. This is God-time. This is life-changing. This is falling in love with God.

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