The following blog post was originally published in the Berkeley Independent.
One of God’s main goals for your life is that you will be transformed. There exists actions, sometimes called “disciplines,” in which we can allow God to transform us from who we are to who He desires us to be. These disciplines are simply tools that God has given us to enable our spiritual transformation. Over the next several weeks we’re going to look at some different ways that we can allow God to transform us. However, all of these tools center around two basic tenets of the faith: Bible reading and prayer. These actions alone will help us grow spiritually and become more like Christ.
Of all the ways God transforms us, taking in His Word is the foremost. We can absorb His Word through hearing it, reading it, memorizing it, and studying it. Romans 12:2 states, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Therefore, we are to transform our minds through the supernatural power of taking in God’s Word.
In Psalm 19, we see several ways that God’s Word transforms us. First, Psalm 19:7 states the law of the Lord is perfect and it revives the soul. God’s word is law: His directions and His instructions. These laws are bound up in who He is; His character. God’s Word is a law of salvation, however. God’s law states how one is made right with God through Jesus Christ.
God’s law is perfect in that is is complete. God’s way of salvation is complete. It is full. The Gospel doesn’t need to be added to or have any thing removed from it. It is complete just the way it is. Because of God’s Gospel being complete, it brings revival to the soul. It brings conversion to the soul. It turns you back to him. The word “soul” can be used to refer to our emotions. God’s Word perfectly aligns our emotions with His. It revives our emotions. It calibrates them to be in tune with Him. It brings revival to our soul; our emotions. God’s Word turns back our wayward ways of thinking. God’s Word is what allows us to live the way we should live. God’s Word is what saves us. His truths, your intellectual acceptance of it, your moral approval of it, and your decision to follow it is liberating. Man’s word can give a lot of good ideas but it does not save and it cannot ultimately revive and bring life to your soul.
Second, verse 7 also states “the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;” God’s Word is a testimony. It is a witness. What does God’s word testify towards? It testifies that we are sinners in need of a savior. This testimony is sure. It’s firm. The testimony of God’s Word is firm. It will not waver. It is always true and will never be found false. Because God’s testimony is true it makes those who are not wise, wise. The word “simple” can also be translated “foolish.” God’s Word gives wisdom to the foolish. Without God we do foolish things and think we know what we’re doing and what we’re talking about. We all think that we are experts at something until God’s Word tells us otherwise. God’s Word is firm and sure so it gives wisdom to those who seek it.
Third, verse 8 states “the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart.” This is the idea of having a mandate. These precepts, or mandates, of God are right. This has the idea of being straight. Furthermore, it has the idea of being pleasing to the eye and good. These straight and true precepts/mandates of God produce a certain kind of effect on the believer: They make the heart rejoice. They make the heart glad.
God’s mandates, his rules, are true. They are correct. And when a believer follows these rules their mind is glad. It rejoices and it is transformed.
Next week we’ll look at the other three qualities of God’s Word which transforms our lives.