I love to read. Whether fiction or non-fiction, books have always brought both pleasure and satisfaction to my life. In some cases, they have entertained and in others, they have educated. There have been books that I have read more than once. Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is one such book. I have read that book many times. So many times, in fact, that I can almost recite it. But, no matter how many times I read it, the words always tell me the same story. Nothing changes. The same holds true for all other books, except one. That book is the Bible, the word of God.
The words of the Bible don't change, but they can tell me something different each time I read them. That is because, as Hebrews 4:12 tells us, the word of God is alive. As I spend time in the word and in God's presence, the Holy Spirit reveals to me new meanings in the words I read. The words are the same but the message from God behind those words changes, revealing to me what God wants to speak into my life at that time.
Hebrews 4:12 also tells us that the word of God is sharper than a two-edged sword. Ephesians 6:17 refers to the word of God as the sword of the Spirit. The word of God is a powerful weapon that God has provided for us to use when we are under attack by the enemy. But, we need the help of the Holy Spirit in wielding that sword. In medieval times, a knight's weapon of choice was most often his sword. But before a knight could use that sword, he needed to be trained by someone with experience and authority. The same is true for the sword of the Spirit, the word of God.
If we are to use the word effectively in our lives, we must seek the guidance and instruction of the Holy Spirit. We need to read the word, but we must also seek the Holy Spirit and allow Him to show us how best to use that word in increasing our faith, in learning the ways of God, and in fighting spiritual battles in our lives.