David is about to rebel against God and sin against Bathsheba, her husband, and David’s own body. He’s doing this, in part, because he is not being obedient to God’s command to Israel’s kings to write out and daily read the Scriptures of his day.
This regular reading will prevent him from becoming proud and acting as if he is above his fellow citizens. It will also prevent him from turning away from these commands in the smallest way. And it will ensure that he and his descendants will reign for many generations in Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:20 NLT)
This is as true for us today as it was for David back then. God’s Word, The Bible, has been carefully preserved, protected, and passed down from generation to generation. It is given to us today for the same reason it was given to David and the Israelites back then.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:12-13 ESV)
When we read God’s Word, it cuts through all our defense mechanisms and exposes our thoughts for what they really are. Exposing those thoughts, though, is not enough. We need to choose what we do with the thoughts.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV84)
When we take the time to capture the thoughts going through our heads, we have time to analyze them. When we compare what God says to the thoughts in our heads, we find thoughts that match and others that do not. Based on this comparison, our next step, then, is to decide what to do with each thought.
Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 NRSV)
The result of this process is beautiful. We walk together with God.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it--not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it--they will be blessed in what they do. (James 1:22-25 NIV)
How about you? Do you read God’s Word? More than that, do you do what it says? Do you follow God’s Design for our lives?