A devotional from AllWorship friend Randall Vaughn.
I have a modest sword collection, one of which is the exact one in the image above. It is an Italian longsword–and it is SHARP! These are not replica swords; they are the real thing. Once you have held a real sword, replicas feel remarkably inferior. (FYI: They are.)
A replica, fit only for decoration, is undependable for any real use. Replicas often have inferior materials, are easily broken, and will not sharpen. Dare I say it? They are useless. On the other hand, a genuine blade will withstand use, even abuse, and can be honed to razor-sharpness.
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Heb 4:12-13 NIV)
Today’s Scripture passage compares the Word of God to a sharp sword. Knowing swords, this has special meaning to me. If you have ever allowed His word to cut you deeply, you get the metaphor. It cuts deep and clean, separating the deepest parts of your emotions (soul) and spirit. It reveals what is there in ways that are most beneficial–though emotionally painful at first.
A wise person will ask God to do this because they know it is for their good. Actually, it is for their BEST. God always has our best at heart and will do whatever He needs to do to make it so … IF we are willing to accept His process.
To receive His best, we must trust Him because He will not override our will. He will only do such work to the point we are willing for it. He gave us the authority to choose, and He will not rescind it.
I began praying the “Do whatever You need to do …” prayer that you often find in these TS messages back in 1989. It was painful–until I began to lose my fear of pain because of the incredible things He was doing in me because of it. The more He did what He needed to do, the more I asked for it.
Now, in year thirty-four of an ongoing, unrelenting process, do you know what I have discovered? I have discovered that there is still a lot to do. Therefore, I continue to ask. I do it daily.
I have discovered this, too: God will cut as deep as I will allow Him. The deeper He cuts, the better my relationship with Him becomes. It requires trust, humility, and faith. Leave out any one of these, and the process will be either halted or severely limited. As I keep all three healthy, it is astounding what God does in, with, through, for, by, and sometimes in spite of me.
God’s Word is alive. It is sharper than any earthly sword because it penetrates to the dividing of soul and spirit, as today’s passage says. Your soul is your emotions and awareness. Your spirit is the everlasting part of you where you connect with God. If, as some people think, the two were the same, i.e., interchangeable terms, they could not be divided.
But divide they must if we are to be what He has for us to be. Are you willing to allow God to lay bare all that is in you? He will–if you will allow it. And when you do, you will wonder why you waited so long to let Him do it.
(c) 2023 Randall Vaughn • All Rights Reserved • http://www.e-min.org