The dark figure crouched silently next to my neighbor’s house. Bella and I halted, her brown nose twitching, sniffing. Our silent approach was undetected. Recent break-ins throughout the neighborhood made people edgy. Some malfunctioning street lights created unusually shadowed corners in some of our cull de sacs. “Good hiding places for criminals,” I had said to Ken just the morning before.
Bella squared off her ears. Her happily wagging tail pointed straight up as she stared at the dark shape. Ken’s strict instructions about imminent danger marched through my mind. 1. Run away, if you can. 2. Hide, if you can’t run away. 3. Use anything available to fight if you can’t run or hide. I know the right things to do but feisty rose in me. I’ll bet this is one of the creeps who’s been stealing stuff these past few weeks. Well, isn’t he a bold one out here at this hour.
A strong wind covered the sound of our footsteps. He doesn’t know we’re here. I just needed to back us out of the cul-de-sac and call 911. What am I gonna say? I saw a person-shaped shadow by my neighbor’s house? While the voices in my head argued, The Voice, I had been communing with just seconds earlier, clearly said, “Turn on your flashlight, goofy.”
My neighbor’s bags of leaves leaned harmlessly against their house. My stomach unclenched and I forced myself to take some deep calming breaths. If only I’d turned my flashlight on sooner.
God grabbed that teachable moment and said, “This is what I’m talking about when I said that the Bible is a light for you. In this life, you’ll always be surrounded with spiritual darkness and shadows that want to frighten you or just get you all worked up. If you will fill your heart and mind with My words you won’t get so freaked out so fast.” We talked for quite a bit after that. Here’s the summary of what He shared with me.
He reminded me of Psalm 27:1, “The Lord is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear?” Many Americans are currently living in a chronic state of fear, or one of its close cousins like dread or anxiety. These emotions thrive in the darkness of worldly living, but Jesus overcame the world. THE light lives inside every believer. THE light also makes His character and plans known in His word.
The more of God’s word I hold inside me, the greater the size of my spiritual flashlight. Small time in Bible study provides me with a penlight. Disciplined, in-depth study gives me one of those tactical security flashlights like you see advertised on TV.
So, when someone messes with me, I can be armed with true thoughts like, “No weapon formed against you shall prosper and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.” (Isaiah 54:17). Sickness or disease attempt to ruin me and I can shine all kinds of brightness with verses like, “My light shall break forth like the morning, and my healing spring up speedily,” (Isaiah 58:8) and “Praise the Lord O my soul…who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.” (Psalm 103:1,3).
The Word is the light for every black situation, but it’s only a light for me when I know it and speak it.
My prayer is that you will fall in love with God’s Word and treasure it more dearly than your favorite book, TV show or hobby. Darkness and deception will only increase until the end of days. Our Sword of the Spirit separates fact from fiction, right from wrong.
What are you currently doing for Bible study? How do you commit verses to memory? Share your thoughts and comments and I’ll post them.