Proverbs 28:13, NIV
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” Psalm 119:11. “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”
When we eat food our body’s chemical factory sets to work on what we have eaten, and converts it into all the things we require for growth and daily needs. In a very real way the food becomes part of us. In just the same way, when we eat spiritual food it becomes part of who we are – not physically, but in our spirit and our soul. The more of God’s word that we take in, the more resources we have to understand the ways of God, avoid the tactics of the enemy and how to live in righteousness, even in a world that’s full of temptation.
The Psalmist knew the value of hiding God’s word in His heart. Because the truths of God had become part of him, when he faced temptation he had a straight edge in his being, that God could use to show him what was right and what was wrong. Anything that measured up to the straight edge was OK, but anything that looked crooked against that straight edge was off limits for the child of God.
In our Scripture from the Proverbs we see a contrasting principle at work. If we’ve done something wrong, and hide it in our hearts, unconfessed and unforgiven, it will always work against us and become a stumbling block on the pathway of our life. As long as pride tells us to keep it hidden, the enemy can use the ungodly choices we have made to undermine our lives. The principle of confessing sin as a step towards healing and wholeness is not just a New Testament healing practice (see James 5:16), but is a theme which is interwoven throughout Scripture. When we deal with our sin, then we can receive mercy and forgiveness – essential steps towards personal wholeness.
When we read the Word of God, there are always new things to see and understand – new treasures to unearth from the greatest mine of spiritual truth that’s ever been written. It’s essential that we read the Bible as young believers and take in everything we possibly can of God’s truth then – but let’s never get so proud and arrogant that we think we know it all. To his dying day my Dad would read his Bible morning and evening – it was his essential guide for life. I learnt so much by his example. Let’s resolve to constantly take in from the Word of God all of our days. In so doing we can be an example to others, especially the young, of how to live so that we don’t sin, instead of falling into temptation, concealing sin in our hearts and undermining the joy God would have us know, and destroying the fruitfulness of our lives.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for Your living Word. As I read it day by day, help me to take it into my heart so that it becomes part of me and helps me make right choices when tempted to sin. And if I do fall into sin, help me, Lord, to always confess it quickly, ask You for forgiveness and healing and continue to serve You with all my heart. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.