Stay with me a moment so I can set this up for you to clearly see.
Because this one thing you can control, T.H.R.I.V.E., #30
podcast link: https://www.pastorwoman.net/podcast/episode/1a1cbbd7/this-one-thing-you-can-control-thrive-30
One of the most amazing things about the ancient buildings I have touched in Israel is the straight and true wall. In this picture, my shoulder is wedged against the wall on the Temple mount, looking up at the sky … ah, perspective.
Without engineers, motorized equipment and other modern technology, how in the world did the builders manage to move the huge, very heavy boulders into straight alignment? a plumb line. The prophets Amos,1 Zechariah and Jeremiah all referred to a plumb line ~ a cord weighted with lead used in building to check that vertical structures are true.
I fondly remember standing in a coffee store in New York City, (dang, what I wouldn't give to do that right now--what with this Covid-19 stuff and all. Coffee shop in NYC ...really?), watching people stream by in frigid morning temperatures. Hmmm, thinking philosophically,
how does one know he is headed in the right direction?
A bearded Orthodox Jew in his black hat, a doorman with a fur hat, a street vendor in a ball cap, a construction worker in a hard hat …
is there any way to know we humans are on the right path?
I believe so. No, I know so.
We can refer to the manual God gave us – the inspired Word of God,
which acts as our plumb line …
whose words have stood up to scrutiny for thousands of years.
In the Bible, God reveals himself, his heart for humanity
and his plans for all eternity on the pages of Scripture.
The author of Hebrews said, ‘The Word of God is living and active…’ What an outrageous claim to make about something on a printed page! But it is true. The whole verse is powerful: For the word of God is alive 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.3
We have been considering the armor that the Roman soldier donned to ready himself to stand his ground, as we believers are meant to arm ourselves to stand. One last piece of armor . . . the sword of the Spirit, the Bible. No Roman soldier would do battle without his sword. The machaira, (Greek word for sword) was anywhere from six to eighteen inches, carried by foot soldiers, the principal weapon in hand-to-hand combat. Carried in a sheath or scabbard attached to their belts, it was always at hand and ready for use.4 (just like I want Scripture at the ready!)
The Word of God has the ability to seep into the very marrow of our being—to bring peace, lead, guide, convict, and offer forgiveness too. That is why it is truly ALIVE. Unlike an inspirational poem whose words bring a smile, or a kind encouraging word, Scripture offers divine sustenance, which is unequaled. The divinely-inspired Bible is personal, applicable, life-giving, and apropos to our daily lives . . . and I love it.
So, at a time when there is so much out of our control,
over this one thing we have complete control ~
apprehending the words of Scripture for ourselves,
hiding them in our hearts . . . so we're ready, ready to stand.
1 – Amos 7.7-8
2 – Dictionary of Bible Themes
3 – Hebrews 4.12
4 - John MacArthur, “The Believer’s Armor: God’s provision for your Protection”