12 For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as to divide soul, spirit, joints, and marrow; it is a judge of the ideas and thoughts of the heart. 13 No creature is hidden from Him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account. — Hebrews 4:12-13
The Word of God Penetrates and Reveals
by Melanie Wise
A “native language” is the language a person has learned from birth or speaks best. My native language is English. Another’s might be Spanish or French. Interestingly, the Bible actually tells us the devil’s native language. And if we’re wise, we will pay attention to the language our enemy speaks so we can understand his mode of operation. John 8:44 says he “was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
So what language does our enemy speak? Lies. Deception has always been his primary weapon. Behind every sin and every area of bondage in our lives is a lie. The reason we struggle and sin is because we are deceived. The enemy whispers things to us like...
- If I want anyone to notice me, I have to dress provocatively.
- I have to promote myself. Nobody else will do it.
- My only chance for future happiness is to have an abortion.
- I’m already damaged goods, so there’s no point in pursuing purity.
- I am going to look foolish and weak if I don’t seek revenge.
Every one of those statements is a lie. But sometimes those lies can bury themselves so deeply in our hearts that they feel true. The enemy cannot speak truth, but he can speak facts. And he will wrap his lies up in facts so that they seem believable to us.
So what are we to do? We need something to rescue us from the lies of the enemy and from the darkness in our own hearts. Our only hope is that there is something powerful enough to pierce through to the deepest places of our souls—through all our defenses and facades—and bring light and truth to what is dark and deceitful.
The Word of God is our only hope. Verse 12 says that it is living, active and sharp. It will bring truth to my life and will tell me that dressing provocatively is not going to give me the future that I desire. Neither will promoting myself, or having an abortion, or living in impurity, or seeking revenge.
Verse 13 tells us there is nothing hidden from God’s sight. If you are disciplined enough, you might be able to white-knuckle your way into good outward behavior. You may be able to make the outside of your life look okay through sheer will power. But no person can change their own heart. And no matter how dark and well-hidden the intentions of your heart may be, He knows. Nothing is hidden from His sight. There are no secrets—no rooms He can’t see into.
Pastor Matt Chandler talks about the importance of “laying your life on top of Scripture and letting it read you.” This isn’t about reading a bunch of stories and memorizing facts. It’s about letting the Word read us. Laying our lives on top of the truth of Scripture will help us accurately see into our own hearts. It’s clear throughout all Scripture that the thing Jesus was most concerned about was the condition of people’s hearts. He wasn’t after behavior modification; He was after heart transformation. God’s Word will penetrate deeper than any lie of the enemy has ever gone. It’s a spiritual mirror that will bring light to what is dark in your heart and will reveal what is true, life giving and worth trusting!
- As verse 13 says, "All things are open and laid bare before His eyes." Has God exposed any external behavior or attitude that you are currently struggling with? If so, ask Him to reveal to you what lie(s) from the enemy are at the root of that behavior or attitude.
- What does immersing yourself in the truth of God’s Word look like in your home? In your work or school? In your community?
- What are some practical things you can incorporate into your time in God’s Word to allow it to “read you”?
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.