“For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.” – Heb 4:12 (American Standard Version)
I have experienced that double edged sword many times. I have been a beneficiary to the Word at different times and in various ways. My first experience of the awesomeness of the Word was what led to my salvation. I grew up in a Christian home but I wasn’t a Christian. It was just a religion to me.
There was a time some friends and I were arguing about religion and a question was popped at me ‘Why are you a Christian?’ My answer was immediate and honest ‘Because I was born into a Christian home’. That was all being a Christian meant to me. It was just something that was as a result of my birth. Same as I’m black coz I have black parents. If I had been born into a Muslim home, I would have been a Muslim or Hindu home, Hindu religion.
But it all changed a few years later. I met this wonderful woman. A Christian and a teacher of the Word. It was a chance meeting that changed my life. She had come into a town for a program in the campus and I was on campus visiting a friend. It was raining cats and dogs, yet at 5pm, students started trooping out in hundreds. Right under the pouring rain! I was amazed. I wondered who could actually get students out in the rain for a Christian program!!! This piqued my curiosity. I just had to see who it was.
So I dressed up and joined the multitude in the rain. I did not hear a single word of the sermon. All I could do was stare at this beautiful charming woman, radiating so much joy and confidence and I was enchanted. After the service, I went up to her. There were lots of people around waiting to see her and she was graciously attending to all. Normally, I’m not a patient person but that day I waited.
She got to me and I told her ‘You are amazing!’ She threw back her head and laughed and said thank you. Then for a reason, she took my hand and pulled me after her. We started talking about books and discovered we both loved reading. She asked if I had read the bible. I said no and mentally braced myself for the blablabla. She surprised me. She looked stunned and asked “how can you love books and not have read the bible?” she waved her hand dismissively and added, “forget about the bible being the Word of God and just read it as you would a normal novel. It has so many stories inside”
She went on to tell me some of the stories, funny ones I didn’t know were there. Like the story of Shibboleth and Sibboleth. Not once did she ask if I was saved or not. She gave me a Today’s English Version and I got home later that day and started reading the bible. She was right. It had so much history and culture and stories. All the things I loved. So I read and read and finished the whole bible from Genesis to Revelations within three weeks. I deliberately kept my mind off any God idea and read it like she suggested – A Novel!
But the Word is ever living and ever active. God’s word can never fail. I called her when I was through and we had great times laughing and discussing the stories. About five months later, the same religion argument came up again with the same friends and the same question was directed at me. I opened my mouth to respond as before but what came out instead shocked me. “Because I believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is the son of God and the only way to God. He came to live and die to give me life”
To say I was shocked is an understatement. My friends stared at me like I had grown two heads and I could only stare mutely back. The discussion soon petered out but I could not get my mind off what I said. I walked home in a daze and locked myself in my room. I sat down on the bed and thought of my words. I thought back on all I had read in the bible. Words that I had tried to ignore but could not silence.
I was sitting alone in that room all through the night. Thinking! As dawn neared, I realized I did believe it! It was all true! Jesus is the Son of God! He did come in human form! He lived! He died! He rose! He lives! The logos had become rhema to me.
I opened my mouth to pray but the only thing that could come out was “Jesus” and then I burst into tears. I didn’t know why and I still don’t. But I cried deep heaving tears that morning. For more than two hours. When I could finally talk, I was just repeating over and over again ‘Jesus, I believe! Jesus, I believe!’
Later that day, I called that dear preacher woman and as I heard her voice, I started crying again. She knew without being told that my life had changed. And she said “Welcome to the Family!” I started laughing and she joined me. We laughed for no reason but the joy bubbling in our hearts. It was beautiful.
That double-edged sword had crept into my body and cut through bone and marrow to divide my soul from my spirit and restore life to me. I didn’t know when it happened but I felt its impact. A new life had begun in me. I had left religion far behind in the river Jordan and emerged from its banks, a new creation. I had found the life of Christ, the abundant life He died to give.