The following article is condensed from Peter Herbeck’s talk at the 2023 Lift Jesus Higher Rally in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. You can listen to it here. The article originally appeared in Renewal Ministries’ July 2023 newsletter.
Pope Benedict XVI believed the secret to a new springtime for the Church would be found in the daily reading of Scripture. The Bible is a love letter from the heart of God to the heart of the believer, and it will absolutely change us.
Have you heard of Lectio Divina? Imagine a cow: it chews grass and sucks out the juices. Then, the cow swallows its cud. Later, the cow regurgitates it and chews on it some more, drawing more juices out of it. Pope Benedict said we should do this with the Word of God—chew on it. Say the Word out loud and receive it. Let it sink into your heart and at the end of the day, bring it back up again. Get all the juices out of it.
The enemy communicates the wrong storyline, but the Lord has a superior storyline for us. It’s his story of salvation, and the Word of God is the best place to lay hold of it. We need to stand with courage on the Word of God and all its promises. All we need to do to win this battle is to not quit. Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection have already won the war. That’s why St. Paul tells us to put on the armor of God and stand, stand, stand (Eph 6:11-14). It can be easy to get carried off when storms come. But let’s stand on the promises of God.
To stand, we abide in the Word and receive God’s personal words for us, talk to Him throughout the day, thank Him, believe his powerful promises, and follow his leadership.
Paul writes, “God chose you from the beginning to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us” (2 Thes 2:13-15).
You’re called, chosen by the Father, saved by the Son, and made holy by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Do you know how precious and valuable you are? This is what the Word of God teaches us. Jesus said, “Let not your hearts be troubled” (Jn 14:1). Give Him all the troubles that you’ve been carrying and all your fear. He goes to prepare a place for you. He is near. Nothing can separate you from his love.
The glory of God is our destiny. Nothing else will fulfill us. That’s why Jesus came. Stand firm in this. The devil wants to knock you off from standing. Don’t quit. Stay firm. Speak the Word of God. Live the Word of God. Whatever comes, comes. You don’t go looking for trouble, but if it comes, stand.
You no longer belong to the world. He’s called you out of the world and into the kingdom (Col 1:13). You’re in the world but no longer of it (Jn 15:19). You’re not afraid of it. You’ve got a new mind and you’re a free person. You’ve got one little life to testify to the Lord. And if you bear witness with his help, what you have done will echo through all eternity.