“Is not My word like fire?” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock?”

Do we truly believe the power of God’s Word? Do we recognize the power it has on its own—before we craft sermons around it or paint the words on a beautiful landscape? Do we believe that His Word is actually sharper than the double blades of a sword (Heb. 4:12)? Or do we just think those are hyperbolic descriptions of the Bible?

Other prophets in Jeremiah’s day fabricated tales about dreams and visions. They substituted those visions for the Word of God. In doing so, they spread falsities about the very nature and character of God. In response, the Lord likened their dreams to straw while His Word of truth is like grain (23:28). One is empty and not good for food or nutrients, while the other can fill and sustain. Not only that, but His Word is like fire and as powerful as a hammer. His Word isn’t malleable or easily manipulated, it is the driving force. It cleanses and purifies like fire to metal and shatters the barriers of sin and evil like a hammer.

Sadly, we often interact with Scripture like the prophets that God denounced in Jeremiah’s time. We hold up our experiences over and above God’s Word. We believe and speak half-truths about God’s character based on our experiences. Yet, we doubt the truth of who He says He is in His Word. If we believe the words of Jeremiah, however, and remember that God’s Word is like a fire in our bones (Jer. 20:9), then it changes the way we see the Scriptures. It changes the way we stand on it as our foundation. It informs the way we feed ourselves daily from it. When that happens—when God’s Word becomes our driving force—then we won’t be able to hold it in. The Spirit works His Word in us, so He can work it out of us into the world.

• Have you experienced God’s Word in this way? When and how has it pierced you and changed you?

• How do Jeremiah’s words inform our relationship with God’s Word? How might you need to reorient your daily life to feed on God’s Word?

• Take time to thank God for the gift of His Word. Thank Him for its power to pierce, purify, and penetrate our hearts and lives. Ask Him for a deeper love and need for His Word daily.