7 must winsWe are beginning a new fall blog series, “7 Must-Wins.” With a uniquely personal twist toward us as women, we will address seven topics that must be understood and walked out in order for us to have success in this life. As you read, ask the Holy Spirit to open the eyes of your heart to what He has to say. We hope you enjoy this series!

I am very good at memorizing things. This was helpful in college…although whether or not I retained any useful information for more than a week after testing is questionable! It also helped me while growing up in a church and a family that highly valued knowing the Scriptures. I memorized many verses, and even remembered where most of them were found in the Bible. This still helps me today, but I have also learned something else: knowing God’s Word in my head is different than knowing God’s Word in my heart. Knowing with my heart means that I actually take in what God says, and it makes a difference in the way I live my life.

In today’s culture, when everyone else is choosing the world’s way of doing things, choosing to live according to God’s Word means submitting to an authority higher than ourselves. These are not just words on a page. God’s Word is “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12). When God’s Spirit in us opens our eyes to the truth of His Word, it comes alive in our hearts, and we can begin to live out of it.

I used to think that to “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25) meant I had to force myself not to walk “in the flesh.” But all God is saying here is that as we align our hearts with God’s Spirit, we begin to see the fruit of who He is coming out of us. Because God is love. He is peace. He is joy. That does not come out of striving to “do better.” It comes out of surrendering myself to God and responding to His voice when He speaks to me.

Yes, this may mean correction sometimes. Paul advises Timothy, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man (or woman) of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Sometimes when I read or hear God’s Word, I am convicted because I know my heart does not line up with God’s heart for me. So I have to repent, and choose to turn my heart to God’s truth. Yes, it is painful to admit that I am wrong. But it is so good to experience the peace of the Holy Spirit when I choose to agree with Him and follow His voice.

So what does this look like in reality? Honestly, it will be different for each person. It is not a formula. I tend to read the same section or chapter of Scripture for days at a time when God grabs my attention with something. For those of you who don’t like to read, you can easily find websites and mobile apps that will read the Bible to you in many different versions. Just start. Ask God to make your heart come alive to His Word. Why? Because this leads us to God’s heart.

This post was written by Heather Dillard. To read more about her, click here

**For Part 2 of this series, click here.