The only way you can “do everything without grumbling or arguing” is “as you hold firmly to the word of life.” It was the spoken Word of God that created the lights in the beginning and it is the same Word that keeps the lights shining. Only through God’s Word will we be lights, since it is the only thing that makes us shine. It is impossible to be lights in the world unless God’s Word is continually at work in us. Why? Because the light is not of ourselves––it is not something that we can muster up––it can only be given to us. The Scriptures say of John the Baptist that “he was not the Light but was sent to bear witness to the Light” (John 1:8). Like John we are not the Light of the Word, but we are sent to bear witness of that Light. Therefore, we should be like Eleazar whose hand froze to the sword in battle as we hold on to the “word of life” (2 Sam. 23:10).
God’s Word is life. It is not merely letters, absent of innate power. These words need to be cherished more than life itself because they are the source and fountain of all life. Holding firmly to Jesus’ words separated his true disciples from those who were merely attracted to him. After Jesus fed the five thousand, large crowds followed him, but soon many of them turned away: “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more” (John 6:66, NKJV). What was their reason? Some of his words were hard; they were not easy to receive. His words demanded a person’s full allegiance; it meant the absorption of his complete person. Particularly they were offended by statement, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you” (John 6:53, NKJV). They could not understand the spiritual nature of these words. “Does this offend you? What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are Spirit, and they are life” (John 6:61-63, NKJV). Because they were offended they let go of this burning sword like a man let’s go of a hot iron. They were not willing to let the words penetrate into their own souls, nor were they willing to wrestle with the difficulty of these sayings. They did not understand that the Son of Man was also the Lamb of God—He was to be completely eaten like the Passover Lamb––his nature was to become their nature and his Spirit was to be their drink. Only then would they escape the bondage of spiritual Egypt.
Prayer: Father, make us like Eleazar whose hand froze to the sword. He clung to the sword because his life depended on it and we need to cling to the sword of the Spirit, your Word, because our lives depend on it. Help us to hold on to your living and active Word.