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Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness.

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Recognizing the value of consistent reflection upon the Word of God in order to refocus one’s mind and heart upon Christ and His Gospel of peace, we provide several reading plans designed to cover the entire Bible in a year.

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Richard Bennett :: Chapter 4 Together Time

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Food for Faith — Chapter 4

Together Time

  When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His Word,
What a glory he sheds on our way!
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still
And with all who will trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise,
Not a cloud in the skies,
But his smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt nor a fear,
Not a sigh nor a tear
Can abide while we trust and obey.

But we never can prove
The delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows
And the joy he bestows
Are for them who will trust and obey.

Then in fellowship sweet
We shall sit at His feet,
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
What He says we will do,
Where He sends we will will go—
Never fear, only trust and obey.

                —John H. Sammis

When you think of it, there are few greater expressions of pride than that of thinking that we are adequate to meet the challenges of the day, without first drawing upon the sufficiency of the Lord Jesus Christ with an open Bible and an open heart.

David identified the germinal seed that will develop a spiritually productive life. He said the person who meditates upon the Word of God is the person who will, bring forth fruit in season… and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper (Psalm 1:3 KJV).

What kind of person does God promise to prosper? It is one whose delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night (Psalm 1:2 KJV).

I sometimes say to people who have just received the Lord Jesus into their hearts and lives: “A chapter a day keeps the devil at bay!” Read your portion of Scripture and then return to read it again. As you do, you will be able to meditate upon it verse by verse. Have you ever seen a cow in a field chewing her cud? The grass is chewed, swallowed and then brought back into the cow’s mouth to be chewed again until all the nourishment has been extracted. This is a good illustration of what true meditation upon the Word of God is all about!

I knew a man who was converted on his seventieth birthday. At that time, he knew very little of the Bible. Before he found new life in Christ, he was not even a church-goer; neither did his skills include academic pursuits. However, after his newbirth experience, such was his desire to grow in grace and in the love and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, that by the time he went to Heaven at age eighty-three, he had read the Bible from cover to cover thirteen times. Whatever your age or educational background you too, can read the Bible each day.

An open Bible, a clean heart, a humble spirit and the prayer of David: Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law (Psalm 119:18 NKJV), will prepare the way for a fruitful time with the Lord.

As we have already noted, some people do not realize that a Together Time is really a two-way conversation. God speaks to us when we meditate upon the Bible verses we are reading. Unfortunately, many people fail to understand that after God has lovingly condescended to speak to our hearts, He then waits for us to respond to Him in prayer. When we reflect upon the Word of God, that Word becomes part of our thinking. When we prayerfully act upon the Word of God, it becomes part of our living.

At this point you may be asking, “How will God speak to me when I read the Bible?” Personally, I have found it helpful to reflect on each verse I read with certain questions in my mind. Some of them were suggested to me many years ago. I let these questions guide me as I prayerfully commune with my Lord. Let me suggest that you, too, guide your thinking in such a fashion as you meditate upon God’s Word. Because I have depended upon these questions for so many years, they have become second nature to me when I draw aside to be with God and the Scriptures.

You will notice that some of the following questions will require an act of obedience; others will necessitate a response of faith; still others will result in your being drawn out in worship and praise before the Lord; and finally some will help you discern the subtle devices of your enemy, the devil, and also enable you to understand how Christ’s victory over Satan can become yours.

An Act of Obedience

We have already understood that we must keep short accounts with God if we are to be finely tuned to the voice of the Holy Spirit when we read the Bible. But, each time the Holy Spirit does speak to our heart it is also necessary to obey what He is saying.

When reading the Bible in your time together with the Lord, it is good to ask: Is there in this verse—

  • A command to obey?
  • A sin to avoid?
  • A good example to follow?
  • A bad example to avoid?

Do you see how such questions can draw you into a personal, two-way relationship with your Lord? They will certainly not leave you merely thinking about the truth you have read. When you answer these questions in the presence of God, you will find it necessary to actively respond in your heart to what God has said.

Always remember that the Holy Spirit Himself is with you when you read God’s Word, and, if you rely upon Him, He will push the Word of God nine inches lower—from your head to your heart!

We all live in perilous days as the world races forward in rebellion, and in disobedience to God’s commands. To influence a Christ-rejecting generation, we must be obedient and whole-hearted. Only when we begin to obey the truths that God shows us will we be open for His power to flow through us to a needy world.

Recently, my wife and I shared a reading from Oswald Chambers’ book My Utmost for His Highest. This is a paraphrase of what we read:

Obey God in the thing He shows you, and instantly the next thing is opened up… “I suppose I will understand that some day!” you say. But just a minute; you can understand it right now! It is not study that brings special insight; it is obedience. Even the tiniest fragment of obedience will open the windows of heaven so that the most profound truths of God will be there for you right away. But God will never reveal additional truth about Himself until you have obeyed what you already know.

—Oswal Chambers (paraphrased)

It is reported that one night two great missionary pioneers, Charles T. Studd and Hudson Taylor, shared an attic room. Early in the morning, Taylor awakened to find his roommate poring over an open Bible as it was illuminated by a flickering candle and asked how long he had been there. In answer to Taylor’s question, Studd confessed:

At midnight, I awoke with the words of the Lord Jesus on my mind: If you love Me, keep My commandments (John 14:15 NKJV). I asked myself if I had proved my love to the Lord Jesus by total obedience? Reaching for my Bible, I spent the rest of the night reading the gospels. There I searched for every command that the Lord gave to His disciples. Where, by God’s grace, I have been obedient to His commandments I have put a little check in my Bible and written the word, Hallelujah! Where I have been disobedient, I have confessed my sin, and by His enabling grace have once again committed myself to obey Him and so prove I really do love Him.

—Charles T. Studd

Dear reader, once you really ‘walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,’ you too, will join the hymn-writer in testifying that there is no other way but to ‘trust and obey!’

The Response of Faith

The Bible is God’s faith builder! And as we are built up in faith—which is dependence on, and obedience to, the Lord Jesus Christ—we will affirm ‘I can’t’ but ‘He can’!

So in your time together with the Lord, it is good to ask: Is there in this verse—

  • A promise to claim?
  • A warning to heed?

The Bible is full of promises. When we meditate upon God’s Word, it is necessary to claim the promises of God. At the same time, however, we must also observe His somber warnings. To heed the promises of God, while ignoring the warnings of God is not to ‘live by faith’; instead, it is to ‘die by make-believe’!

As you read the Bible day by day, notice each promise of God and then claim each one as your very own. Whenever you appropriate God’s promises, the enabling sufficiency of the Lord Jesus Christ will be all the power you need to turn every new step of obedience into the reality of your own personal experience.

His promises are given to you to become ‘living’ truth in your walk with God. As you lay hold of these promises, your faith will continually be strengthened, for we are told: So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17 NKJV).

Have you ever wondered what is the opposite of faith? The answer is not so simple as it may seem. To say that unbelief is the opposite of faith really avoids the full implications of this question. Imagine, if you will, three life-giving ‘cousins’. The first is faith, the second is dependence, the third is humility. Now, think of three deadly ‘cousins’. The first is unbelief, the second is independence and the third is pride.

A man of faith is a man who depends upon the Lord Jesus Christ to do what he could never do for himself. When reading the Bible, the man of real faith will notice, and then personally appropriate, the unbreakable promises of God.

The Lord Jesus said to His disciples: for without Me you can do nothing (John 15:5 NKJV). Yes, before a person can trust the Lord to do anything of spiritual value through His enabling, he must be convinced that in his own strength he can do nothing that will count for eternity. This kind of dependent faith is only born in a humble heart. Such a person will then be able to say with the apostle Paul "I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV).

A man of unbelief, on the other hand, is a man who considers himself to be so independent that he does not really need the help of God. Sad to say, there are millions today who will not depend upon the Lord Jesus Christ for their salvation. Equally sad is the fact that many Christians do not depend upon the indwelling Christ to enable them to live the Christian life. Any form of human independence is born in a proud, unyielding heart.

So we can say that the opposite of faith is pride, whereas the opposite of unbelief is humility. In spite of popular thinking, self-confidence and self-sufficiency always inoculate the heart against a good dose of faith.

Every worldly influence that is designed to inflate the ego will at the same time deflate one’s confident trust in the supernatural power of the risen Christ. God’s limitless resources are behind every promise that He has ever made, and He has not left us to our own devices or cleverness to journey through life.

G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) astutely put his finger on the paradox of self-sufficient pride. He wrote:

What we suffer today is modesty in the wrong place. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction, where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed.

—G. K. Chesterton

Any Christian who remains dependent upon the human counsel of other people, or places confidence in himself rather than in the Lord, will never enter into the fullness of God’s blessing. Just as water always runs to the lowest level, so, too, the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus described as living water, will not flow to the person whose soul… is lifted up… he is a proud man’ (Habakkuk 2:4-5 KJV).

However, the Holy Spirit will overflow in abundance from the heart of any believer who humbly recognizes his need of Christ’s enabling power.

On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37-38 NKJV).

Each day you can fall at the feet of Jesus and drink of that living water. As you do, your life will no longer be explained by your talents or training; instead, your life will be characterized by the abundant outflow of God’s Holy Spirit from your innermost being.

Remember that in the Person of the Holy Spirit our risen Lord has condescended to clothe Himself with the physical form of every born-again child of God. In fact, today the believer is the strategic beachhead of the Lord Jesus into a godless world. Through each available Christian the Holy Spirit continues to extend His own saving work to the lives of other people.

For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them, and walk among them I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (2 Corinthians 6:16 NKJV).

Yes, we are God’s temples through whom He desires to demonstrate His own holiness and glory!

Recognizing this astonishing fact, Paul continues with the somber exhortation: Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2 Corinthians 7:1 NKJV).

Reality in Worship

A tuning fork is the universal tool of a piano tuner. With the fixed pitch of the tuning fork an out-of-tune piano can be restored to perfect harmony.

Likewise, the Bible is God’s tool to attune the saddest strain of the human heart to the music and harmony of heaven. And as the Word of God brings fresh insights into the glory, the holiness and the love of God, you will constantly be renewed in your worship and praise by: Speaking unto yourselves in psalms and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord (Ephesians 5:19 KJV).

Bearing this in mind, in your time together with the Lord, it is good to ask: Is there in this verse—

  • A fresh thought about God the Father?
  • A fresh thought about God the Son?
  • A fresh thought about God the Holy Spirit?

It is encouraging to observe that today there seems to be a new desire among God’s people to truly worship the Lord. The Lord Jesus Christ encouraged such worship when He said: God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth (John 4:24 NKJV). In other words, true worship must be under the anointing of the Holy Spirit and according to the truth of the Word of God. Only this kind of worship will bring joy to our Father’s heart.

When the Holy Spirit draws attention to the wonders of God’s Person—His love, His power, His holiness, His glory, His grace, His goodness and any other facet of His beauty—our hearts will be drawn out in a new song of worship and praise to the Lord. A kneeling posture can certainly assist us to cultivate the right attitude of mind when we come to God in prayer. But you may discover with me that there are those very special private moments in your life when kneeling does not seem to be low enough for you to express your love and submission to Him.

It is interesting to note that when John came into the presence of the glorified Christ on the Isle of Patmos, he testified that he did not just kneel but that when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead (Revelation 1:17 NKJV).

However, it is important to understand that whenever something is precious to the believer, there is often a dangerous counterfeit close at hand! The Lord Jesus Christ not only gave instruction for true worship, but He also gave a somber warning concerning an activity which, although some would call it worship, is actually a counterfeit of the real thing. At the time He encouraged the Samaritan woman to worship in ‘spirit and in truth,’ the Lord Jesus pointedly observed: You worship what you do not know (John 4:22 NKJV).

Worship is more than emotion; it must have as its focus the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. If the purpose of worship is to turn people on rather than to turn them around, then false worship has replaced genuine worship. Surely, the Lord requires more than spiritual excitement if we are to be filled with praise to our God.

True worship is the mind and heart humbly focusing upon the Sovereign, Living Lord Jesus Christ as He is revealed in the Word of God. Whenever this happens, there will be an inner falling down before Him in both surrender and praise.

Alerted to the Adversary

Yes, God is blessing your Together Time. Your conscience is now clean. Acknowledging what Jesus has done for you at the Cross, you have renounced your ‘right’ to yourself, to your reputation, to your ambitions and to your possessions. You are now engaged in a new dimension of worship and praise to the Lord. Are you therefore at the pinnacle of God’s purposes of blessing for your Together Time? Well, not quite!

There is an enemy out there who is very angry. Yes, the devil is angry because God has provided a way through which He can justly forgive your sin, but the devil is consigned to the Lake of Fire without any possibility of reprieve. Therefore, on your way to heaven, he will do everything he can to dog your footsteps, deflect your devotion to the Lord and destroy your testimony.

For this reason, in your time together with the Lord, it is good to ask: Is there in this verse—

  • A fresh insight into the person of Satan?
  • A fresh insight into his cruel goals?
  • A fresh insight into his subtle devices?

Once I was told about a little boy who returned home from Sunday School. That night his mother noticed him kneeling by his bedside. “What are you doing?” she asked. “I’m making Satan tremble,” was the quick reply. “We sang a new hymn at Sunday School today—‘Satan trembles when he sees the least of saints upon their knees,’ so I got on my knees to make Satan tremble!”

Unfortunately, it takes more to make Satan tremble than just the act of kneeling! Satan only trembles when, in the Name of Jesus, he is denied a lodging place in your life and when in that same all-powerful Name of Jesus you are used by the Holy Spirit to snatch precious lives from the devil’s deadly clutches.

Many Christians feel that if they leave Satan alone he will leave them alone. But they are sadly deluded. For instance, when you come to God in prayer, do you sometimes find yourself reflecting with sorrow upon a past defeat even though it has been confessed and forgiven? Satan will always seek to accuse you of sin that you have sincerely dealt with at the Cross. When Satan reminds you of your past, remind Satan of his future. Although God has chosen not to remember the sins that He has forgiven, Satan wants to get you to refocus on each and every one, so that you will begin to question the reality of God’s loving forgiveness.

Indecision, fear, confusion and despair are the classic symptoms of Satan’s efforts to intervene in your walk with God.

Yes, Satan will do anything to rob you of your joy and peace. But, as you read the Bible, God will always enable you to discern where Satan has gained a lodging place in your life. Then with the weapons that the Lord has provided, you must close every door to the devil’s impudent intrusion!

In human warfare, there are both defensive and aggressive strategies. No battle was ever won by defensive maneuvers alone. Likewise, in spiritual warfare both defensive and aggressive strategies are essential. Both require the artillery of the Word of God. One of the many encouraging aspects of developing a fruitful Together Time is that, when you confront Satan either directly or indirectly, you will be able to quote the very Scriptures you have been reading and so be enabled to pray biblically.

It is wonderful to know that when you pray according to God’s Word, you pray according to God’s will! And it is God’s will for you to know victory over Satan and his attempts to derail your spiritual life.

Defensive Spiritual Warfare: Do you recall when the Lord Jesus was tempted by Satan? I like to think Jesus had just been having His Together Time reading in the book of Deuteronomy. Certainly the Scriptures He quoted in His defense against the devil are found in that book. Three times our Lord quoted the written Word of God: It is written… It is written… It is written… (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10 NKJV). It is this temptation of the Lord Jesus that enables us to understand the meaning of the psalmist when he wrote "Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name” (Psalm 138:2 NKJV). Yes, the mighty artillery of the Word of God sent Satan fleeing from Jesus!

Likewise, if you are to overcome the devil, you, too, must learn how to wield the Bible as your weapon of defensive warfare. When Satan plants his foul suggestions in your mind, your recourse should always be the Word of God. A consistent Together Time will ensure that God’s Word lives in your heart for such an hour.

The following poem, “The Devil’s Tactics,” by an unknown author is rooted in this truth as it is recorded in Ephesians, chapter 6.

  The Devil’s Tactics

I had a battle fierce today
within my place of prayer.
I went to meet, and talk with God,
but I found Satan there.
He whispered, ‘You can’t really pray;
you lost out long ago.
You might say words while on your knees,
but you can’t pray, you know.’

So then I pulled my helmet down,
way down upon my ears;
And found it helped to still his voice,
and helped allay my fears.
I checked my other armour too;
my feet in peace were shod.
My loins with truth were girt about,
my sword; the Word of God.
My righteous breastplate still was on,
my heart’s love to protect.
My shield of Faith was all intact;
his fiery darts bounced back.
I called on God in Jesus’ name;
and pled the precious Blood,
as Satan sneaked away in shame,
I met and talked with God!


Aggressive Spiritual Warfare: Complete victories, however, require more than mere defensive strategy! There is a hurting world out there. It is the home of billions of precious people for whom Christ died. Everywhere, men and women are hurting, and many are blinded and bound by Satan. I think Satan knows that his time is short, and for this reason he is making his last dastardly bid to secure a godless eternity for dying people.

Though we read how God has prepared a ‘lake of fire’ for Satan and his demonic hosts, we must remember that God did not prepare that ‘lake of fire’ for mankind. No, indeed! It was for all these lost people that Christ died. However, in Satan’s anger and hatred of all that is holy and good, he wants to take with him as many souls as possible to join him in his eternal suffering. In this warfare for lost souls, Christ continues to seek and to save (Luke 19:10 NKJV) through Christians who have made themselves available to Him.

Have you ever wondered why otherwise intelligent people can not understand the simple gospel message? In the Bible we are told who it is that confuses their thinking, and why it is so difficult for some unbelievers to become believers:

But if our gospel be hidden it is hidden to them that are lost, in whom the god of this age [Satan] hath blinded the minds of them who believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them (2 Corinthians 4:3-4 KJV).

Who stops the light of God’s love and truth from penetrating the mind of an unbeliever? The devil! Do you take this into consideration when you pray for the salvation of men and women? As we pray, we must liberate the minds of unconverted people from the delusion of Satan by calling on the all-powerful Name of Jesus. It is that wonderful, powerful and victorious Name about which Charles Wesley wrote:

  Jesus! the name high over all,
    In hell, or earth or sky;
  Angels and men before it fall,
    And demons fear and fly.
    —Charles Wesley

Yes! Victory over Satan and over all of his demonic hosts was eternally secured at the Cross of Calvary: For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8 NKJV). Hallelujah! We do not fight a battle that has been lost. Certainly not! We press home the victory that was irrevocably secured on our behalf two thousand years ago.

In a game of chess it is possible for you to make a decisive, irrevocable move of victory against your opponent. From that point his defeat is assured. But if your opponent is stubborn, even though there is no way he could ever reverse his defeat, he could still delay the moment when he will be vanquished.

So it is with Satan; though there is no way he can possibly ever win his battle, he tries to delay God’s pre-determined time of his ultimate banishment as long as possible. Thank God that in the remaining brief period of time before Satan will be bound in chains, he is not only a defeated foe but he is also a discovered foe. The Bible tells us that: We are not ignorant of his devices (2 Corinthians 2:11 NKJV). To know the strategy of the enemy is to gain the advantage in battle!

The Apostle John recorded the victory of saints who overcame the devil, and the means whereby the Lord’s victory became theirs: they overcame him [the Devil] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death (Revelation 12:11 KJV). We do not love our lives to the death, because already our old man was crucified with Him (Romans 6:6 NKJV).

Yes, it is the cleansing of the Blood, the confession of our lips and our co-crucifixion with Christ that spell our title deed to victory in Jesus over the powers of hell. Hallelujah!

Rejoice with me; the Lord Jesus has made every provision for us to become mature, ‘over-coming’ Christians. But at the same time we must beware that if we have no desire to stretch beyond the kindergarten class in the things of God, the Lord will never force spiritual maturity upon us. Our spiritual capacity for Him is determined in the context of time while we are here on earth, and, according to how much we mature in the Lord, that capacity will be enjoyed forever in unclouded and intimate fellowship with Him when we arrive in Heaven.

Spiritual Check-up

  1. What do I think about as I go to sleep?
  2. When I read the Bible am I expecting to hear from God?
  3. When I read the Bible am I willing to act upon what God says?
  4. Is my life still explained in terms of ‘me’ or is it explained in terms of Christ who lives in me (Galatians 2:20 NKJV)?
  5. Am I an independent person? If so, am I willing to renounce my pride and exercise total dependence upon God?
  6. Do I realize that adoration of my God is the highest activity in which I can engage?
  7. Has Satan found a lodging place in my life?
  8. Do I need personally to appropriate the victory of Christ over Satan?
Chapter 3 Prayerful Preparation ← Prior Section
Chapter 5 The Faith Factor Next Section →

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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