The best way to adopt greater levels of truth is directly from the Bible. Here are five levels of Bible-reading that can take encounters with God and His truth to the next level. Use this SWORD acronym to defeat lies while infusing your spirit with truth.
Level 1: Scan-reading
The washing of the water of the word (Ephesians 5:26).
This is quantity reading or listening. It is our daily spiritual shower, cleansing us from spiritual dirt we may have picked up.
“As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby” (I Peter 2:2).
Level 2: Wait and Meditate
Notice and note what is standing out specifically to you.
Mark up your Bible – underline, circle, etc.
Think about and meditate on what you have read (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2-3).
Level 3: One Personal Word
We live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).
As we identify specific words/promises God makes real to us, we have a sword to move forward in life (Ephesians 6:17).
Remembering our “Aha!” moments in the Bible or sermons, and the unusual coincidence of repeated truths we hear, is key for us to truly live.
Level 4: Resist Lies
“Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one” (Ephesians 6:16).
The fiery darts of the wicked one are primarily lies. When we resist the devil (James 4:7), we are resisting beliefs contrary to God’s Word.
Our shield of faith is not positive thinking, but it is rooted in specific biblical truths God has made real to us.
Level 5: Defeat Lies
Jesus persevered in Matthew 4:1-11 by repeatedly speaking “It is written . . . “
Jesus did not think His way out of the wilderness, but spoke His way out with God’s promises. He is our example of how to possess freedom.
We pull down the strongholds of restrictive beliefs by taking every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
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Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.