1 Thessalonians 2:13 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.
I've been rereading the classic allegory, Hinds' Feet On High Places by Hannah Hurnard. What an encouragement it has been! Each time Much-Afraid has reached a point of crisis in her journey, she stopped and built an altar. There she gave herself to the Lord and received a promise from Him. At each altar she saved a memorial stone as a remembrance which she saved. Toward the end of her journey, she had to endure a violent storm. During the storm, Much-Afraid was tempted to discard the stones, the promises. Instead she rehearsed each one and once again saved it near her heart. In the end, the stones were transformed into beautiful precious gems of many colors. Before the transformation, however, she had to totally cast herself in full obedience to all the Shepherd had spoken to her.
Let us separate the word of man, including our own, from that of God, and let us totally give ourselves to the word of God. As Abraham journeyed through the Promised Land, at each stop along the way, he built an altar. Romans 12:1, 2 speak of an altar. Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will. This call to sacrifice is prefaced by this beautiful doxology in Romans 11:33-36: Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?" "Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?" For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.
And what is the knife on that altar? It is the Word of God! For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account (Hebrews 4:12, 13).