Does God’s Word Have Free Rein Over Your Heart?

Refrigerator rights and the application of God’s Word

When I visit my parents in Georgia, within five minutes of my arrival I almost always open the refrigerator to see what’s in it. I’ve done this for years, and they don’t mind me doing so. However, I don’t have the freedom to do that in most everyone else’s home. If someone invited me over and I opened their refrigerator, they’d think I was either crazy or that I lacked key social skills. I liken refrigerator rights to how open we are to allowing God’s Word to shape our conduct and character. How do we know that God’s Word has refrigerator rights in our hearts? Below are five reflection statements that might answer that question.

Before I suggest these statements, we can learn a key insight about “refrigerator rights” from Jesus’ half-brother James who wrote the book named after him. In James 1:21 we find this insightful phrase: Humbly accept the word planted in you.

The idea of accept denotes a welcoming reception you feel in a friend’s home, much like how my parents receive me when I visit them. Their welcoming atmosphere gives me the freedom to open up their refrigerator. Likewise, when we truly give God’s Word refrigerator rights to our souls, we welcome his Word to instruct, convict and direct our lives.

Reflect on these statements to discover the degree God’s Word has refrigerator rights to your heart.

1. I read, meditate on, or study God’s Word several times each week.

2. I approach the Bible as a living and God-breathed book, unlike how I approach reading a novel or a textbook.

“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.” —Hebrews 4:12

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3. I seek to connect the then and there (what the Bible says) to the here and now (how I need to directly apply it to my life). I don’t read simply for interest, but for life transformation.

4. I read the Bible reflectively, slowly and meditatively. In this article I write about a unique and fresh approach to Bible reading.

5. I refuse to pick and choose the parts of the Bible that apply to me. I open up every part of my life and heart to God’s Spirit applying biblical truth to me.

The next time you open up your own refrigerator, ask yourself this question:

Does God’s Word have refrigerator rights in my heart?