PASTOR OCK SOO PARK

  • How to Meditate on the Bible


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    How to Meditate on the Bible

     

    “When we listen to the word of God, Satan causes us to just have a general idea about the word.  In order to live a true spiritual life, you need to know the Bible exactly.  If you don’t know the word exactly, you can’t live an exact life of faith.  If you look in 1 Samuel 15:3, God told Saul to smite Amalek and listed one by one exactly who he must kill.  Namely, God said to kill both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.  Now if Saul had known that word and followed that word exactly, then there would have been no problem.  But, while Saul listened to the word, he did not know the word exactly and did not act according to the word.  Instead he acted according to his standards.  So Saul spared Agog, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and of the lambs.  In the end, he committed the sin of rejecting God and so God rejected him.”  (Pastor Ock Soo Park, August 21, 2011 Sunday Sermon)

     

    As shown above, Pastor Ock Soo Park clearly shows us the way to meditate on the Bible; not to just read the Bible a lot without any thought, but to understand exactly the word of God that is recorded in the Bible and apply the word as it is in our daily lives.  In fact, if you don’t know the word of God exactly, you can’t overcome Satan’s temptations and won’t be able to resolve the problems that you meet in life.  And we can see this fact in Genesis when we look at the case of Eve, who was the first to be misled by Satan.

     

    And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” (Genesis 3:2,3)

     

    Eve thought that she knew the word of God and told the serpent the word of God.  But her words were clearly different from the words that God spoke to Adam.  God said to Adam, “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2:16,17)  Here we can see that God said “thou” instead of “ye,” didn’t say anything about touching the fruit, and “thou shalt surely die” instead of “lest ye die.”  So the word of God that Eve knew was similar to the word of God but not the word of God.  It’s like when person A looks like person B but is not person B.  So in the end, because Eve did not know the word of God exactly, she was unable to overcome Satan’s temptation.  On the other hand, Jesus was different.

     

    “And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” (Luke 4:4)

    “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” (Luke 4:8)

    “And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” (Luke 4:12)

     

    When Jesus was being tempted by the devil, He overcame all those temptations through the exact word of God.  In other words, Jesus does not just have a general idea of the word of God, but knew the word exactly and applied that word exactly in His life.  R.A. Torrey, successor to D.L. Moody as superintendent of the Moody Bible Institute with over 50,000 prayers answered, said this of George Müller’s (known as the Man of Prayer) secret of getting prayers answered:

     

    “Before George Müller prayed over any problem, he first checked the Bible for a passage related to the problem.  Sometimes he would search the Bible for days before entreating God.  Also, after having affirmed God’s promise, he opened the Bible and fingering that passage, he entreated God and had his prayers answered.  He always opened the Bible and prayed.”

     

    In other words, George Müller started to pray on a foundation made up of the exact word of God and God answered those prayers exactly according to the word.  During his life, George Müller read the entire Bible 200 times.  But the most precious part was that he knew the Bible exactly and applied the Bible as it is in his life of prayer.  If you were to look closely into Pastor Ock Soo Park’s life, you will discover that whenever he faced a problem or difficulties, he followed the exact word of God, handling it with faith and overcoming those problems and difficulties by the grace of God.

     

    “Previously I suffered from stomach ulcers for a long time.  If I ate something that was the least bit salty, spicy or sour I would have diarrhea.  Later on, even rice gruel would send me to the bathroom.  According to my doctor, the lining in my stomach had become paper-thin, so if I ate something wrong my stomach could burst.  I lost 7kg over three months.  When I thought about having to prepare for the summer retreat and preaching the word as the main speaker, I knew that it would be impossible to do so in my condition, so one morning I quietly prayed to the Lord.  After I prayed, ‘God, there is nothing that You cannot do, so please fix my stomach,’ the words in Mark 11, ‘What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them,’ came to mind.  If I believed that my prayers would be answered just as the word told me, then I would have to eat rice, kimchi, meat, doenjang (fermented soybean paste) and coffee because I was healed.  But whenever I ate a spoonful of gruel, I would suffer diarrhea.  So if I ate whatever I wanted, it felt like my stomach would burst, just as my doctor told me.  If I wanted to have faith, I would have to eat anything.  If I didn’t have faith, then as a pastor who couldn’t live by faith, how could I teach other Christians to live by faith?  So I prayed again to the Lord, ‘God, I believe.  If You heal me, I will believe.’  But God said, ‘If you believe, you will be healed.’  So again I opened the Bible and thought, ‘Now, let’s say that I believe.  If I believe and eat rice, kimchi, doenjang and coffee, will I live or will I die?’  If I look at the situation, it seemed like I would die.  If I look at the word, I was completely healed.  I had the heart that ‘God never lies.  If I just believe, He will not kill me.’  ‘God, I believe that my stomach is completely healed.  Now it is completely healed.’  Believing is easy if I see that I am completely healed.  It’s hard to believe the word that says I’m healed, when I’m not healed yet.  I want to believe after seeing that I’m completely healed.  But that’s believing after seeing that I have been healed.  It’s not believing the word.  Believing God is believing the word.  ‘God, forgive me for not believing.’  That morning, a group of my fellow ministers had come over, so my wife grilled some meat and made some doenjang soup.  And in one corner of the dining table, there sat my meal.  A little bit of gruel, three or four pieces of dried sea weed and two dried shrimp.  When I sat in front of the largest bowl of rice, my wife was shocked as she asked, ‘Are you sure it’s okay for you to eat rice?’  As I told her, ‘It’s alright since my stomach is healed,’ I began to eat the delicious meal.  As soon as I put my spoon down, my stomach began to hurt and I ran to the bathroom.  When the devil whispered, ‘You said you were healed, so why does it hurt?  Keep this up and you’ll die,’ there was nothing I could say.  ‘What if I do end up dying?’  Images of my stomach bursting and my dying and my wife and children crying beside me filled my head.  Then the Lord once again spoke in my heart, ‘The word of God is alive.  Your stomach is completely healed.’  ‘If it’s completely healed, why do I have diarrhea?’  ‘Nonetheless, if God says you’re healed, then you’re healed.’  As that word softly reached my ears, my heart was at peace.  ‘That’s right.  Although it hurts, I’m healed.’  There’s no need to fight with the devil any more.  The conflict is over.  My stomach is completely healed.  At lunch, I finished off a whole bowl of rice.  Again I grabbed my stomach and ran to the bathroom.  But my heart was at peace.  I was invited to dinner and ate at the hotel buffet.  I grabbed a plate and made five trips, eating as much as I wanted.  And that night, I didn’t go to the bathroom.  The next morning, when I got up, my stomach didn’t hurt at all.  I knew that my stomach had been completely healed.  Afterwards, no matter what I ate, my stomach never got upset and I was able to travel anywhere in the world to preach the gospel.”  (Pastor Ock Soo Park, One Mustard Seed, p.156-159)

     

    Pastor Ock Soo Park often uses the above testimony as an example of faith during his sermons.  It is a very good example that clearly shows the result of applying the exact word of God in your life when conflicts arise in your life and you overcome those conflicts by applying the word as it is.  After experiencing this faith, Pastor Ock Soo Park applies the exact word of God in his life and experiences the amazing work of God in front of any problems or difficulties.  In this way, the correct manner of meditating on the Bible and its actual application that bore the countless times that he experienced God working in his life is the pivoting point of Pastor Ock Soo Park’s practical spiritual life.

     

    “One day, I woke up early in the morning and drove to church.  I parked my car under a pine tree and prayed.  And the Lord gave me the word from Romans 8:37, ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.’  After giving the sermon during Early Morning Service, as I was coming out, I heard that one of the girl students who was doing volunteer work in Ghana in Africa had injured her back.  She had injured her #1 vertebra.  And because it was pushing down on the spinal cord, she may end up spending the rest of her life in a bed.  When I heard that, all these thoughts and fears arose in me.  It was especially burdensome when I thought about having to constantly see this young woman who was in the flower of her youth spend the rest of her life in a bed as a disabled person.  But while praying that day, the word that the Lord gave to me in Romans 8 held onto my heart.  ‘That’s right.  Although there was a huge accident, we are more than conquerors through him that loved us!’  From then as my heart became peaceful, whether it was contacting her parents or moving someone who couldn’t move to a good hospital by plane, we were able to handle all of these things boldly through the faith that Jesus would help us.  And through the grace of the Lord, we were able to resolve everything.  Also, last summer there was the time when John Choi from Dallas in the US was stung by a scorpion while serving as a short-term missionary in Liberia and almost died.  His body gradually grew stiff as the paralysis spread.  We took him to different hospitals, but none of them would admit him.  Finally one of the hospitals admitted him, but they kept saying that he didn’t have a chance.  That was when I called him, ‘John, in order to beat the scorpion’s poison and live, you need strength.  But in Isaiah 40 it reads, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength. Look upon God.  Then God will give you the strength to beat that poison!’  Thankfully, at that time John accepted my words exactly and looked only upon God.  And through the strength that God gave him, he was able to get well and leave the hospital in a day.  Everyone, believing Jesus means to know and believe His word exactly.  When you believe the word, He works according to that word.  I don’t want you to just learn some theories at our seminary but to learn a spiritual life where you believe the word of God who actually works in your lives.”  (Pastor Ock Soo Park, Mahanaim Cyber College First Lecture)

     

     

     

     

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