Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Power of God's Word

The Word of God is powerful.  But just what is it powerful for?  Today I want to talk about the effects of the Word and what it can do in our lives and ministry.
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper [in the thing] for which I sent it.  Isaiah 55:11 NKJV
I begin here to remind us all that not only is the Word of God powerful, but it is never without effect. Everything we know of in all creation was created by God speaking it into existence.  Nothingness became everything we know in the physical universe at God's command.  In our world, the Word of God will purpose whatever God has willed it to purpose.  That said, those things I am going to write on today regarding the effects of the Word of God are not what the Word can do, but what the Word did, does, and will do. 
For the word of God [is] living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12 NKJV
The word of God pierces our very souls.  We can not hide from the word.  We can try to justify our behavior in our mind.  We can rationalize our motives and convince ourselves that what we do is right.  We can even convince others that our behavior was somehow warranted.  Deep down in our spirit, however, we know what is right and what is wrong.  The attempts to justify our behavior only shows that we need to in the first place.  The word reveals even to us our own motives.  We know if what we do we do for man or for God.  We know if what we do is right our wrong because the word tells us what is right and what is wrong.  We know if our thoughts are of the spirit or of the flesh because the word teaches us to discern those thoughts.  As much as we try to deny it or hide from it (and I am guilty of this as well), we know if what we do is in accordance with the word of God.  We can not help but to know because the Holy Spirit is a constant reminder. 
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.  James 1:23-24 NKJV
Related to the first fact is this second fact about the word.  The word is a mirror reflecting our true depravity.  It is easy to compare ourselves to others.  You have to be pretty low to not be able to find others lower than yourself. We take comfort in that we are not the worst.  We think we are good because we are not as bad as others.  The problem is we are using the wrong mirror.  It would be great if our mirrors at home reflected people who look worse than we do.  They do not.  They show us who we are.  So does the word of God.  We see God's standards and realize how woefully inadequate we are.  We see God's holiness and we realize who filthy rotten sinners we are.  We see God's plan of grace and take great joy and comfort that Jesus paid the penalty that we never could. 
But Jesus answered him, saying, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.' " Luke 4:4 NKJV
The word of God is also spiritual nutrition.  We need food and water to survive physically in this world.  Food and water, however, bear no benefit to the spirit.  In fact, a proven and strong spiritual exercise is to deny the body food and water.  For spiritual sustenance, we need a steady diet of the word of God.  You can not survive spiritually if the word has no place in your life.  The word empowers us.  The word inspires us.  The word challenges us.  The word affects our spirit like nothing else can. 
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;  Ephesians 6:17 NKJV
The word of God is also a weapon.  I am not talking about beating people over the head with your Bible, but as a defense against lies.  Jesus wielded this same sword in His time of temptation in the dessert.  We must do the same.  Every lie against God that the world and Satan tries to throw at us, we must counter with the word.  Without the word, we are vulnerable to these lies and these lies are spiritually deadly.  
Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.  Luke 8:11 NKJV
This is perhaps the most important power of the word of God.  I invite you to read the entire parable in Luke 8.  Jesus was talking about those who receive the Gospel.  The word of God is the seed planted in the hearts of the unsaved leading to the salvation of many.   It is not our clever presentations, slick salesmanship, or inspirational speaking that saves souls.  It is the word of God.  It is our sharing of God's word with the unsaved that plants that seed in their hearts.  It is this seed watered by the Holy Spirit that can grow to salvation.  The word of God, by this action, changes lives as it leads people to salvation. 

This is by no means an exhaustive list.  The word of God is truly powerful.  It is not magic, though.  There are too many churches that turn prayers into spells to use the right words to illicit the right response from God.  An example would be all the stuff that came out some time ago about the Prayer of Jabez.  We must realize that we do not wield any power over the word of God.  The word holds all the power and that  power is over us and the rest of creation.  We can not use the word as a power against God.  That is just an insane, unscriptural, heretical idea.  Satan tried to use the word to get provoke Jesus to act in a certain way.  It did not work out very well for Satan and it will not work for us either. 

So what is the key to unlocking the power of the word of God in our lives?  There have been many books written on this very subject.  Many use the previously mentioned idea of using the word as a compilation of spells.  You only need one book, though, to unlock its power and that book is the Bible.  There are many teachers looking to teach you how to unlock the power of the word of God in your life.  You do not need to buy their CD's or DVD's nor do you need to attend any of their conferences.  The only teacher you need is the Holy Spirit who lives in your heart.  In other words, the key to unlocking the power of the word of God in your life is to read it.  One thing the word will not do is read itself to you.  You must choose to take the time to read it.  Once your heart and mind begins to fill with the words of God, your life will inevitably change. 
[Is] not My word like a fire?" says the LORD, "And like a hammer [that] breaks the rock in pieces?  Jeremiah 23:29 NKJV

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