Starting a series on bringing God’s word to pass in our lives.
To start, we’re going to take a look at His word itself. His word is revealed to us primarily in two forms: His written word and His spoken/prophetic word.
We frequently take for granted this collection of books that we call the Bible. We can easily treat it like any other book or novel and miss out on the life-transforming reality and life itself that is contained within it. It’s frequently neglected and given lower priority in our lives to the current gossip, trends, or news that we consume our daily reading with. With so many distractions in our lives, it’s easy to allow the priority of reading His word to fall to the wayside.
Many men throughout history have attempted to destroy it completely as well as to stop the testimony of what God has done for His people, however, none have been successful. In fact even today, it is still illegal to bring the Bible into many countries (~51).
Why is this? This isn’t just another collection of books, it is the very word of God Himself written, as inspired, by ~44 of His people over the course of ~1,500 years.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Although scripture was written by individuals with their unique writing styles and personality, scripture itself is God-breathed or God-inspired. It is God Himself speaking through His people by the Holy Spirit.
How can something written by someone from as long ago as 1400 BC and at most recent times 100 AD still apply today? Today’s world is nothing like it was back then, right?
For the word of God is alive 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.
Although the individuals physically writing the words of scripture knew nothing of the world that we live in today, the God who authored it knew it completely. The same author that personally gave the words to write thousands of years ago is the same author that personally uses it to speak to us today; God Himself. The same God who worked miracles to deliver, heal, and restore those who call on Him as written thousands of years ago still desires to deliver, heal, and restore those who call on Him today!
Truth is… We live on God’s word alone. Our very existence itself is a manifestation of His word coming to pass. Everything around us exists because it was spoken into existence by Him.
He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.
Jesus quoted this same scripture in Matthew 4 to resist Satan when tempted to turn stones into bread after fasting.
It’s critical for us as well to understand that we do not live on bread alone, we do not rely on our employer alone, we see right past these to the true source of our existence and know that it is on God and His word alone that we have our being. God proved this in an extremely practical way by giving Israel manna to eat as they were wandering through the desert. He can make bread from nothing by simply saying that it be so! He can also make a loaf of bread feed as many or as little as He desires; we see these miracles occur all through scripture from Elijah’s widow with the jar of oil to Christ feeding the thousands with a boy’s lunch and all as a result of God’s word.
Every time in history that God’s word has went forth, stuff happened and still does today! After God’s word goes forth, things do not remain the same!
When individuals and nations have been and are obedient and in alignment with His word, incredible blessings follow; when turning away from it, curses follow. Since God does not and cannot lie, His word and Himself are synonymous. When you follow His word, you are following Him, when you turn from His word, you are turning from Him.
Let’s go back to the very beginning; even before creation:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Christ was the word in the flesh; the incarnate, living, breathing word of God.
Just as Christ is still alive and well today having rose from the grave; God’s word is as well. Not only His written word, but He is also still speaking today!
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
God still speaks to us today and His word will certainly have it’s purpose achieved in our lives if we’re willing to allow it to! Let’s take a look to better understand God’s spoken, prophetic word.
Prophecy does not manipulate – it’s not people’s will/desire
2 Peter 1:21
For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
Will not contradict the written word (Bible) or God’s character
God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?
Should not be despised
1 Thessalonians 5:19-20
Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt
Needs tested – given through imperfect person (speaking) for imperfect people (hearing) and can be in error or misinterpreted
1 Thessalonians 5:20-22
Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.
Is revelation given in part
1 Corinthians 13:9-10
For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.
Hear God’s voice
3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.
Take time to get away from distractions and seek Him and trust that you will hear His voice and that He will speak to you. He’s the Creator and can use creative ways to speak to us such as:
a. Audible voice
e. Natural parallels to the spiritual (parables)
Even though it is true that we have our existence on God’s word alone, many of us do not value it or trust it as we should. One of the primary reasons that I believe this to be the case is because we either do not have a relationship with God or do not know the truth about who He is and what He is like. The degree to which you know and trust someone is the same degree that you will recognize and trust their word.
Although God knew us even before He knit us in our mother’s wombs and knows us very intimately, we may not know Him and have a relationship with Him in the same way. How well do we really know God?
*Take someone as an example from the congregation
I could get to know someone many different ways.
1. I could do research and find useful facts about someone as recorded in the news and other public records.
2. I could find some of their friends and get to know them and their opinions and thoughts on them.
3. I could introduce myself to that person and build a personal relationship with them.
Some of us in our relationship with God are at these various levels:
Some of us just know some facts that we’ve heard about God from various sources.
Some of us know some things about Him from other believers or sources.
Some of us know Him personally.
Just like getting to know any other person, until we get to know Him personally, what we know about Him will not be complete and could even be completely inaccurate. When we have a relationship with Him, we are then able to distinguish and trust His word and will be obedient to it out of that healthy relationship.
1 John 2:4-5
4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them.
*Explain salvation and how to enter into and grow a healthy relationship with God. Hold altar call.