The Power of the Word of God
We hear about power all the time. America is the most powerful nation on earth; the New England Patriots are a powerhouse in the NFL; and Billy Graham has a powerful ministry.
One of the most powerful things in the universe is the Word of God. That’s right; the Bible is the most powerful tool we have available to use that can change us, others, and the world.
Hebrews 4:12 is a great place to start. This verse declares, “For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.” When reading the Bible with an open heart, asking God to show us who we are and what needs to change in us to become more like Jesus, He always answers that prayer.
I have seen the word of God change me over the years as I yielded myself to him. One of many examples is when I was working for a major utility company and knew that I should be back in full time ministry, but didn’t know when that would happen. I spent a day out in the mountains seeking God and found Him direct me to the book of Ezra. I read the entire book and thought, “okay, so what”. Then I said out loud to the Lord, “the book of Ezra is a book of restoration, just like you are restoring ministry for me.” Even though that day it didn’t happen, about six months later I was asked to be on staff of a mega church, where overnight I became the main associate in a staff of fourteen pastors. The book of Ezra changed me from doubting to believing and that gave me great peace.
Other examples of the power of God’s word are found in Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness and the story of Lazarus and the rich man. In Matthew 4:1-11, Jesus is led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil. Jesus response to each temptation is to quote the Scriptures. Imagine that, the perfect Son of God has to use the word of God to answer Satan. If Jesus has to use the word of God to answer his adversary, how much more do we need to do that?
The question may come to mind, “which translation do I use? Do I have to quote the Scriptures in the original Hebrew or the original Greek for accuracy?” No, what we need to do is just quote the essence of the Scripture because God somehow miraculous uses it.
The second example of Lazarus and the rich man is found in Luke 16:19-31. The back story is Lazarus is a poor diseased beggar who lies at the rich man’s door looking for any scraps of food from the rich man’s table. Eventually both Lazarus and the rich man die.
Lazarus ends up in heaven, and the rich man ends up in hell. (A side note: the story doesn’t use heaven and hell, but essentially that is where they are). While in hell, the rich man talks to Abraham, the great patriarch, and asks him to send Lazarus over and to dip his finger in some water to cool his tongue because he is in anguish.
Abraham tells the rich man that there is a chasm that prevents people on either side from crossing over to the other. Here is where it gets interesting. The rich man then begs Abraham to send Lazarus back from the dead to warn his brothers about hell, so when they die they don’t end up there. Abraham says that they have the Scriptures to warn them. The rich man then says that isn’t good enough. If someone were to come back from the dead, then they would believe. Abraham’s reply, “If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t listen even if someone rises from the dead.” Did you really hear this? Abraham is saying that the word of God is more convincing, dare we say more powerful, than someone rising from the dead. Man, is that power or what?
So what is the lesson we can learn from this brief discussion. First, read the word of God all the time and ask God to show you what he wants to do in your life as a result. Second, learn how to use the Scriptures to quote things either to the enemy of our souls or to share with other people what you believe. Trust that the power of the word will influence and affect who you are talking to. Third, when praying for people, ask God to give you Scriptures related to those you are praying for and then pray those verses when you seek God for them.
Finally, one other suggestion to consider. Every year I ask God for a theme Scripture and then I meditate and pray on that Scripture for the whole year. One year I received a Scripture regarding my healing. At the time I didn’t believe I was sick until a couple of months later it was confirmed that I had major blockages in my arteries and went in for emergency bypass surgery. Talk about powerful. I believed that Scripture saved my life.
I implore you to consistently read the Bible even if you don’t understand everything. You never know when God might use it in you to change the destiny of your life, the life of someone else, or even change the outcome of world events.