Only knowledge based on God's word will produce a genuine experience of God and His power. The reason for this is that the power of God is revealed and experienced in His word. To know His word is to know and experience His power. So that you can know what to look for, here are seven powers contained in God's word.
Human beings could study and speculate on these things for a thousand years and come up with many theories, but that's all they'd be, just theories because no one could really know. God's word, on the other hand, gives us an eyewitness, truthful, and detailed account of things about God and human existence that we could never know otherwise.
God's word is a standard against which all philosophies, ideas, and proposed solutions for the human condition can be measured for accuracy. If God's word approves it, we can run with it; if the Word rejects it, nothing we can do will make it work, make it acceptable, or make it right.
Note that moral standards and spiritual ideas are always compared to the Bible in order to define and judge their value. For example, we don't compare butter to margarine, do we? Think for a moment, you've never heard a commercial say, "...this spread tastes just like margarine" have you? Butter is the definitive spread, not margarine. In the same way, spiritual concepts, morality, and Godly living are tested by searching the Scriptures because God's word is the standard for comparison, not human ideas.
Jesus said that the word of God was like a seed. The analogy was that the Word had the power to grow or cause growth to happen. The Word planted in an honest and obedient heart can produce physical acts which can be seen and felt. God's word, planted in human hearts generation after generation, has produced Christians and the New Testament church century after century. The only way Christianity has survived for 2000 years is because of the reproductive powers contained in the Word. The only actual thing we hand down from generation to generation is God's word contained in the Bible. People die and buildings fall apart, but His word unfailingly produces the same thing every century - Christians who want to establish the church.
Many people have improved or changed their lives in a significant way based on a desire to improve. History shows, however, that only God's word has the power to completely transform and re-direct one's life in a totally opposite direction. For example, C.S. Lewis was a brilliant writer and professor at Oxford University in England. He was also an avowed atheist but was converted and eventually became one of the most prolific Christian writers, especially in the area of Christian apologetics. His experience is just one example showing that God's word has the power to transform and redirect our lives.
The psalmist says, "In the midst of trouble, You will revive me." The word of God is able to bring comfort and hope, as well as strength and encouragement to those who are in sorrow and are suffering. We could not count how many times or how many people have read Psalm 23 ("The Lord is my shepherd...") in times of trouble and have been comforted by David's inspired words written almost three thousand years ago but meaningful for every generation. Whatever faith or faithfulness a person has, I have learned from experience that when they are at the point of death the family expects and needs to hear words of encouragement that come from God's word.
It is interesting to note that hospital patients, grieving widows, and lonely shut-ins rarely request Darwin's Theory of Evolution or the TV Guide to be read to them in time of pain and sorrow. God's word is what they ask for and need.
"For he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him." The Bible tells us that the creation and our conscience are two different ways we can use to find God (Romans 1:19-20). Yes, we can discern that an intelligent and powerful being designed and created this universe, and our conscience helps us understand that this God, creator of humans, is a moral God, One who is pure and good. There is, however, no comfort or joy in knowing God only in this way, simply an understanding of how we fit into the whole.
The Word, however, reveals who God is, what He desires, and what He is preparing to give to those who believe and obey Him. The Hebrew writer says that God rewards those who look for Him, and the way to look for Him is to look for Him in His word. The rewards for seeking Him there are that:
The word of God is the only source of information that can help us prepare for this sure event in our lives. It has the power to do this because God, in His word, shows us how to prepare for the "great day" in our lives:
Of course, the fact that there is power, realizing what that power can do for me, and knowing where that power is found are not enough (i.e. I have many electrical outlets in my home that provide power, but they are useless unless I tap into them).
It is the same with God's word. Unless we tap into the power in the proper way, all of that tremendous power will do us no good and produce nothing in our lives. This is the connection between knowledge and power. If we know the Word, we then experience its power. When we experience its power, we are experiencing God's power. Tapping into the power of God's word, therefore, requires three things that everyone can do:
The basic connection that begins the power to flow is made by reading the Word. Our goal, therefore, should be to make reading God's word a regular part of each day, like having breakfast or brushing our teeth. Once you feel the power of the Word surging through your life, reading the Word will come naturally as part of your every day lifestyle.
There is a danger in thinking that if we read the Bible we have done God's will. We read the Bible in order to know God's will. Obedience, however, is what transforms knowledge into power, and power is what creates change. Powerful living is produced by powerful obeying.
Obeying the Word brings power into your life. Sharing the Word multiplies that power in the lives of other people. We share the Word by example, by teaching others, by sharing both our faith and the gospel with non-believers and by serving others as the Word directs us. When we share the Word, we lead others to know God and enable them to empower others to do the same.
I think that most people would conclude that this lesson is mostly informational. A short book that highlights the various elements of power contained in God's word and how to access that power. In closing, however, I would add that in addition to information, this lesson also asks the readers to reconsider their own experience with the word of God to see if its power described here has been felt in their own hearts. If not, then maybe the simple reason is that they have not properly tapped into this power through the knowledge of His word.
In the past couple of weeks, I have received more than a hundred emails and phone calls from friends whose words have lifted my sagging spirit and created a calm that overcomes my worry and fear. Through their messages, these colleagues, former students and members of my church or missionary family have strengthened my weak heart. Of course, I have heard from scores of Christian sisters and brothers, but also from friends who are Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Jain. With their words they have helped to actualize the promise of Jesus that I can experience peace that passes all understanding.
All these messages, and the friends from whom they originated, have been meaningful to me. A few of these communications, however, were crafted in such a way that they became a healing salve to my wounded psyche. I draw from some of them to illustrate, from the perspective of one who needed encouragement, the kind of messages that have great power to heal.
During this season when I have been reminded both of my age and human frailty as well as how rich is the treasure I have been gifted in the lives of coworkers, mentees, family and friends, I feel greatly blessed. I am supported by powerful messages of solidarity and pledges of prayer. I am also challenged to use my own voice in all of my remaining days as an encouragement to others I know who are hurting. 2b1af7f3a8