I was reflecting this morning on the power of God’s Word. And a flood of thoughts hit me.
I hope we understand, the holy Scriptures and the divine Author of Scripture do not need our help or cleverness when preaching it, or teaching it, or discipling others with it. Both the Author of Scripture and Scripture itself is more than powerful enough in their own right. However, I think our actions in our preaching, teaching, and discipling reveal we don’t actually believe God’s Word is as powerful as it is and we need to help in making it impactful.
We could not be any more wrong.
To be clear, I am not implying we can’t or shouldn’t use examples, illustrations, stories, and so on when explaining something in/from Scripture. I am speaking to when we think the impact received by the hearers is because of our use of examples, illustrations, stories, etc, and not the Word, which then leads us to using more things and less actual teaching of Scripture.
This could not be any more wrong.
The Word of God is an uncaged lion, a ferocious force of God’s truth. It doesn’t need our help. We need it, and all it possesses.
Our job as believers who have been blessed and entrusted with God’s Word is two-fold (cf. the whole letter of 2Timothy):
Our job is to not mishandle and misinterpret the Scripture in preaching, teaching, and discipling others with it. Because if we do so, then we are fighting against its transforming power and will be held accountable accordingly. Wrongly handling a lion will get you mauled, or worse, eaten.
Our job is to preach and teach what God is communicating in His Word according to the context He inspired it in, to submit to it, and to watch its transformative power work. Rightly handling a lion will leave you in awe of its might and regality.
Ultimately, our job as believers who have been blessed and entrusted with God’s Word is simple, let the lion loose and move out of its way.
I remember a fellow older pastor I respect tell me, even if an atheist were to get up and simply read the Bible aloud someone would get saved, someone would get convicted, and someone would be changed for the better; because the power is in His Word not our words.
Believe God’s Word is just that, His Word, resonating with His authority and power. And then preach, teach, and disciple with His Word like you believe it’s His Word, resonating with His authority and power.
Both believer and unbeliever need less of man’s words and so much more of God’s Word. For His Word, and His Word alone, is more than powerful enough to bring about transformation in the life of the hearer and even more so in the life of the doer (Jam. 1:16-25).
"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." (Heb. 4:12)