If the preached Word is to bring life it must proceed from God’s mouth. When it is the very Word that God is presently speaking then it will bring light. If it is not the very Word that God is speaking in “real-time” then the light actually becomes darkness—the Word is distorted. This is exactly why Isaiah said, “This is one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word” (Isa. 66:2). The greatest enemy of God’s Word has often been our knowledge of God’s “Word.”
Unless our knowledge is married to the fear of the Lord (which is the beginning of wisdom), we become puffed up rather than built up (1 Cor. 8:1). When us preachers preach the Word out of our own strength we bring death and cause people’s faith to rest on something other than God’s power. Consequently, they may only have faith in the letter rather than the spirit.
The apostolic spirit is the exact opposite to the spirit that tries to minister in its own power. Paul said:
“When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” (1 Cor. 2:1-4)
It is high time that us preachers have the same apostolic resolution to know and preach nothing except Jesus Christ and him crucified. The greatest enemy to the Word of God being preached is our pet doctrines. It can be the doctrine of miracles, Spirit-baptism, Israel, apostolic or prophetic ministry. All of these teachings can be edifying, but only if it is what Christ is speaking in the present. But if they do not have their center in Christ and our co-crucifixion with him—if we trust our past revelation instead of depending on God’s power, and if we are not continually asking for our daily bread—then people’s faith will rest on our wisdom rather than Christ’s power.
This is a major fault that our denominations and churches can fall into. This also causes sectarianism. We get stuck on certain truths, but do not progress to the fullness of God’s revelation revealed in Scripture. Only the apostolic word—the word sent from the presence of God—is able to break all false power.
God desires us to be his very mouth: to be prophetic. It is by being prophetic that we will be like the apostles. “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” When the Word is spoken from God’s mouth there is light. When we speak as the very oracles of God then we will be the apostolic witnesses God longs for us to be.
Prayer: Father, I don’t want to trust in my own knowledge. May I speak your Word as it comes from your mouth in real-time. May I have courage to continue into the fullness of what you are revealing through your Word. May your words through me give people light. Let me not get stuck in a rut.