The Power of His Word by Bro Peter Okeke
11 months ago Evangelical Ministry 1
Topic: The Power of His Word
(Acts 19:13-15; John 15:7)
Focus: Activating the Power in God’s Word through Intimacy
In this life, we are confronted with so many challenges. Beyond our temporal needs and care are our spiritual battles against forces that contend for our souls.
In it all, it is clear that “the life of man upon earth is a warfare…” (Job 7:1-2 DRC1752).
To tell us more about the opponent in this warfare, the book of Ephesians noted that “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12 NIV).
Weapons of Warfare
Against such forces the bible counsels that “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds” (1 Corinthians 10:4 KJV). Further, if we must stand our ground in all these, then we must put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:13 NIV).
The emphasis on the “full”, with respect to the armor, is worthy of note and demands adherence to all complement of these armor to be victorious.
However, our emphasis, as guided by this topic and its focus, will be on the Sword of the Spirit, which is the God’s Word (Ephesians 6:13 NIV).
It is not sufficient to fill our heads with God’s Word, ready to spit it out at the slightest opportunity. We must also have the capacity to command the power therein. With dedication and discipline, a man can build an impressive bank of God’s Word, but the power to call “those things which be not as though they were” by the utterance of God’s word can only be received through intimacy with God; who is also the Word.
Sons of Sceva – Acts 19:13-15 NIV
“Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.”
Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?”
The sons of Sceva probably had the word, but it did not profit them much. Because they did not have what it takes to command the power it possess.
Men That Used God’s Word
Men that operated in the Power of God’s Word:
These men took their relationship with God to another level. They established intimacy with God. These men spent so much time with God that everything about them bore evidence to their intimacy with God.
There is something about a life that has attained intimacy with God that transcends mere miraculous acts. In fact, sometimes, just like the apostles, our miraculous works can be questioned. However, there can be doubt about a life that has intimacy with God.
“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13 NIV).
When Jesus was giving his disciples the blank cheque with which they can obtain anything from the Father, he said to them “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you” (John 15:7 NIV).
2 Conditions For Intimacy
Notice that there were two conditions there;
i. Abiding in him (intimacy)
ii. Abiding in his Word.
Both conditions must be met.
How to activate the power in God’s Word through intimacy
These men that did exploits by the power of God’s word carried a life that has established intimacy with God.
1. Presence of God
Intimacy demands that the parties involved spend time together. This implies that you cannot talk about intimacy with God when you are wanting from His Presence. It is in His Presence that impartation of life takes place.
If God’s word must carry power in your life then you must carry that life that commands such power. And that life can only be received in His presence, where:
a] Transformation takes place.
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18).
b) Our confidence in the power of God’s Word is established.
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him (1 John 5:14-15 KJV).
Men that have established intimacy with God carry His Presence wherever they go as a signature of their uniqueness.
Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” (Exodus 33:15-16 NIV)
2. True conversion
True conversion is a necessary condition for intimacy. Conversion is not just about profession of faith, it is about a life. That was why John the Baptist was quick to admonish the Pharisees when they were trooping to the Jordan for baptism, “Do those things that will show that you have turned from your sins” (Matthew 3:8).
In the context of intimacy with God, true conversion is a process that takes us through the stages of spiritual life, beginning with the purgative stage, followed by the illuminative stage, then culminates in unity with God. We readily go through the rites of conversion and genuine repentance that ushers us into the presence of God where our lives are illumined by the light of God.
Unfortunately, for most of us our journey ends there.
There is a critical point that is worthy of note in 2 Corinthians 3:8. The emphasis on “With unveiled faces”. The tragedy of some Christian experience is that even though some of us are in the presence of God, our faces have been veiled with a whole lot of things that our view is obscured.
The life of Simon the Sorcerer paints a clear picture of the invaluable role true conversion plays in the life of a Christian who must enjoy the kind of intimacy that commands the power of God’s word (Acts 8:12-21).
“Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw
Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God (Acts 8:13, 17-21 NIV1984).
3. Life of sacrifice
You cannot talk about intimacy without talking about sacrifice. This was the very point Jesus wanted to drive home to his disciples when he told them;
Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me (Luke 9:23 NIV).
In other words, He was telling them that a necessary condition for intimacy is offering oneself as a living sacrifice (Rom 12:1).
The secret of a life that has been offered up as a sacrifice is that it attracts the fire of God. The word of God is fire.
“Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces? (Jeremiah 23:29 NIV).
What we need is not too much theology, but fire. When there is fire in the Word, it can convince the hardest heart. The gospel is God’s power to save.
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile” (Romans 1:16)
Most of us desire the fire, but have not been able to attract it. The reason is because God’s fire is only attracted to sacrifice (King 18:38). The implication is that we have not sacrificed ourselves enough to attract God’s fire.
Until you offer yourself as a sacrifice for evangelization, you cannot catch fire. It is only when somebody is dead enough that fire comes.
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 NIV)
We cannot talk about intimacy where there is no communication. A life that has established intimacy with God is in constant communion with God. And it is in the place of this communion that the promises in God’s Word are called forth into manifestation.
“On your walls, Jerusalem, I have placed sentries; they must never be silent day or night. They must remind the Lord of his promised and never let him forget them” (Isaiah 62:6 GNV).
It was this understanding that made Daniel to remain in prayer for 21 days until the Angel of God came to him with the answers to his prayers (Daniel 10:41).
Elisha declared that rain will fall and he backed up those words with prayer. Even when it tarried, he did not cease to pray. He prayed until the seventh when his servant returned with a testimony (1 Kings 18:45).
A man who has intimacy with God is a man of prayer. Such a man can activate the power of God’s Word in the place of prayer because he has an intimacy with God.
The Power in God’s Word
There are certain truths about the power of God’s Word that we can never experience from a personal stand point until we have established a level of intimacy with God.
The Word of God is not just a counsel that we are trying to obey. It is the power that helps us to obey.
The word of God carries in it the power to enforce it. That is, the Word of God is not just letters. Inherent in those letters is a power that causes whatever those letters says to be made manifest.
“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires” (Hebrews 4:12 NLT).
1. The Power for Godly Living
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness (2 Peter 1:3 NIV).
2. The Power to Prosper/Succeed
And Simon answering said unto Him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net (Matthew 5:5 KJV).
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful (Joshua 1:8 NIV).
3. The Power to Heal
He sent His word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions (Ps. 107:20 NRSV-CI).
4. The Power to Overcome Demonic Attacks
Hindrances to the Power of God’s Word
Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear (Isaiah 59:1-2 NIV).
For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed. Now we who have believed enter that rest… (Hebrews 4:2-3 NIV).
3. Asking outside of God’s will
When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures (James 4:3 NIV).
While these hindrances are worth mentioning, it is also goes to buttress the implication of establishing an intimacy with God.
A man who has an intimate relationship with God does not struggle with sin anymore, his trust is in God, and by virtue of his dwelling in God it is difficult to ask anything outside of God’s will because his will has been united with that of God.
For some of us, maybe we have invested time in the study of the Word, but for some reason, the power therein still eludes. Like the sons of Sceva, the words we know have not profited us; our heartfelt cries remains unanswered and we are beginning to lose confidence in the power of God’s Word.
The truth is that God’s word will never fail…
“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 “(Isaiah 55:11 NIV).
…. Because God has exalted his name and his Word above everything (Psalm 138:2).
If we must activate the power in God’s Word, then this fresh call for an intimacy with God is an opportunity that must not elude us.
[Being Message Delivered By Bro Peter Okeke During Tuesday, March 27th, 2023 Prayer Meeting of Our BLCCRN, Awka]