The Word that Does Not Return Void: Wielding With Precision
When I fell in love with Jesus Christ at the age of nineteen, He also deposited within me a deep and passionate love for His Word. It’s not surprising, knowing that Jesus and His Word are one and the same.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth, (John 1:1-3, 14, KJV).
We are told in John 1:14 that the Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us. That same word is what created all that we see, and that word continues to uphold all of creation. My personal love for God’s word has never waned. As a student (disciple) of Christ Jesus, He has taught me well how to revere His word. The stewardship He’s given me is an incredible and enormous spiritual responsibility that I do not take lightly. How I represent Him and His word are central to the ministry He’s given me as a writer, speaker, and teacher.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, (Ephesians 6:17, KJV).
As created beings made in God’s image, we have the ability to speak forth the Word of God with His power and authority. What many people do not understand is that they must be subject to that same word they are wielding. The principle remains: the Word of God does not change. We must be the ones who are changed by it. The same Word of God that created all things will also judge us either unto life or death.
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fireceness and wrath of God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS, (Revelation 19:11-15, KJV).
The bottom line is this: You can’t wield a sword you’re not submitted to, or you’ll be pierced by it. Yet that is precisely what is taking place in the Church on many levels. People are enticed by the idea of having “authority” in the LORD to wield His sword at their whim. You must know with whom you are dealing.
You can’t wield a sword you’re not submitted to
or you’ll be pierced by it.
So let’s examine the Word of God, Himself. How how did Jesus Christ model the stewardship of God’s word appropriately?
When we look at Christ’s life we will find several keys: perfect submission, obedience, and sacrifice – all being wrapped in love, tender strength, and humility.
So, let’s talk.
The Lust for Power
God has called me to address the lust for power head on. It is responsible for great perversion in the Church. All such lust is of the flesh, is generated by pride, and its author is Satan (see 1 John 2:16-17).
There are those in the Church who abuse and misuse the Word of God and their authority in Christ to their own detriment and the detriment of others. They cause great damage. These individuals are often seduced and consumed with a lust for power, and they manipulate the Word of God to their own demise so they can achieve their means to an end – often which as nothing to do with God’s will. Their focus is not submission to God’s word, but rather using God’s word to make others submit to them (whether they be people, things or circumstances). It’s evident in everything from lording the scriptures over people (as well as things and circumstances) while they disregard themselves (which is what the Pharisees did), to flagrant false prophecy and false teaching. This kind of behavior is prevalent in these last days, manifesting in many flavors across the “Christian” spectrum.
The Principle of Submission
There is a great fascination among believers with regard to the concept of their authority in Christ that is very dangerous and spiritually misleading. Their theology goes back to the origin of man, citing the authority God gave to Adam over creation. So let’s discuss God’s purpose in delegating His authority over all of creation to Adam. Adam was made in God’s image. He was designed to rule and subdue the earth unto the LORD – not to himself. Yet Adam had to be tested and proven by God as the steward of creation. Sadly, Adam did not yet fully understand the principle of submission and obedience to that same authority to which he was subject. Adam had to first demonstrate his ability to submit to the proper authority before he could rightfully exercise it. Yet, both Adam and Eve failed that test. As a result their authority was lost, death entered in, and they were both cast out.
Yet the last Adam, Jesus Christ, understood that principle of submission and obedience. His life demonstrated these principles perfectly, although all authority and power in heaven and on earth already belonged to Him. And because of His perfect submission, He was able to exercise perfect authority over all of creation.
We have much to learn from our LORD’s example.
The Word of God in Action
Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. I can of my own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just: because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me, (John 5:19 & 30, KJV).
When ye have lifted up the Son of Man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him, (John 8:28-29, KJV).
For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak, (John 12:49-50, KJV).
Although Christ purchased the restoration of Adam’s God-given authority to every believer, the same principle applies. We must be proven. We must understand that the authority we have, we are also subject to ourselves. And until we learn the principle of submission and obedience, which Christ modeled for us perfectly, we cannot exercise that authority appropriately. We will end up pierced by the Word, which will judge us.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do, (Hebrews 4:12-13, KJV).
Authority is not what the Gospel is about. On the contrary, the Gospel is about surrender, servanthood and sacrifice. And if power and authority are your focus, you are sorely lost. God calls that witchcraft. Witchcraft is born from a lust for control and domination which operates through intimidation and fear. God has never been into the control of man. Of all He created, we are the ones He set free. He set us completely free in giving us all a free will with the ability to exercise it and choose whom we serve. That free will is something God will never transgress. Hence the horrors in this world.
Being made in the image of God comes with great responsibility.
Control is the devil’s game, and if you play, it won’t be long before you find yourself subverted by the evil one – because he’s the one you will have been submitting to all along. This is a game he has played since the beginning. It’s a game he knows how to win, and he’s very good at it. When we use the Word of God for the purpose of control and domination, God will hold us accountable:
Not everyone who saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity, (Matthew 7:21-23, KJV, emphasis mine).
We cannot use the power and authority God gives us at our own whim.
The Principle of Humility
Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him: for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world, (1 Peter 5:5-9, KJV, emphasis mine).
We can’t resist the enemy if God is resisting us.
The Fear of the LORD
The authority we have in Christ, which He restored, is very real. But it must be appropriated correctly in the fear of God with humility. The authority we are required to learn and exercise in Christ is something we must first diligently apply to ourselves in resisting sin and submitting to God (see James 4:6-7). If you don’t know what submission is, then you’re putting yourself in a very dangerous place with the LORD. If you’ve ever wondered why some individuals are more effective in wielding the Sword of the Spirit than others – it’s directly related to their level of submission and humble obedience to the Word of God.
We don’t get to pitch words for the sake of selfish purposes while slapping God’s name on it. That is an outright abuse and misappropriation of God’s holy Word, and His power and authority. The LORD absolutely will not play that game. In fact, if you want to experience the swift judgment of God, start playing around with His word. God is not a magician who is at our beck and call. Those who attempt to use God’s Word and His authority for their own selfish purposes are exercising witchcraft under a Christian label – and nothing more.
Jesus Christ made it clear that He did only what He saw the Father do, and He said only what He heard Him saying. That is submission at its finest. Christ lived a perfect sinless life, and He demonstrated for us perfect obedience to His Father. Christ bequeaths that same power and authority His Father gave Him to believers, and appropriates it according to our ability to abide in Him (see John 15). It’s conditional. He makes that absolutely clear. Paul reiterates this, teaching that one must be found worthy and mature, having grown up into the LORD, if they are going to exercise such authority (see the book of Hebrews).
Spare yourself from God’s judgement.
Don’t attempt to exercise authority over something or someone that you have not yet mastered over yourself.
Submit to God’s Word. Humble yourself before God. Be obedient. Walk in the fear of the LORD. Exercise authority over yourself unto God. Otherwise you’re nothing more than a Pharisee – the sin-focused religious elite – who makes all who follow them twice as much a son of hell as they are (see Matthew 23). They were the only individuals whom Christ condemned, and He did it openly and to their faces. That’s something to think upon.
The Sword of the Spirit
The Sword of the Spirit is one you must wield with precision – and that means it starts with your own submission and obedience. God takes His word very seriously. Very seriously. The judgment He reserves for those who misuse it is frightening. Let’s remember: He is the Word. They are one and the same. It’s not merely something He speaks – it’s who He is. His Word is perfect, eternal, and inerrant. He cannot lie, and it never returns void. It will accomplish that for which He sent it. The Word of God will pierce and cut asunder. It will judge – unto life and unto death. It is the double-edged sword that does not spare.
Point and case: The Word of God is not an incantation we throw at something. It is not something we get to manipulate for our own selfish purposes. First, it’s something to which we are all obligated to submit and obey. That is prerequisite to any authority we may rightfully exercise in Christ’s name. Only through proper submission is authority granted by God. Those who are not properly submitted to the Word of God will find themselves pierced by it. In fact, they will find the same Word they wielded judging them with righteous and just precision.
Don’t put yourself in that position. Make sure you wield it wisely. Just remember, it does not return void.
Cheers & Shalom,