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Do You Find the Word Alive?

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For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

What does it mean that the Word is alive? When someone is speaking to us, the words they speak are alive. However, according to this definition how can the written words in the Bible be alive? The only way the word can be alive is if the Lord is speaking to us as we read the Word.

The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:14) Through this scripture we recognize the need for the indwelling Holy Spirit in order to discern scripture. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. (1 Corinthians 2:11) We are able to discern the thoughts of God because we have the Spirit of God within us. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. (John 16:13) If the Spirit explains the scriptures to us, and the Spirit only conveys to us what he hears from the Lord, then is it the Lord speaking to us? This would make the Word alive because the Lord is speaking to us through the Spirit as we read the Word.

How do we recognize the Lord’s voice as we read the Word? First, we pray and commune with the Lord as we seek guidance and understanding of the scriptures. We read the Word and we have conversations with the Lord. The understanding we receive in our thoughts is from the Lord. Over time we learn to distinguish our own thoughts from the Lord’s thoughts. I think, perhaps, the Lord has been speaking to us many times but we have not been able to distinguish his thoughts from our own.

A good way to hear God’s voice is to read the Word focusing on what you can teach others from the Word. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5) Christ remains in us through the Holy Spirit. We bear fruit by letting him speak to us, giving meaning to scripture so we can minister to others. The power in ministering is to understand the scripture and the definition given by the Spirit.

For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. (John 12:49) Just as Jesus was listening to the Father’s voice, we listen for Christ’s voice through the Holy Spirit. We seek to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. This is allowing Christ to live in us, especially when we are ministering to others.

Today, let Christ live in you as you read scripture and seek his words of understanding. If you are ministering to someone, ask the Lord for scriptures, and for his explanation of how those scriptures can help the one to whom you are ministering. You will find the Lord continually fills your heart with an arsenal of scriptures that he will speak through you. Since these scriptures are chosen by the Lord, they will be the scriptures needed by the person to whom you are ministering, because the Lord knows their heart.

Let’s Pray: Lord, thank you for speaking to me through your Word. Help me to continually discern the Word through the Spirit, especially when ministering to others. Thank you for the Holy Spirit which connects me to you, and help me to hear your voice through the Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.