Written vs. the Spoken Word

Ephesians 6:17 (NKJV) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

It doesn’t take very long when reading the Bible to realize that it is much harder to read and digest than any other book. It requires spiritual and mental effort, as well as physical stamina, to read and understand the truth contained in it. The reason? The Bible is the only book that is alive. The word of God is a living sword of truth. Every time we read the word it does surgery on our hearts and minds, discerning our thoughts, intentions, and motives.

Don’t be confused. The sword of the Spirit is not just the written word; it also applies to the spoken word. Without the spoken word, we will never get the specifics needed to wage victorious warfare. Look at what the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy.

1 Timothy 1:18 (NKJV) This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare,

Paul instructs Timothy to pay close attention to the spoken words of prophecy made over him so that he may wage a good spiritual warfare.

The spoken word of God is just as valid as the written word. Yet, there are entire denominations that reject prophecies and claim that such gifts ceased in the time of the original apostles. Others argue that the written word is the only sure word. In Paul’s writings to the Thessalonians, he made this explicit statement.

1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 (NKJV) Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

I make this point, so we don’t get trapped into wrong thinking about our spiritual sword and limit ourselves in our ability and knowledge of how to use it. We must not take lightly the words that the Lord has spoken to us, whether it be the written word, a word spoken to us directly, or through prophecy from other saints.

The Bible describes the word of God as a living sword, but in other places, as a seed, a mirror, a light, water, food, a fire, and a hammer. Jesus Himself is called the Word.

The point is that the word of God contains anything and everything you need in any given situation. Let’s be diligent to read and study the written word daily so we can recognize and rightly judge the spoken word when we receive it.

Quoted from the book, The Spiritual Warfare Manifesto

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