“…For it is GOD who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13)
I’m deeply appreciative of the men and women of days past and of the present who have proclaimed GOD’s Word. More may be familiar with the term “prophet” as being about those who have been gifted with the ability to foretell the will of GOD, but the term also applies to those who are called to forthtell His will, that is, to forcefully proclaim what has already been revealed.
When I say that I’m appreciative, I’m earnest about that. Being able to read the words of prophets of the past and seeing the evidence of their prophecies revealed in later historical settings are a unique kind of faith builder. Similarly, to sit before someone skilled in opening the Scriptures and experiencing them framing it in ways that are both mentally and emotionally impactful is food for my soul.
Still, I need more. I need the words of the prophets, GOD’s revealed truth, to become alive in me. The prophet cannot do that. What they can do is to raise my awareness. They can even stir me. What they cannot do is the inner work of transformation that leads to godliness. For this, I need the Spirit who alone cultivates the seed of the Word and grows it in my soul so that my life begins to take on the character of GOD and my choices reflect His will for me.
Like plants need the Sun and the rain, I need the Word and I need the Spirit. I need the prophets to speak and I need the Spirit to work within. Without the Spirit, the words of the prophets (even when true), are no more than the basis of human-based ethical systems disguised as religions. These, in turn, require systems of control and enforcement (which are also subject to corruption). There is no freedom in this. Without the Word, the Spirit has no substance of GOD’s on which to act and is easily replaced by a counterfeit, feel-good emotionalism which has no power to transform.
No, I need both in full measure so that I might fulfill His good purpose. I’m grateful the Word and the Spirit are freely available. That is good news.
© Byron L. Hannon, 2021. All rights reserved for text content unless otherwise noted.