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More Than Words

“In all labor there is profit,
But mere talk leads only to poverty”
Proverbs 14:23 (NKJV)

The efficacy of the Word of God is predicated on our involvement. It requires our investment to see its power revealed. Whether it was in the Old or the New Covenant, the operations of God often depended upon the response of His people to His Word.

The Israelites were hemmed in by the Red Sea on one side and Pharaoh’s army on the other. The people of God panicked, and Moses cried out unto the Lord. We see God’s remonstration of Moses for his lack of understanding of what he held in his hand.

“And the Lord said unto Moses,
Wherefore criest thou unto me?”
Exodus 14:15

He told Moses to speak to the people to move forward – before the Red Sea had parted.

“…speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea”
Exodus 14:15-16

There are times when only obedience can release God’s power. Words, even prayer, will avail nothing if God’s requirements are not met. “Wherefore criest thou unto me?” The purpose of prayer is to bring us to a knowledge of God’s will, but that alone will not part the Red Sea before us. Prayer brings us to the precipice of obedience if it is the prayer of faith and communion with our God.

God’s word to Israel was to “move forward” even though the sea had not parted; things seemed unchanged. When the next generation came to the river Jordan they too had to move in faith. The word declares “when” the feet of the priests stood in the river “then” it parted. There are important words in scripture that we need to understand: when and then. These words often reveal to us the pivot point of God’s moving and it is critical that they become a part of our own history and experience.

In my own personal experience, while in prayer in 1992, there was an unction to pray that God would open the door for me to go to China. I clearly remember ending my prayer with “Lord, you say Amen to this”. It was the beginning for me of new things and I looked to God in expectation. Years later, the opportunity opened for me to go on business. Although I felt this was not the specific reason I was going, there was a trust and confidence that as I kept moving forward the will of God would unfold. When I arrived in Hong Kong contact was made with someone who had connections with Christian brothers in China and the rest of His plans for that trip fell into place.

With the passing years, I am slowly, with much patience from my Lord, learning that His doors will not open until I step into them. Faith does not need to see the evidence; it is the mover of men and women apart from sight. It grows with each step and, as we become more sensitive to His “still small voice”, it brings us to the most important aspect of faith: trust. Without trust, there can be no obedience. Without trust, our hearts become paralyzed and our journey with Him is uneventful and ineffective.

“In all labor there is profit,
But mere talk leads only to poverty”
Proverbs 14:23

There is a poverty that comes from hearing words of truth apart from the doing of truth. Empty words are those into which an individual has never stepped. This is a poverty of spirit upon which the blessing of God does not fall.

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life”
1 John 1:1

The words of the early Church were ones of experiential knowledge. One of the Greek words used for knowledge contains within its very definition the connotation of experience. Read and re-read the above scripture. John is describing an intimacy of knowing Him who is the Word of Life. Let us not find rest in a mere intellectual understanding of God’s Word. Rather let us be exhorted by such phrases as “and our hands have handled”! Christ is inviting us to participate with Him in the unfolding of His Kingdom, calling us into the yoke of obedience that we may be “fellow laborers”.

How often we read in the Gospels the call of Christ:

“Come unto Me”

He desires that we walk in the growing mystery of His Will which can only be solved by our own obedience. Hear the joy of the Apostle John writing to an elder whom he deeply loved:

“For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.”
3 John 1:3

He was not simply rejoicing because of their belief; he was rejoicing over the “truth” that was in them “even” as they walked in the truth. John continues:

“I have no greater joy than to hear
that my children walk in truth”
3 John 1:4

True ministers of God seek to bring God’s people to the place of walking in the truth. There is no value in mere words or professions without the corresponding obedience. May those who have ears to hear “come to Him” that we might see His power affecting the world around us. May we go beyond words and by obedience participate in the wonder of His Will!

“For the kingdom of God is not in word,
but in power”
1 Corinthians 4:20

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May our walk
Be More Than Words!

Brian Troxel

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