Dr. Willard’s book is a work of great insight and I learn so much from reading it.
I think his explanation of God’s transfer of power is excellent. Being a student of human communication, I know that man’s use of words is important but I never really knew that words had a Divine origin.
In the Old Testament, we have a record of God’s attempt to set the Jewish people up as an exemplary nation. They had a mission and that mission was to be God’s nation on earth, or as Dr. Willard states “the light of the world.” Their mission was not accomplished so God took away their exclusive connection with Him. “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.” [Matthew 21:43]
The transfer began with Jesus. Jesus was Jewish and He was educated in the Torah but we must remember that He was born into a working class family in the small Galilean village of Nazareth. He may have gone to Synagogue School and may have been taught by Joseph who was a very observant Jew but Jesus did not have the status of the Pharisee, the Sadducee or the Essene. Yet He did exhibit the power of God’s Word and people began to take note of His words of healing.
Jesus began to consider the need to spread the words of God and His first experimentation was with His 12 Apostles. Matthew 10:7-8 states His command to his Apostles: “And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, and cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.” They went out and reported success.
Then Jesus sent out seventy-two associates to spread The Word. They were not close to Him like his Apostles were but they also reported success: Luke 10:17 “The seventy-two returned with joy and said, ‘Lord, even the demons submit to us in Your Name.’”
The book of Acts is a continuation of God’s transfer of power. Jesus said his disciples would receive power through their Holy Spirit, power to perform miraculous feats. He also said His disciples would receive power to be faithful witnesses for God. I read that to mean they would have the ability to use words of power to spread the Gospel to the world.
Finally, I get directly to my point.
If you follow Dr. Willard’s discussion that God transferred power to Godly men on purpose, what are you doing with your power? Even more specifically, what kinds of words are you speaking to others?
I was with a woman in church the other day and she commented that she really disliked a person in our church. Someone had said something she did not like and she was angry. She held her anger and did not want to overlook the situation. She passed her angry words on to me.
I was with a man the other day who told me some negative information about another church member; I was mildly shocked. I did not accept the information at face value. I checked it out. When I asked the person involved, I found out it was all wrong. This man had passed on gossip to me.
When I was with another man he told me his take on society today. Kids are out of control. Our leaders are satanic. Law enforcement is incapable of stopping the riot in the streets. The economy is collapsing. God has withdrawn His favor from America. He passed on his negative words to me.
If we as Christians take Acts seriously, we should recognize what we have.
We are God’s people. We have the ability to do great things for the Lord through the use of our words.
Do you think God transferred the power of His words to us so we could tear down others with our words?
I think not.
I prefer to think that God intended us to build up others with our words.
All of us have the Holy Ghost power; we can choose to tap into it and do God’s work or we can waste our words on the negative aspects of life.
God transferred His power to us.
Let’s use it for Him. That was His intention. He never intended us to share anger, gossip and negativity.
Instead, let’s talk about forgiveness, truth and the positive nature of His love.