How can we make God’s Word come to pass? How can we make it WORK? This was the problem that was pressing upon my heart and mind during the winter months of 1953.
As mentioned in our previous chapters, we had experienced seasons of great blessing in our ministry. Yet I was to face another crisis – another period of dissatisfaction and feeling utterly inadequate and frustrated.
Again and again I would read the startling promises and declarations in the Word of God concerning us as believers – our position in Christ, our victory, our power, our freedom from the carnal nature, the promises of healing and deliverance, of the supply of all our material needs, but were they happening in my life?
In brief – the New Testament portrayed a life of glorious reality in Christ, while I personally was confronted by such a lack of supernatural power in so many facets of my own life and ministry. As a pastor, I was too well aware of my own inability to meet the challenging needs in the lives of many people in my assembly.
If only the mighty truths of the Word of God could be made effective, all this would be changed.
But why didn’t the Word work?
For weeks this debate went on in my heart and mind. I would stop the car, pick up my New Testament, and read and read again – and then lift my heart to the Lord and ask, “Why doesn’t it work?”
I would awake during the night, take up my Bible and read again the tremendous promises and declarations for every believer and for the Christian church in general. Then I would hold the Bible up toward heaven and ask the Lord why his Word was not in evidence in my life and in the lives of my congregation.
Then one night, after I had left my bed and was pacing the floor with my Bible open on my desk, I was asking the same old question – “Why, why, WHY?”
Suddenly, something changed inside of me, a river of faith and assurance seemed to well up from my innermost being, a veil seemed to be torn away from my understanding, and from my lips broke forth, not the old question of unbelief, but the expressions of faith and conviction.
“The Word works! It works by faith, and I HAVE faith! What the Word says about God is TRUE! What the Word says about ME is true! What the Word says I am in Christ, I AM! What the Word says I can DO through Christ, I CAN DO!”
And so, in these and similar expressions, I gushed forth the deepest convictions of my heart. I believed, and I KNEW I believed.
God Works By His Word – Through Faith!
What a difference it was to preach now. I wanted to open my Bible and shout from the housetops. With boldness I could say to the people, “What God says about you is true – you are born of God, a new creature in Christ, indwelt by Christ, and you can do all things through Christ! Your feelings may tell you that you are defeated, frustrated, struggling against overwhelming odds, but the WORD says you are more than a conqueror, a devil-defeater, master in all circumstances, and standing on the threshold of unlimited possibilities – in Christ – and through faith in the WORD.”