by Col Larry Simpson, USAF (Ret.)
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
Sometimes I find that when I am suddenly arrested by God’s Word, it becomes immediately apparent that God is commanding my attention. He is redirecting my swayed focus to sharpen or to compel me to obedience. God sometimes invades my private, personal world because I have lost sight of Him. In all my doing and achieving, I somehow blundered off the course charted for me by the Captain at the helm (Christ).
Secular directives and instructions compel compliance. The Word of the Lord, however, has another effect. It penetrates the heart and compels an obedient response. It is life-changing, and course-changing. His penetrating Word changes us. All is exposed and laid bare to God (Hebrews 4:13).
In the experience of many, the response to the Lord’s quiet or piercing voice is not always ready obedience. So how does the leader practice the presence of God in response to His word? God gives us every measure of guidance we need: “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.'” (Isaiah 30:21). Ours is to listen, respond and dutifully obey.
When you hear the penetrating word of God, do you respond with, “So what next?” or “Why now?” Do you view the sudden squall or the call to return to shore as an inconvenience or even a challenge to your plans? Or do you incorporate His direction and make it an active part of your daily activities? The intentional spiritual leader strives to integrate God’s directives into his/her daily actions, conversations, and thoughts. Believing that the greatest impact will come from yielding to the preeminent Word, he or she strives to glorify God through service to others.
The Lord’s living and active Word enables the servant-leader to perform to the fullest the task he has been given. The Word also confirms. Often the Lord says, “Stay the course.” Finally, the Word judges and discerns our thoughts. This knowing encourages us to cast every care upon Him, who alone can handle the full range of human emotions and hurts. We can trust Him with our heart and with our deepest concerns.
I am convinced that God’s piercing Word changes us! A disciplined regimen of practiced behavior perfects an obedient response to God. How do we practice the presence of the living Word?
- Listen to and be open to His gentlest voice, as well as to His less subtle tones (Psalm 119:12)
- Dine wisely. No diet is as effective as daily, full helpings of His Word (Psalm 119:11)
- Share the Lord’s guidance. It is effective and beneficial and can produce unimaginable favor in your sphere of influence (Psalm 119:46)
Disclose all to the One who knows the intentions of your heart. Open yourself to confirmation or course correction.
Copyrighted by Officers’ Christian Fellowship and Larry Simpson. For personal reflection and growth. Not for distribution.