A Word “of” the Lord


A Word “from” the Lord


To the Church as We Pursue God’s
Wisdom for Revival and Reconciliation

Praise the Lord for the move of His Spirit calling us to revival and reconciliation across our nation. Much prayer for at least two decades has paved the way for God to speak to us in this propitious moment of history. History, however, is His story, not ours. God’s people have invariably attempted to rewrite His story on our terms. His covenant people have repeatedly sought to salve their spirits with “words from the Lord” that sounded sweet, stirred religious passion and good feelings, while circumventing the pointed message of personal repentance and change that God sought to bring on His terms. After twenty-five years of listening to prayers, pleas and promotions of prayer with accompanying “words from the Lord” across our land, it is apparent that we too stand on the fulcrum of faith, deciding whether we will believe a “word from the Lord” as opposed to the “Word of the Lord.”

Our human tendency is to seek a word from the Lord beyond the Word of the Lord because we do not readily receive the Word of the Lord. Why is this? It is because we disagree with God’s assessment of our condition and His terms for correcting that condition.

We seek a word from “out there” while ignoring the Word in our hands. God declares, “The Word is very nigh you, even in your mouth that you may do it” (Romans 10:6-8). We, on the other hand, have a profound propensity to subtly sidestep God’s explicit conditions. We robe our disagreement in very religious cloak, saying, “We want to hear FROM God…but please don’t preach.” The words “don’t preach” have become our own not-so-subtle way of saying that we don’t want anyone to attempt to lay out clearly for us what God has already said. We then label such an attempt to clearly lay out what God has already said as an expression of “personal agenda” or “lacking compassion” or “legalism” because it didn’t come “from heaven” but came straight from the already clearly expressed Word of God that we so desperately do not want to hear.

The real issue is obedience. We say that God calls us to obedience, and indeed He does. But we are prone to redefine “obedience” on our own terms because we do not like God’s terms. And woe unto anyone who would purport to take up the express written Word of God to make clear what obedience is required for revival. No. We say we must “hear from heaven” instead. It has a spiritual ring, but a rebellious root.

In short – we would rather hear “a word from the Lord” than “THE” “Word of the Lord.”

Question: If “a” word from the Lord becomes a substitute, in whole or in part, for “THE” WORD of the Lord, is it, in fact, a word from the Lord or the product of human religious imaginations and best efforts to redefine revival on sweeter and more palatable terms that do not offend our modern sensibilities?

We, the Church in America, stand precisely in the fulcrum of Jeremiah’s incredible frustration. He was required of God to deliver THE Word of the Lord, but the people and their pastors only wanted “a” Word that lined up with their preconceived notions. Jeremiah was never able to get “THE” WORD of God inside the Lord’s house. He had to stand “in the gate” or in the outside “court.” If we would see the revival, reconciliation, and resurrection power in America that we so desperately desire to see, we must come to grips with this profound predicament.

What then must we do? We must look for God’s first things, not our secondary substitutes. As we so frequently say, we must do the “God” thing, not the “good” thing. We will find the “God” thing clearly expressed in His written Word that is “very nigh us” that we might DO it.

I realize that this message is not easily received as cheerleading for the church. It does not foster fuzzy feelings. Rather, it returns us to the fundamentals of the faith for, as the Lord of the Church said, Unless we also repent, we “shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3-5). That brings us to the ultimate question. From what must we repent? We will not find our answer in words from the Lord, but in “THE” Word of the Lord. Intercessory prayer that would avail much must focus in on helping us to identify, with particularity, those actions and attitudes as described in “THE” Word of the Lord that are foundational to our obedience to the Word of the Lord and the Lord of the Word. This will necessarily produce pain, and out of this pain will come great gain. For as it is written, “Weeping endures for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

Finally, any true word from the Lord must lead us back to the eternal and unchanging Word of the Lord. He has magnified THE Word even above His own name (Ps. 13:2). “Heaven and earth shall pass away,” says the Lord, “but My Words shall not pass away” (Matt. 24:35). Our obedience will be judged not by “a” word from the Lord but by “THE” Word of the Lord.

Let revival begin…

Yours For a Revived Church
and a Restored Nation,