Hearing the word is not enough. This past weekend, a national clothing store gave away a pair of men’s underwear. We saw the advertisement on TV. I told my Man he should go to the store and try them out. Coincidently, we had just had a conversation about his underwear; he wasn’t happy with his usual brand any longer and needed to find another brand. (Yes, I know, the complexity of our relationship is inspiring and shocking.) The weekend has passed and my Man didn’t go to the store. Hearing the word wasn’t enough; he needed to act on it to receive it.
Paul writes in his first letter to the Corinthians to earnestly desire the greater [spiritual] gifts (1 Corinthians 12:31). For more than a decade I desired the gift of tongues – a heavenly language. I prayed for the gift, hoping and wishing my desire would be granted. It wasn’t.
Several weeks after being baptized by the Spirit, I was at a prophetic conference and a woman stood up during the worship and prophesied she saw heavenly gifts, wrapped with a gold bow. There was one for every person at the meeting [if they wanted it]. I heard the word and determined I was not going to leave that place until I had the gift of tongues. I believed the word spoken and I received what I desired.
Since that evening 21 months ago, I’ve been in many more prophetic gatherings (up to that point I could count on one hand the number of charismatic meetings I had been in). I am now involved in a prophetic community and church fellowship where many prophetic words are given throughout the worship time. The problem is prophetic words are commonplace and the Lord showed me I was beginning to despise the word of the Lord.
We do that, don’t we? I’m not the only one. Whenever we take the word of God for granted, we are despising the word. Have you ever tuned out during [yet another] sermon about the Christmas story? How about promises you have received but have not seen in reality yet? Do you despise the word you received by not acting on it?
Hebrews 11:6 says without faith we cannot please God. We must believe he is, and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him [and his word]. In other words faith is the platform necessary to receive rewards [gifts] from God.
You can pray for divine knowledge but without opening your Bible and setting aside time to read it, you will probably not receive the knowledge you want. Faith without action (works) is dead (James 2:17). How much do you value the word of God? What are some of the promises you’ve received from God? What will you do to get yourself into position to receive his promises?