In recent times, Prophet T.B. Joshua’s major sermons, at The SCOAN, have centred on the power of the Word, the real source of connection between man and his God; the bearer of the signature of this relationship through which the meanings of spiritual events are interpreted.
In one of these sermons titled “Acting on God’s Word”, the prophet has gone ahead to explain that the knowledge of the Bible is not sufficient for those who seek closeness to God; those who particularly seek favour from Him. The right knowledge of God settles peace – as he had preached before now. This knowledge is one route to pass through in order to experience the presence of God and enjoy the abundance of true life. The knowledge of God, however, is better absorbed through the heart, and not the brain. In the brain, it has to contest right of place with many other issues, particularly of academic interest. This might make it difficult to easily remember and be recalled in a situation of need. It could be unstable in form and essence. Moreover, when it is in the heart, the Word becomes permanent and powerful. Knowledge, therefore, becomes an integral part of one who has the Word in his heart rather than in the head.
This Word is what Joshua has perpetually explained as the essence of serious relationship in Christianity between Christ and the followers. Those who are not having the Word in them will only call on God without getting results. The prophet said, “When you say ‘in the name of Jesus’ and He does not hear you, satan will hear you”. Definitely, you cannot be calling on Jesus when the Word is distant from your heart; when satanic presence is much in place by virtue of one’s inability to master the characteristics of God’s presence.
In the message being referred to – Acting on God’s Word – Prophet Joshua has insisted that “Believing demands action, creates action. It requires performance because God’s Word reflects His character…. Acting on the Word is letting Christ act through you because Christ and the Word are one. Letting the Word have right way in your life is letting Christ have right of way”.
Christ is the Word; the relationship with Him cannot be operated on distance. Knowing, and identifying with Christ, should be done through a correct, progressive understanding of His Word which is true and powerful; the Word which cannot be disputed, rubbished, challenged and abused. The “right way” through which to absorb Christ into our lives is the Word. There is truth in his assertion that “it is the Word dwelling in you which is equivalent to Christ personally being in you. Acting on the Word then gives God an opportunity to save us, heal us, deliver us and bless us”.
The implication is that without a correct interpretation of the Word, and our inability to experience it, we have simply refused to act on what God has recommended. By our refusal, God has not been provided the opportunity to expose us to the merits of truly knowing Him; and what is life without being saved, healed, delivered, and blessed?
The Lordship of Christ according to Prophet Joshua, is expressed through “giving the Word its place”, especially because “the problem of believing is made simple when we know that it is acting on what God has spoken”. Wisdom is about doing the Word, while the mental assenter feels otherwise – “he responds to reason instead of the Word” and “he believes strongly in his reasoning faculty and not on the Word. If he has faith in anything, it is man, what man has done; science, works, organizations, etc”.
The mental assenter believes in what he sees and touches; what he sees around himself as a product of man. He wants to introduce logic in explaining situations; he thinks more of the knowledge of the Word in its “original Greek or Hebrew” or its “history”, without knowing that the Word must be lived and acted upon, if it must have meaning and relevance. The man of God has said: “Studying the Word alone cannot bring Jesus on the scene. What a grave danger if there is no corresponding action”. This means that though God has a work to do in our lives, we also have a role to play. That role is symbolized by “Corresponding action”. Partnership with Christ is partnership with His Word, which is bound to give on a true fulfilment in life. Integrating the Word in our hearts will guarantee that whenever He is called upon, “Jesus will hear us”. If the contrary occurs, we will only hear ourselves “but Jesus will not hear us”. He has added that “It is the doer of the Word that receives things from God. Idle words may entertain men but they do not reach God”.
The Word of God is not about entertainment it is the real essence of life which has to be lived in bountiful fulfilment of Christ’s expectations for mankind. And such cannot be enjoyed unless Jesus is treated as the ultimate force in the world by men. Men can do the Word, but this shall “be according to the ability of God that is at work within us”. It is God that energizes men; He is the redemption from their “weakness and failure, lack of ability and ignorance”. It is in the Word that are located “exact knowledge, perfect knowledge, complete knowledge”.
Today, darkness has covered the human society; quite a lot of disobedience, disbelief, unholiness, curses, impurity, tension and idolatry exist, desecrating man’s heart and threatening their destiny. Man’s refusal to race towards a perfect understanding of God’s Word has been his undoing. Prophet Joshua has advised in his sermon that every time is good enough for getting involved in the Word: “If you are looking for a convenient time to read your Bible, that time will never come. But you can have time to read literature or history”. Man must live in light, in the Word, in Christ Jesus.
Fajenyo and Patrick are foremost journalists and Fellows of Social Engineering Research Initiative.