When God Speaks – The Nature and Integrity of God’s Word
By Gbile Akanni
“Sanctify them by Thy truth. Thy Word is truth.” John 17:17
This book addresses what is one of the most important questions for every Christian – how do we hear God speak? Using both familiar and not so familiar passages in Scripture, the author shows that the answer to this question lies, not in extraordinary or supernatural experiences but in the Word of God. Just as God declined to speak to Elijah through the wind, earthquake and fire, so God would rather speak to us through His Word.
Chapters 1 and 2 deal mainly with what God’s Word is. It is easy for all of us to fall into the trap of seeing the Bible as a mere book. We often struggle to understand it as we try to interpret it through the light of human intellect and experiences. The author explains that it is impossible to hear God speak if we do not understand that what He says is “spirit and life” – human reasoning is powerless to comprehend it. We must, therefore, approach God’s Word, the Bible, with humility, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal it to us and to speak it afresh into our lives.
We also have to recognise that there is life-giving potential in every single Scripture. No Scripture is more important than any other. No Scripture is insignificant. No Scripture should be ignored. Every word God speaks is perfect.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine,
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…” 2 Tim 3:16
Chapters 3 and 4 deal with how the Word of God works. It has the power to set free, to sanctify and to make whole. This is how we can tell the difference between the Word and a fake. God’s words are living entities and, as a result, every situation into which God speaks has to change in line with what He has said. As God said in Isaiah,
“…it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which
I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Is 55:11 (Emphasis)
We need to know this because God does speak to us through people and experiences. Of course, if these are truly from God, they will never contradict what is written in the Bible. Furthermore, if it is God’s Word, it cannot fail.
Also mentioned in the fourth chapter but really developed in chapter 5 is the concept that there is an attitude which is more conducive to the Word of God working in believers than other. For example, we have to be prepared to let go of our preconceived ideas in order to have “ears to hear.” Also, it isn’t enough just to hear the Word, we also have to walk in it.
“But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein,
he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be
blessed in his deed.” Jas 1:25 (emphasis)
In chapter 6, we are shown examples of God’s Word working in Scripture and how this can have practical application for us today. We are encouraged to value the Word more than any other experience in our walk with God – because God does.
“…for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” Ps 138:2
This book will challenge many of the ideas that you may have about the Word of God, but it also gives the reader the opportunity to revisit what must be a vital foundation for any Christian who desires to have a dynamic walk with God.