Power Behind Effective Learning
I can’t pretend to know everything about God or even myself. There are many mysterious things that I comprehend only in fact of matter or in statement of truth, but not in total experiential understanding. I think it is Hank Hanegraaf who says that there are things that can be apprehended but not comprehended. This is true of the power of God’s word.
This year I have wrestled with this subject in an attempt to nail it down in a way that would make sense in my mind but I have fallen short of such goal. It is the puzzle is missing pieces but the frame of the puzzle is set. What I mean to say is that God did not communicate all that there is know about this subject, but has revealed that what He wants us to know. There is probably some things that our brains simply cannot grab hold of. Another reason why I have not yet completely understood it is just that my mind has not been exercised to the level that I can ascertain this truth. Whatever the reason, I recognize that, like Paul said, I am knowing in part, but will one day know fully.
Therefore, the power of God’s word is mysterious. I understand that when God speaks, things occur. For example, when God spoke all things into being, they became. Moreover, creation obeys his decree. Now, having God’s word wrapped in book form, we can read His truths and be changed by them through the renewing of our mind. There is power in God’s word – whether it is His audible word, living word (Jesus), or written word.
As I meditated on this subject for the past year, I focused on the power of God’s word in preaching. I have concluded that the more the written word is explained to the hearer, the more the hearer is changed (effected by the power it has). In contrast, sermons that are more from the preacher’s mind (although biblically correct) have less effect to the hearer if any.
Thus, I am finding it true what many have said throughout the years of the church – expositional preaching is more effective than other kinds. I find this to be true in experience and in idea. The less a preacher’s commentary and the more the Scripture, the more effective the message. This rests securely in my mind among the many passages that teach of God’s word being powerful as well as others where the authors rejoice in God’s word or taste it and see it to be tasteful and necessary.
The mystery lies in the answer to the question, “How?” This is likely something that God desires to keep to Himself for His own reasons and perogative – I have no quarrell with that at all. Nor do I lose any sleep due to my wondering. I am delighted that God knows more than I and that His power is far beyond my understanding. This mysterious power of God’s word reminds me of my need for His truth rather than man’s commentary.
I am convinced that the goal of preaching and teaching is to help the hearer understand what God’s word says, where it says it, how it says it, and why it says it. Then, and only then, is God’s power tasted and loved. So, while I can articulate this much about this divine power, I can go no further. The fact remains true, God’s word has power in and of itself. Any attempt to communicate something other, interjects the power of ourselves which is no power at all.