Becoming the word of God
2 Cor. 4:8 We are pressed on every side but not constricted; unable to find a way out but not utterly without a way out; (9) Persecuted but not abandoned; cast down but not destroyed; (10) Always bearing about in the body the putting to death of Jesus that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. (12) So then death operates in us, but life in you.
The question is: Who are we? Do we preach something that is far away from us in another world, or is it a fact that is present in us? Do we speak directly from a passage of the Scripture, or do we first touch a spiritual reality and then confirm it with a passage from the Scripture? We have to realize that there is a great difference between these two things. In conveying God’s word, it is not a question of how much we can say with our mouth but how much constitution is in our life. Are we merely preaching an objective doctrine, or are we speaking something because we have first acquired the subjective experience of it? Many people can only preach objective doctrines; however, objective doctrines will not produce any effect in others. If, in addition to speaking God’s word, we have become the very word ourselves, others will receive help from us.
When God’s word comes to us, it must be tested. When a potter paints a picture on porcelain-ware, it must pass through fire before the picture becomes non-erasable by hand. Many have doctrines that are erasable by hand. But if God is gracious to us and if He works in us and does some burning work in us through the environment and through revelation, the result will be something firm and permanent. God may do this once, ten times, dozens of times, and even a few hundred times. One day the words will become words that have passed through the
fire; they will be wrought into us. Then our person will become the word. The discipline and revelation of the Holy Spirit will burn a word into a person one, ten, or even a hundred times. In the end, the person will become the word. When others see him, they will not say that this person is capable of speaking the word; they will say that this person is the word itself. He will become the seed of God, and God will be able to propagate such a word. Otherwise, the word will merely be passed on from head to head, and the church will become more and more superficial, lifeless, and void of spiritual reality. The question then is whether or not we can be the seed of God. If God sows us, what will grow up? If the only fruit we bear for others is a greater understanding of doctrine, without any touch of the Lord’s life, what we have will be very poor.