Jeremiah 1:9: Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. (KJV)
We are not called to speak our own words but the words of God, and we are not supposed to yield to those who speaks words from their own spirit and not from God. Eve did not know that and she fell for the antics of the devil (Genesis 3). Jesus said we should careful how we hear (Luke 8:18). Yielding to the wrong persuasion leads to damning results. When Saul listened to his servants and spared some of the animal in the lands of the Amalekites, which God has said he should kill, he got into no small trouble (1Samuel 15).
In the focus verse, to guarantee that Jeremiah speaks the word of God, God touched his mouth to put his words in his mouth.
In another place, Jeremiah said to God: your words were found and I eat them and they became the joy and rejoicing of my heart (Jeremiah 15:16).
In the first instance the words were put in Jeremiah’s mouth (God’s action), but in the other place he had to eat them (your own action). Which gives two dimension of the word, the first is the instantaneous word and then there is conceptual (knowledge) word. In addition, there is also the practical word which is the word as light on our path (Psalm 119:105), something we should hold in our hands to see our way.
The bible says there is a way that seems right to a man but the end is destruction (Proverbs 14:12). There is also the narrow way which Jesus says leads to life (Matthew 7:14). The practical word is the “way” word, which is about the wisdom, about the fear of the lord, which the bible says is the beginning of wisdom. When you are not guided by the word in the right path, then you are lost and in danger.
That everything we see emanates from the word of God shows the power of the word (Hebrews 11:3). Therefore the bible says that with the tongue lies the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21). The word is not just statements, it captures the character and power of God. When some Old Testament prophets describe their experience of the God speaking through them, they say: “the word of the Lord came to me saying,” to introduce us to the concept of the personification of the word of God. And in Jesus the bible says the word became flesh and dwelled among us (John 1:14).
There are three dimension of the word of God as I have hinted earlier.
- The instantaneous word
This is the kind of word which is not premeditated. It comes as a wind, not predictable. There is a gift which manifests this in the New Testament. It is called the gift of prophecy (1Corinthians 12:7-12). Paul said this is the word of God in prophecy comes for edification, exhortation and comfort (1Corinthians 14:3). Prophetic word moves the thoughts of God to us.
The instantaneous word can take a predictive edge which means it manifests as the gift.of the word of wisdom. The gift of the word of knowledge also comes under this instantaneous word. So the instantaneous word comes as prophecy, word of wisdom (prediction) and word of knowledge (supernatural awareness).
- The practical word
Jesus said that we should live our lives in such a way that those will see and glorify our father in heaven (Matthew 5:16). Our lives minister the practical word to others. It is about how we behave to get the right results. Jesus said he who hears his words and does them builds his house on a rock (Matthew 7:24-27).
The practical word is manifested in the way we live our lives. In the writing of Paul, sometimes, after teaching some conceptual (knowledge word) stuffs, he goes into practical issues concerning relationship between people, moral uprightness, role of husband and wife, how to behave in the church, and practices that line up with professing to be a Christian.
In the book of Hebrews we read that we should not neglect the gathering of ourselves together because then we will stir up ourselves to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24-25). Iron sharpens iron so a friends sharpened the countenance of his friends, says the book of Proverbs (Proverbs 27:17). The practical word is all about practical wisdom, on how to live our lives which includes our work life, social life, and even spiritual life. This is about living our life, holding our own, taking practical steps to live holy. It is this level of wisdom that we sometimes reads in guide books to success.
- The knowledge word
This is about the reality of the unseen. It is about God, the devil, Jesus, angels, the salvation experience, being new creature, eternal judgement. It is what the writer of the book of Hebrews call the elementary principles of Christ (Hebrews 6:1-3). It is the whole gamut of spiritual knowledge. The other two types of the word are subordinate to this and take their shape from it (Isaiah 8:20). It is about the truth of what has happened in the world, what will happen as God has determined.
There are many references in the bible focused on the conceptual word:
Daniel wrote: those who know their God will be strong and do exploits (Daniel 11:32). God said he who boasts should boast that he knows God (Jeremiah 9:24). Hosea wrote: let us know the Lord let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord (Hosea 6:3).
Paul told Timothy how he has known the Holy Scriptures from a young age and how that has made him wise unto salvation in Christ Jesus (2Timothy 3:15). He also said that the Jews were the custodians of the oracles of God (Romans 3:2), the scriptures.
He told Timothy: study to show yourself approved a workman that needs not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth (2Timothy 2:15). Jesus said that God’s word is truth (John 17:17), and we will know the truth and it will make us free (John 8:32).
The bible says that blessed is the man who mediates day and night in the word of God (Psalm 1). Jesus said that one of the ways to know him is through the gate of the scriptures (John 5:39).
We need to spend time with the 66 books of the bible, study them, read books written by those who have studied it, to gain their spiritual knowledge. No time spent reading the bible is wasted and when we read, we are enabled to see from God’s point of view, to gain his understanding, aided by the Holy Spirit.
If you are ignorant then we will play into the hand of the devil. Paul said that we are ignorant of the devices of the devil lest it take advantage of us (2Corinthians 2:11).
The word of God conveys the life of God, with Jesus saying that the word that he speaks are spirit and life (John 6:63). It impacts wisdom to us. The book of proverbs says: my son pay attention to my word, incline your ears to my saying, they are life to those who find them and health to all their flesh (Proverbs 4:20-23).
Apart from that the knowledge word shows you know who you are, with James writing that we should not be forgetful hearers but doers of the word, allowing what we know in truth to guide us, shape our life, shape our perception approach to life, the conclusion we come to, the kind of persons we should be (James 1:21-25).
He calls the bible the engrafted word which is able to save our soul (the centre of our emotion, will and mind) with Paul saying that we should be transformed by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:1-2). James also calls the word of God the mirror and also the perfect law of liberty. It tells us what we are and frees us to be that, respectively.
- As a Christian you have a sacred duty to resist (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
- Is it a Sin Problem, or a Law Problem? (christianity201.wordpress.com)
- Dealng With Difficulties ‘Assurance’ (mylordmyfriend.com)
- Famous Actor Denzel Washington Said THIS About the Bible… (MUST READ) (thepoliticalinsider.com)
- Grace Community Church (San Antonio, Texas) February 21, 2015 – Tim Conway: Men’s Systematic Theology Study #10 (The Bible as the Basis for Knowledge and Personal Significance) (psalm115three.com)
- On the Meaning of Spirituality (michaelmilton.org)
- The National Baptist Fellowship of Concerned Pastors to Hold Press Conference on Tuesday, March 17th to Address Their Concerns About a Lesbian Minister and Two Pro-Homosexual Ministers Speaking at the American Baptist College’s Garnett-Nabrit Lecture Seri (blackchristiannews.com)
- Master’s Plan (relijournal.com)