Assemblies of God Empowered Magazine God's Eternal Word - Page 27

THe enduring word of god Name withheld What keeps a couple in a nation where they feel that they are under ‘country arrest’? Their visa application was refused and is under review. They are unable to travel freely within the country, yet unable to leave it; trapped in a limbo of undefined legal status. A visa was originally granted to them for doing volunteer work with the country’s poor. They made many personal and family sacrifices to move to this country. They spent a year in language study and were just beginning to fulfill their roles when the government inexplicably revoked their visa. After appealing the decision, they began to notice other troubling irregularities. Their phone calls are being monitored; ‘intelligence’ agencies are tracking their movements; and their motives are being questioned by authorities. These bureaucratic stresses add to all the other stressors this couple face on a daily basis. The country is not politically or socially secure. There have been many attacks against minority populations and foreigners have also been targeted. Lack of clean water, rampant disease, a culture that insists women totally cover up from head to toe, completely different social and religious values, scorching heat in summer and freezing temperatures in winter, and the struggles involved in communicating in a foreign language. These are all challenging adjustments at the best of times, but they are so much more difficult to handle when the couple don’t know if they can stay or will be told to leave. Their life is like a long roller coaster ride: lots of bends and twists and hidden turns that unnerve and unsettle them. So what is it that keeps them strapped in their seats as the roller coaster clatters this way and that, crawls up and then powers down, spinning around in a seemingly uncontrolled frenzy? The ONLY thing that keeps them going is the never failing Word of the Lord. It’s easy to throw around this phrase like so many other Christian phrases...“the Word of the Lord, the Word of the Lord.” But what does it mean? How does the Word of the Lord operate in the life of a believer? The Word of the Lord is multi-faceted. The written Word of God has been collated and handed down to us over many thousands of years. It is “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). MISSIONS The Bible is God’s primary way of communicating with us. It is the touchstone and plumb line by which every guidance, every directive, or any personal revelation is measured. God will never speak outside the confines of his written Word. God also speaks to us through one another. We are encouraged to “teach and admonish one another in all wisdom” until together we “ maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ” (Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 4:13). This is why Christians need to