revjoaquinwillisweb.gifIt is a great blessing to be alive.  But today, many in the world will despair and take their own lives.  These acts occur for varied reasons, among them a lapse of faith.  It is our faith, after all, that enables us to feel “alive and power-filled.”  Through diligent study of His Word, we gain strength to meet life’s daily challenges.     Ephesians (6:16) teaches us that the “sword of the spirit” is the Word of God, and is our most powerful weapon against evil.  We must learn to wield that sword.  Unless God’s Word is active in us, we cannot cross the Jordan into the Promised Land.

In Hebrews (4:12) in the Amplified Bible, we read, “God’s Word is alive and full of power, making it active, operative, energizing and effective; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (the soul) and the spirit (the immortal) and the joints and marrow (the deepest parts of our nature), exposing, sifting, analyzing, and judging the very thoughts and purpose of the heart.”

From the beginning, in Acts 2, the Holy Spirit is revealed as a vital force that, after the Pentecost, came to dwell in all believers.  Many are unaware of the Holy Spirit’s (the counselor’s) influence.  But to those who hear and understand Christ’s words in John (14:15-30), the Spirit provides new perspective. 

Christ reveals in John (14:15) that He sent the Holy Spirit to live in us, its presence signifying that Jesus resides within us.    

In our down moments, we might ask to know the future, to be comforted, or to prepare for it.  But God chose not to bestow this knowledge. Instead, He gave us His Word, from which we can learn what we must do.  We do not need to know the future to have faith; from His Word, we gain faith.

Beth Moore’s book, Believing God, continues to impress me.  Moore states that “What makes the Word of God alive and powerful in us is that we receive it by reading it, meditating on it, believing it, and applying it to life; it is then that the word becomes alive and active in us. The energy of the Word becomes energizing in us. The effectiveness of the Word becomes effective in us.”

The Word teaches that sin quenches the fire of the Holy Spirit within us. Conversely, when we yield to the Lord, we are filled with the Holy Spirit.  Something happens when we receive God’s Word. 

Moore posits that internal combustion occurs when “the spirit of truth” (the Holy Spirit) combines with “the Word of truth.”  She considers the Holy Spirit a flammable oil, and God’s Word, a torch.  The oil floods us as we seek the Word and receive it through faith. 

When we are filled with the combustible spirit of truth, then the Holy Spirit’s fire can blaze within us, allowing us to become brilliantly “alive and power-filled.”

The Rev. Dr. R. Joaquin Willis is pastor of the Church of the Open Door at 6001 NW 8th Ave., Miami.  To contact the church, call 305-759-0373 or email the pastor at