Today's Foundations Devotional: Harmony between the Spirit and the Word

We need to lay hold upon one great guiding principle which is established in the Scripture. It is this: God’s Word and God’s Spirit should always work together in perfect unity and harmony. We should never divorce the Word from the Spirit or the Spirit from the Word. It is not God’s plan that the Word should ever work apart from the Spirit or the Spirit apart from the Word.

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth (Ps. 33:6).

The word here translated “breath” is actually the normal Hebrew word for “spirit.” However, the use of the word “breath” suggests a beautiful picture of the working of God’s Spirit. As God’s Word goes out of His mouth, so His Spirit – which is His breath – goes with it.

On our human level, each time we open our mouths to speak a word, our breath necessarily goes out together with the word. So it is also with God. As God’s Word goes forth, His breath – that is, His Spirit – goes with it. In this way God’s Word and God’s Spirit are always together, perfectly united in one single divine operation.

We see this fact illustrated, as the psalmist reminds us, in the account of creation. In Genesis we read:

The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. (Gen. 1:2).

In the next verse Gen. 1:3 we read: Then God said, “Let there be light.”

That is, God’s Word went forth; God pronounced the word light. And as the Word and the Spirit of God were thus united, creation took place, light came into being, and God’s purpose was fulfilled.

What was true of that great act of creation is true also of the life of each individual. God’s Word and God’s Spirit united in our lives contain all the creative authority and power of God Himself. Through them God will supply every need and will work out His perfect will and plan for us. But if we divorce these two from one another – seeking the Spirit without the Word, or studying the Word apart from the Spirit – we go astray and miss God’s plan.

To seek the manifestations of the Spirit apart from the Word will always end in foolishness, fanaticism and error. To profess the Word without the quickening of the Spirit results only in dead, powerless orthodoxy and religious formalism.

Lord, please help me that, in my life always, in every situation and at every moment of my life, Your Spirit and Your Word go together in harmony. Prevent me from disproportionately emphasizing or giving priority to one or the other - the working of Your Spirit or Your Word. Let Your Holy Spirit always be the perfect teacher of Your Word for me. Amen.


For more teaching on the Person of the Holy Spirit, we recommend Derek’s book featured below, ‘Who Is The Holy Spirit?’

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