By Andrew Wommack
Published January 2000
(Written December 1999)
Let me be among the first to wish you a Happy New Year 2000.
We will all know in a short time whether the world will come to a grinding halt at the first of the year. As I shared with all of our partners in our January 1999 letter, I don't believe there are going to be major problems. The only big problems I can see are panic problems caused by fear among those who fell prey to the Y2K crisis propaganda. The computer problem isn't that big of deal.
If I'm wrong on this issue I will be apologizing to you next month (supposing we are still able to communicate). However, if I'm right, you probably won't be getting an apology from those who marketed the fear about this issue. There will be statements about how their warnings turned the whole world around and stopped the problem or how their intercession solved the crisis. They may say that it didn't hurt to be prepared. That's just not true. Just a year ago they were presenting this as unstoppable.
I suggest that you learn a lesson from this false alarm. It's not okay that so many people (many Christians) bought into this hoax. The fear that has been peddled for many months won't just evaporate after January 1, 2000. Fear is a negative spiritual force perpetrated by the devil and his forces. It has been welcomed into the hearts of many Christians in the name of being prepared. It won't leave because of the turning of a calendar. That fear will manifest itself in some other area. There needs to be a renunciation of the thinking that brought on that fear.
The unsaved world will also be mocking all the doomsdayers who preached catastrophic problems that didn't materialize. Of course, Christians who made their dire predictions and validated them with "thus saith the Lord" will be the targets of special insults and the cause of Christ will be dishonored as a result. Satan will use this to convince many people that the church is out of touch and not a true representative of God. Many may dismiss the true message of the church because of this.
The body of Christ has to quit being like children who are carried about with every wind of doctrine and the deceitfulness of men (Eph. 4:14). This whole Y2K thing was childish. The world is watching us and our weirdness is not a credit to the cause of Christ. How will we as the body of Christ grow beyond this and come into that kind of maturity? The answer is found in Paul's writings in Ephesians, chapter four.
God gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to help mature the body of Christ (Eph. 4:11). As the people with these gifts speak the truth in love to the church, the people will mature (Eph. 4:15). John 17:17 says that God's Word is truth. So, this is saying that the only way we are going to grow into a maturity that puts us above deception is when we get grounded in the Word of God. If we had been preaching God's Word from our pulpits instead of Y2K, we and everyone else, would have been much better off.
Ever since I fell in love with the Lord, I've had a love of God's Word. I've spent untold hours studying and meditating in it over the last 31 years. I believe that any and all stability I have in my life is directly traceable to the things the Lord has taught me through His Word. The integration of God's Word into our hearts and thinking is the single most important thing we can do to promote growth and stability in our lives. It's the principles of God's Word that caused me to reject the fear that the Y2K extremists fostered.
In the last few months my hunger for God's Word has grown. None of us have even come close to exhausting the resources of God's Word. There is still much to learn. To see a turn around in our lives and in the body of Christ as a whole, we have to get into God's Word as never before.
There has to be some changes made in the body of Christ. Growth means change. If there is no change, there is no growth, and we all need to be green and growing. But how do we do that?
After my glorious encounter with the Lord on March 23, 1968, I started changing rapidly. I had seen a glimpse of how awesome the Lord was and what He wanted me to be. But I was a million miles away from the victorious life that God had revealed to me. At times, the process seemed so long and the goal so far off, that I despaired of ever making any progress in this lifetime.
I remember praying about this one day in 1968. I was kneeling beside my bed saying, "Lord, what do I have to do? How can I ever be like you?" I opened my eyes and as I saw my Bible lying on the bed in front of me, I heard the Lord say in my heart, "Just put my word in you, and it will do the rest." That provided me with direction and assurance, and that is basically what I've been doing for the last 31 years.
The Lord taught a parable about this in Mark 4:26-29. He used truths about seeds that everyone knows to illustrate truths about how God's Word works, that few people know. The first truth He taught was that God's Word has to be planted in our hearts for it to work. Just as a seed doesn't release its life until it is planted, God's Word will not set us free until we get it in our hearts. Having a Bible on our tables, in our hands, or in our heads is not sufficient. We have to commit God's Word to our hearts.
Second, the man in Jesus' parable who sowed the seed, slept and rose, day after day. This means that it takes time for a seed to germinate. You can't plant a seed one day and expect to see it growing the next day. And if you dig a seed up every day to see if anything is happening, it will never grow. You have to have faith that the seed is sprouting and leave it put. Likewise, we can't just meditate in God's Word for one day and get the results we want. And we can't just get into God's Word one day a week and then live differently the other six days. That's like digging up the seed. The scripture has to abide in us (Jn. 15:7).
Next, Jesus shared one of the most important truths of this parable. He said, "the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how." This is an amazing statement. No one knows how a seed works. Mankind, with all its understanding, has not unlocked the miracle of a seed. We can make things that look like seeds, taste like seeds, and have the exact same chemical elements as seeds, but if you put a man-made seed in the ground, it won't grow. We haven't figured out what makes these seeds release life, but that hasn't stopped us from using them. For thousands of years people have been planting seeds and reaping the harvest without understanding how it all works.
In a similar way, I don't understand how God's Word works. I can't explain how reading God's Word differs from other words that we read. I don't comprehend it all, but I know it works. I've experienced the supernatural life that God's Word imparts. The Bible has God's life in it, and when planted in our hearts and left there, it releases that life. Godly change comes effortlessly when His Word is alive in our hearts, just as a plant and fruit are the natural by-products of a physical seed.
This is such a simple truth that most people have missed it. People are looking for some spectacular encounter with the Lord that will transform their lives instantly. Few are willing to grow. They want to microwave their miracle. Some are willing to spend hours in prayer asking for a miracle instead of planting the Word of God in their hearts, which will produce that miracle. Prayer is to the Word, like water and fertilizer are to a seed. Prayer helps the Word release its life. You can water and fertilize barren soil all you want and it won't produce fruit. It's the seed that has life in it_not the water. Likewise, prayer is not a substitute for planting God's Word in your heart. Prayer without the Word is religion at best and complaining at worst.
Romans 12:2 gives us the key to seeing God's change in our lives. It says, "And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." The English word "transformed" was translated from the Greek word "METAMORPHOO" from which we derive the English word "metamorphosis," which describes the miraculous change of a caterpillar to a butterfly. If we want to be changed in nature and appearance, as drastically as a caterpillar becomes a butterfly, we must renew our minds with God's Word.
In the natural, we recognize that we can't have a harvest without planting seeds. But in the spiritual, Christians try to get results all the time, without planting God's Word. They don't go to the Word and meditate on the scriptures that have their answers. They run to someone and ask for hands to be laid on them. And if they don't see results, they get confused and offended. God can meet needs through the faith of others, but that is a temporary and secondary way of touching us. God's best is for us to take the seed of His Word, plant it in our lives, and it will just naturally bring the change that we desire.
It takes effort to get God's Word to produce in our lives, but the effort is to consistently abide in God's Word. If we do that, change comes effortlessly. Have you ever seen an apple tree groan and travail to produce apples? Never! It's the nature of an apple tree to bring forth fruit naturally, if the seed is left in the ground, given the proper nourishment, and given time.
Likewise, the Christian life is not hard. It is actually easy if we abide in God's Word. The Word will transform us so that God's perfect will for us will come to pass. That's the promise of God's Word. Romans 8:6 says, "...to be spiritually minded is life and peace." Being spiritually minded is being Word minded (Jn. 6:63).
God's Word is the seed. Our hearts are the soil. And godly change is the fruit that we all long for. I encourage every one of you, at the start of this new year, to make a fresh and new commitment to putting God's Word first and foremost in your life. We have to mature and change, but that will only happen as we plant the seed of God's Word in our lives.