The manner in which you receive God’s word will determine how God responds back to you. God’s preferred communication is through His word. God communicates to man through his word, and man communicates back to God by either obeying His word or not obeying it. Once man has obeyed and has met the conditions, God in turn communicates back to man, again through His word, by making the word real to the heart. The written word on the page now becomes real in the heart.
The power of the word is released when the reality of the word becomes reality in the heart. That’s when faith comes alive. How then does one get this reality in the heart? By treating it, as it really is, the word of God. If you won’t receive His universal word, written to the whole world, how can you expect to receive His personal word to you? The Bible calls the word of God a seed, and that if this seed is planted in good ground it will grow into abundant life. How does one plant a word in one’s heart? By acceptance and obedience.
Faith comes by (an outward) hearing and (then an inward) hearing by the (spoken personal) word of God – Romans 10:17 (with my insertions)
It seems so obvious, but a farmer must first recognize that a seed is a seed, and then he must know enough to take the next step and plant it. Concerning the word of God, the action equivalent to planting would be to simply obey it. Hearing God’s word implies more than mere physical hearing or seeing it on the written page. It implies absorbing it into your life and obeying it. You must become a farmer with the word of God, and farming is hard work. One way you can push that seed into the ground of your heart is by pushing yourself toward the word to obey it.
Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. (25) “And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. (26) “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. (27) “The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell–and great was its fall.” Matthew 7:24-27
The action of obedience is required to truly plant the word in the heart. Every time we read something from God’s word, we have a decision to make. Will we obey it or will we ignore it and instead choose to do what we want to do? Each time we obey, we plant more seeds in our heart, and with these seeds God can grow a strong life of faith.