For most of my life, I thought “Word of God” was synonymous with “scripture” or “Bible”.
One day I felt compelled to study the use of Word of God within the text, and slowly but surely my mind was changed. There were clear examples where something else seemed to be happening, right from the beginning:
Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.”
Example after example I found, where the Word was speaking, prompting, and guiding the children of God. This continues into the New Testament:
in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness.
In neither of these examples–or the other verses I looked at–is the Word of God talking about scripture. A scroll did not come floating in to Abraham or John the Baptist. This dramatically changed my understanding, not only of some scriptures, but of the close, personal relationship we are to have with the Father. Think on these verses if Word of God means His active prompting in our lives:
But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”
This was huge for me. It shifts the focus from Bible study, which is still essential, to active intimate communion with God:
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words; Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.
But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”
We worship a living God who speaks:
And God said, “Let there be light;”
The more I studied, the more the pieces snugly fit together:
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
This is very important, and influences our understanding of scripture in a myriad of ways. While the Bible records the history of the Word of the Lord, it is not to be confused with the living Word of God.