Our purpose is to multiply the Word by sharing what we are given with others. This is a public commitment to a private and intimate relationship. We cannot hear Him unless we sit and listen. It all starts with beautiful surrender and the willingness to ‘go’ when He sends us out with what He has given us.
Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. (Matthew 10:27)
God’s incredible principle of multiplication infuses every part of creation and every relationship, action, or reaction we as humans participate in. It’s not something we can escape from – even if we wanted to – but it’s also true that harvest and sowing and reaping applies as much to the good stuff as to the bad. There’s no point in trying to be selective and accept only the blessings. From this we can easily deduce that God desires multiplication in every area of creation – both natural and supernatural. It’s an intrinsic part of his eternal plan for His creation and this includes our relationship with Him. He desires our relationship with Him to grow and to deepen, to become more intimate and revelatory. But today’s verse adds a wonderful new perspective to our together times with God. In essence, we’re instructed to multiply the Word.
Understanding dark and light in multiply the Word.
Our first instinct is to regard dark as the ‘evil’ and light as the ‘good,’ i.e. the kingdoms of good and evil. But in the context of today’s verse, it actually defines the separation between our relationships with God and with the world. The words ‘dark’ and ‘ear’ define the private nature of our intimacy with Him. While corporate worship, prayer, and sharing the Word is an integral and necessary part of our Christian walk, alone time with God is our source of life and maturity. Dark is the place where everything else is shut out, and its simply God and us. There are no distractions, no time limitations, and no space for self. The word ear implies whispering – it carries a wealth of intimacy and intimate knowledge. If we are to multiply the Word, we must first receive the Word He imparts to us in His secret place.
Light is to bring what we have received in private into the light so it’s visible to others. This is the process by which we multiply the Word and requires action. We cannot hoard what God gives us in secret. Some things are for another time or season, but what He teaches us in our quiet times with Him is meant to be shared. Each of us can reach at least ten people. When we preach His Word and bring it out into the light, we multiply it in direct proportion the number of people we reach. They multiply it further by sharing with others. Having said this, we must guard against the arrogance of ‘new revelation’ that leads so many astray. God says the same thing to all His people. His Word remains the same. There is no new revelation, only deeper understanding of what He has already said.
Time with God and multiply the Word.
I often encounter the same or similar question: How do I hear from God? My response is always the one I learned the hard way. Listen. Many of those who ask are genuinely seeking after the voice and will of God. At the same time, however, the fascination with the prophetic is becoming increasingly dangerous. Schools for the prophetic, prophetic ‘apostles,’ ‘prophets to the nations,’ and ‘the prophet of God’ abound, and are usually all self-proclaimed. Believers who aren’t correctly taught see these larger than life figures as something to aspire to. Seeking the Lord’s voice becomes seeking His voice but only through so-and-so. The fundamental purpose of the prophetic – to multiply the Word – is lost in the flurry to carve out a reputation. Along the way, the gullible are deceived into perdition. The Word is reduced to only having value when spoken by a certain prophet.
Under the new covenant, God has poured out His Spirit on all believers. Each and every one of us is a much a prophet as the next. The only relevant criteria is the time we spend with God – not speaking but listening. We will never hear if we continue to talk. Be still and know is very relevant here. The power and value of the prophet lies in the simple truth that its purpose is to multiply the Word. Prophecy may encourage us and exhort us, but its primary purpose is to reveal the Word of God. It’s less about making us feel good than it is about making us ‘live good,’ i.e. in the righteousness of Christ by hearing and obeying His Word. When Paul told us to earnestly desire the greater gifts, like prophecy, he was essentially telling us to spend more time in intimacy with God.
Multiply the Word means public commitment.
There are two strong focuses in today’s verse. The first is that alone time with God is essential. If we don’t receive we have nothing to share. Relationship, intimacy, and surrender is the beginning. The second is that our relationship must be visible and public. This may seem to contradict the ‘secret place’ concept of time with God alone and far from the distractions of life. Our relationship is private. But His Word is not, and it’s through revealing His Word that we manifest the reality of our relationship. The more of His Word we have to share, the deeper our relationship and commitment. By obeying the instruction to take it into the light and preach it from the housetops, we reveal our true relationship with God. We cannot share the Word without it being very obvious where we stand with Him and what place He holds in our lives.
To understand this better we must grasp that God reveals Himself through us. We are a living testimony to the truth of His Word. How we live reflects our relationship with Him. If we hold back and keep His Word in the dark and His whispered truths to ourselves, we cannot witness to Him. To publicly speak His truth declares that we believe His truth. To not speak it brings our commitment into question. Jesus Himself said that He would acknowledge those who acknowledge Him. There is no room for compromise when it comes to our obligation to multiply the Word. God living in us makes it possible for us to reach more people than Jesus, as a man, was able to do. We are Christ’s body and must therefore identify with Him. We must continue His ministry by a public and bold commitment to multiply the Word.
The joy in living to multiply the Word.
Without doubt, there can be no greater joy than in sharing Christ and the salvation He brings. It’s not only about reaching the unsaved but also about bringing life and liberty to believers who have not yet learned to live in the full measure of the Gospel. To multiply the Word means to bring forth fruit, to sow for a bountiful and abundant harvest. Yes, it requires that we set self aside in no uncertain terms and surrender ourselves to the sovereign will of God. But His purpose is perfect. Only when we begin to live the purpose he created for us and created us for will we find true peace and joy. Better than that, though, is the joy that comes from spending time in intimacy with our Father, the great I AM and eternal shepherd and lover of our souls.
When we learn to draw near in this way and truly listen, the joy His Word brings must overflow. We must thrust it into the light for all to share. And we must shout it from the rooftops. The joy of the Lord cannot help but overflow in a great surge of life to those around us.
What a privilege it is, Lord, to be able to draw near and to sit at Your feet and listen as You teach us Your truth. Thank You that Your Word is the source of our joy and purpose and that You feed us daily as often as we come in surrender and love. Help us to allow it take root, to become our purpose, so that we will boldly and freely share all You give us so that the world may know You and Your unfailing power and love.