I was in West Africa not too long ago, and I held up a Bible and I said something that kind of shocked the church. And they all looked at me and kind of gave me that look, like, “Are you teaching us something heretical or what?” You know, it was one of those really critical, kind of suspicious looks that I got from everybody in the room. And what I did was I held up the Bible and I said, “Guys, I want to tell you something. This is not the Word of God.” And they all looked at me like, “What? We know that’s the Word of God.” And I said, “No, no, this is not the Word of God.” And they’re all waiting for me to go somewhere with this. And I said, “John 1:1, in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. That’s not talking about a book, that’s talking about a man, Jesus.”
A lot of people know the book, but they still don’t know the Word, because the Word was the Man. You can know the black words on white paper and still not know the Word. And let me encourage you today, friend. You need to know the Word. You need to know His voice. You need to know His touch. You need to know His presence.
When He walks into the room, when the Word walks into the room, everything changes. So you can know the book and not know the Word. Am I saying the book’s not important? No. The book is a book about the Word, and the book is very important to know the Word, but you have to know the Man. You have to know Jesus in addition to knowing the black words on white paper. That’s so important.
So I just encourage you today, cry out to Jesus and say, “Jesus, show me who you are. Show me, manifest yourself to me in a way that’s more real than these black words on white paper. And show me the depths of who you are through this book and through speaking to me and dealing with me directly as a friend,” because He’s your friend.