“Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you.” (2 Thessalonians 3:1)
The Word of God may be like a fire and a hammer (Jer.23:29) and a sharp two-edged sword (Heb.4:12); but this verse says it still may have to run an obstacle course to accomplish its purpose. This is a sad state of affairs. Paul was concerned enough about it that he entreated the Church at Thessalonica to pray that when he preached the Word of God it would have “free course,” an unhindered shot, as it were.
Initially, you and I might be tempted to list things like poor diction or vocabulary, a faulty sound system, or having to speak through an interpreter as being the most logical message hinderers. But, somehow, I think this misses the point here. All of these things can be overcome if the Spiritual criteria is met.
For instance, in the Old Testament story of Lot, in Genesis nineteen, we see this man trying to relay to his family a heavenly message that would mean the difference between life and death to them; but, unfortunately he only succeeded in making a fool of himself in their eyes (19:14). His inconsistent life blocked the message, and any urgency was blunted by hypocrisy. Their answer must have been, “You must be kidding!” The message was true, but his life betrayed his—and, by extension, its—sincerity.
We should not pride ourselves in our boldness to speak for God, if we only give minor attention to our own personal testimony. If our lives belie the message, we have constructed an obstacle course for the Word of God. And it’s too important…too precious. We must make sure it has free course from our lips to the hearts of those whose lives we touch.
It is all in vain to preach the truth,
To the eager ears of a trusting youth,
If whenever the lad is standing by,
He sees you cheat, and he hears you lie.
— Edgar A Guest