A  woman was publicly executed in North Korea recently. Her crime? Distributing Bibles.

It’s noteworthy that a book most Americans take for granted and rarely read was worthy of death in a far corner of the world.

So what makes the Bible that dangerous to an evil regime? What makes it the most feared (and the most revered) book in history?

The Bible has power to change lives. It delivers cultures from the grasp of evil. It transforms nations. It revives churches. It spawns spiritual revival and awakening.

Yet while we in the West have more Bibles available than any other culture in the history of the world, something is clearly missing. The Bible is having less and less of an impact on our culture, and even those who believe it may secretly be bored by its contents. Why?

Could it be that the Bible’s power is only unleashed when it is lived out by God’s people?

A recent study by the Barna Group suggests that while a whopping 82% of Americans profess to be Christians, three-fourths simultaneously do not believe that the Bible should be the standard for their decisions. For them, application of truth is optional.

Sometimes we are so caught up in defending the inerrancy or inspiration of the Bible that we miss its central point: obedience! Admittedly, the greatest struggle I face in my walk with God is not learning more truth, but obeying the truth I already know.

When it comes to revival, there is no greater message needed than obedience to Christ and His Word. Apart from the Word of God, there is no real work of God. A. W. Tozer declared that “prayer will become effective when we stop using it as a substitute for obedience.”

The psalmist knew the igniting power of the Word of God, so he cried out, “Revive me according to Your word” (Psalm 119:154 NKJV). Paul knew the preparatory power of the Word of God, so he preached the Scripture for over two years in Ephesus before God poured out His Spirit in that city (Acts 19:1-12). And Jesus knew the transforming power of the Word of God, so He called the churches in Revelation 2-3 to repentance and fresh obedience to the truth.

The kind of revival we need today is a Word-driven revival. The most powerful revivals in history have been based on the clear proclamation and application of the Bible. When Peter came out of the Upper Room full of the Holy Spirit and the power of Pentecost, his first sermon was saturated with Scripture from Joel and the Psalms. When God sent spiritual awakening to Ephesus, “the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed” (Acts 19:20, emphasis added). And so it has been throughout the church age—the Word has been the driving force of revival.

At Life Action, our mission is to ignite movements of God’s power by motivating Christians to live the truth of the Bible. That’s what we think will turn our culture around.

How about you? Will you study and live God’s Word?