Tuesday, April 2, 2013

God Speaks

God speaks.  

He spoke the world into being.  Scripture records how He has spoken to His people since Adam and Eve were created.  He spoke to and through His prophets.  

Then the Word became flesh.  Jesus is Truth and spoke Truth.  

The Spirit of God inspired the Word of God that we are privileged to read and study.  The same One who inspired it, now teaches us, bears witness to Christ, and opens the eyes of our hearts to understand.

I've been overwhelmed with this truth lately.  All that we understand about life and God is because of His divine revelation, because He has chosen to speak to those who don't deserve to hear His voice.  Grace upon Grace.

I've also been reminded lately of how powerful it can be when we share how God is speaking.  

I can so often choose to talk about things that don't matter when spending time with friends.  I can share a common platitude when someone is struggling.  I can fan the flames of frustration or hurt when someone is venting.

What if I shared words of Life instead?  What if I encouraged dear friends with what God has been teaching me through the Word, praying it will edify their hearts?  What if I shared the only Truth that will actually bring hope to those struggling?  What if I trusted the Spirit to give me the words to bring someone to the Cross and the Empty Tomb when they are angry and hurt . . . to play a part in moving them from darkness to light and life?

Cause I'm not gonna lie . . . there are days when I just need someone to walk up to me and say "His mercies are new every morning.  Great is His faithfulness."  I need that kind of friend so I want to be that kind of friend!

Just last week Chad was on the phone with my mom.  She shared with him what she had been learning that week.  She couldn't have known it, but that testimony was a timely word for Chad, speaking right to an issue of his heart.  He got off the phone, confessed, repented, and worshiped.  All because God had spoken and His daughter had proclaimed it.

I want to develop a discipline of proclaiming how God is speaking to this undeserving heart.  It isn't that I never share {some of you may be thinking that I do share . . . maybe too much!}.  But I want to be more intentional.  Ready at a moment's notice to speak words of LIFE to the dead, broken and lost, but also to my weary brothers and sisters following after Christ.

 So here are a few things that God has been speaking to me lately . . .


God has been confronting me with my pride for months, gently and consistently.  As I've prayed recently about wanting to be used by Him, but my pride getting in the way, He has spoken twice so clearly that I felt I could almost audibly hear His voice.

- Let your prayer be not that you would be exalted among those who know, but that Christ would be exalted among those who don't.

- I will use a jar of clay, but I will never raise a golden calf.

Ouch, right?!  Remember how Hebrews 4 says that the Word is living and active?  We love that.  But it also says that the Word is "sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." That hurts.  So, so good, but painful nonetheless!


Matthew 8:5-13 shares the story of a centurion asking Jesus to heal his paralyzed servant, but also recognizing Jesus' authority and the power of a simple word spoken from the mouth of the Savior.  Verse 13 is where God leveled me ...

"And to the centurion Jesus said, "Go; let it be done for you as you have believed."

Jesus didn't say "as you have asked" as I would have expected, but the focus and healing was based on belief.

Sometimes I just don't ask.  But how often do I ask God to work without truly believing that He can and will?  Talk about changing your prayer life!

knowing God

Yesterday I was reading the Word in three different places, but God was speaking the same Truth.  I love seeing how the Word is ONE story pointing my heart to God!

- In just the first 24 chapters of Ezekiel, the phrase "then you will know that I am the Lord GOD" is used 39 times.  That repetition has obviously caught my attention . . . God is concerned that His people {and all people} would know who He is, that He is the LORD.  

Chapter 24 though took it even further.  God told Ezekiel that He was going to take his wife, "the delight of your eyes," and that Ezekiel couldn't mourn her death.  God gives the reason as He spoke to His people in verse 24, "Thus shall Ezekiel be to you a sign; according to all that he has done you shall do.  When this comes, then you will know that I am the Lord GOD."

Am I willing to be used by God so that all will know that He is the Lord?  Am I willing to sacrifice my "delight" so that others will know?

- Matthew 10 records Jesus' instructions to the 12 disciples as He sends them out to proclaim the kingdom of God to Israel.  Jesus paints a pretty rough picture for them . . . sheep among wolves, being flogged and dragged into court, being hated by all for the sake of Christ, persecution, death, their own families becoming enemies.  Verse 38 sums it up, "whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me."  

It was a call to die to self.  Die so that others may know.

Am I willing to die to self so that others may know Christ?  Do I fear nothing, not persecution, hatred, isolation, even death, but count it all a loss for the sake of knowing Christ and making Him known?

- 2 Timothy is Paul's deathbed letter to Timothy.  He encourages Timothy to persevere in the faith and follow Paul's example of a life poured out in worship to God.  Paul has been through a lot as he has followed Christ {understatement of the year!}.  

But even at the end, his focus is still on the call that has been the driving force of his life.  2 Tim. 4:17, "But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it." 

Have I given over my life to making Christ known to all nations?  Do I realize that eternal life is to know God {John 17:3} and that God desires all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth {1 Tim. 2:4}?  What am I doing about it?

Do you remember that song, "All of life comes down to just one thing.  That's to know you oh Jesus and to make You known."?  I used to be bothered because the writer says there is one thing, but he has an "and" in there, which clearly means he's talking about two things . . . 1. know Jesus. 2. make Him known.  Right? Wrong!

There is just one thing.  To know Jesus IS to make Him known.  You can't separate the two.  A disciple is a disciplemaker.  

I know this.  But I loved hearing God speak this Truth to me through three different parts of the Word yesterday.  It reminded me that the Word is One Story about One God declaring One Mission . . . to know Him and make Him known!

So what has God been speaking to you?  

Let's encourage each other!  But if you don't share it on here, be intentional to share words of LIFE with someone in your life today!

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