10 WAYS GOD SPEAKS TO US PART 1
Answered prayers riddle the Old and New Testament, serving as proof that our God not only hears our prayers as He says, but answers them according to His will. “Bend down, O Lord, and hear my prayer; answer me, for I need your help” (Psalm 86:1). The psalmist was focused on the sovereignty of God, rather than the woes of the one praying for help (New Bible Commentary). We can pray with the same confidence, knowing that God has already gone before us. “I will call to you whenever I’m in trouble, and you will answer me” (Psalm 86:7). This was most likely written by David, who knew from such feats as taking down Goliath and outrunning King Saul, that he could unwaveringly trust God. Even when his direct requests were not expectantly met, “teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth!” he pleaded (Psalm 86:11). David knew that God’s will was better than anything he could conjure up or imagine for his own life. He reminded Himself of God’s character, saying, “But you, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness” (Psalm 86:15). Though life’s road is long and will continue to wind, He speaks into our lives through His promise to hear and answer our prayers according to His will.
It’s through Jesus, the Word made flesh, that God speaks to us through Scripture. We can be assured that when we read the Word of God, His breath is upon us. The Holy Spirit that resides within us when we accept Christ as our Savior translates and interprets, helping us in our daily study and prayerful application of the Word to our lives. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant to God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). “God-breathed” is often translated as “inspired” which doesn’t give credit to the gravity of the true definition of the Greek word that was penned in it’s place. “God-breathed,” the Greek word theopnuestos, is ‘formed from theo (the root form of the word ‘God’) and pneustos (from a Greek root having to do with breathing.)’ The NIV Application Commentary The VOICE version paraphrases Paul’s words: “All of Scripture is God-breathed; in its inspired voice, we hear useful teaching, rebuke, correction, instruction, and training for a life that is right so that God’s people may be up to the task ahead and have all they need to accomplish every good work.”
On the road to Emmaus shortly after His resurrection, Jesus explains to two travelers, “what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself” (Luke 24: Luke 25-27). Jesus went through the Old Testament Scriptures and explained His place in all of it. Through the fulfilled prophesies, they both admitted, “our hearts were burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened up the Scriptures to us” (Luke 24:32). The Word, Himself, holds the power to reveal His Truth to our hearts. Through Jesus Himself, and His residence in our hearts, we begin to see Him throughout the entire Bible—not just beginning with His birth in Bethlehem. When Jesus appeared to His disciples after His resurrection, “he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45). He then promised them, “I am going to send you what my Father has promised” (Luke 24:49). Jesus was referring to the coming of the Holy Spirit, fulfilled in Acts 2:4, “All the people present are filled with the Holy Spirit and begin speaking languages they’ve never spoken, as the Spirit empowers them.” God speaks to us, today, through His Holy Spirit. That’s why we can study a passage of Scripture multiple times, through different stages of our lives, and be ministered to from different angles by it.
The Apostle John penned Jesus’ words, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” Then, now, and for all time, God speaks His message of love for us to and through His Son. Before ascending to heaven after His resurrection, Jesus assured His disciples, “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Emmanuel, God with us. Jesus came to break down the barrier that the fall of sin had erected between God and His most precious creation … us. This life is promised to be hard. “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:14). But we’re never asked to walk through it alone. No one can relate to the hardships of life more so than Jesus. He, who had all power and authority to come down off of that cross, died on it for us. He was mocked, ridiculed, betrayed, physically beaten, and burdened in sorrow to the point of blood-stained tears in His desperate prayer to the Father to make any other way than the cross. Jesus came to earth out of compassion for us, to understand the temptation of humanity and face it head on, conquering it for us with a strength only He holds. “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
There are many ways to go to church other than physically walking through a set of doors and shaking hands with actual people. In a virtualdriven world, many hear of Christ for the first time through media, but the importance of taking our faith out into a living and breathing body of Christ is crucial. Hebrews urges that we “not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25). God speaks to us today, through His church. We must challenge ourselves to leave our devices and dive into God’s mission for the church. There are lives that need our personal touch, our in-person hugs, and our shared laughter and tears. The family that forms in a healthy church body equips and consoles us in a hard world with a difficult mission to spread the gospel. When we show up, we give ourselves the opportunity for Him to show us who He made us to be. There’s a reason it’s easier to swipe ‘yes’ than it is to fight traffic and schedules and let God use our lives. “All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27). We’ll never know what part we’re to play if we don’t physically show up to listen.
To be continued ……..