Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Voice of God

Ps.29:1-11 - Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
2 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
3 The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters.
4 The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
5 The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.
7 The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire.
8 The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.
10 The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever.
11 The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.
t was March of 1975. I had been confirmed as a member of the Lutheran church as a teenager, however I was lost. But in March of 1975 I had been born again one cold night on top of Garret Mountain in Wayne, New Jersey. That week I drove into Manhattan and bought a brand new King James Bible. When I got it home I carefully took it out of the box and opened it. I has no idea where to start.
So I began by reading the words in red. As for theology and doctrine I was a clean slate. But something wonderful began to happen that week. I suddenly began to understand what I was reading. I do not mean I understood the general meaning of the words because I was quite fond of the English language and literature. But this was more than understanding phrases and sentences. The understanding I experienced was more enlightenment than it was understanding. I did not know it then, but God’s Spirit was giving me illumination that I did not posses until then.
So many people attempt to manipulate the voice of God, and even some erroneously claim to have heard His audible voice. That is a very transparent way to elevate one’s spiritual status in the view of others and is also a way to downplay the miracle and power of the written revelation. There is such a thing as the voice of God but it is unlike the voice of man. It comes through the miracle of the Spirit’s ministry through the Word of God. Oh yes, there are nudges and inward witnesses and even some phrases and directions that are received by a process that cannot be explained except to those who have experienced them.
But in this modern world with its technology on one end and its emotion on the other, the magnificence of God’s written revelation has been minimized. The depth and power of the miracle of the written Word cannot fully be explained. Even the thought that God desired to communicate with such rebels is indeed breathtaking. And to understand the mechanics involved with communicating eternal truths, to say nothing of His very Being, through the medium of human language is beyond us. And yet, God did it.
And in March of 1975 I experienced the wonderful and exhilarating experience of having my spirit being taught by God’s Spirit. I not only understood the linguistic meanings of the Word of God, but I began to see and understand things that were not obvious in the general understanding of the words. And that began a journey that would illuminate my soul and change my very life. This is not deciphering some code. No, it far greater and with much more expansive and applicable detail than that.
And while your being is being enlightened by God’s Word, it is also being cleansed by that same Word. I mean let’s face it and be honest before the world, knowing, understanding, obeying, and being changed by God’s Word is without equal as it pertains to the realm of the Spirit. I can recall singing a hymn I had sung many times before. But as I sang it this time my heart began to pump a little faster and my eyes welled up with tears. Why? Why, you ask? It was because I was singing it with understanding and for the first time my heart was truly worshiping God in truth.
The Psalmist says, “The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.” Only someone who has heard the voice of the Lord can rejoice in that statement. In a mystery, those words projected through pen and paper, carry in them the power and voice of Almighty God. The Word has always existed, and it was not created initially through the Bible writers. No, no. The Word is eternal, but in a glorious mystery the Word of the Spirit traveled through the pens of man and became the written revelation of that Eternal Word.
And it is counter productive to be a strong proponent of inerrancy while employing and exhibiting attitudes that are in contrast to the teachings of the Word you seek to defend. When I was born again, and when I began to be illuminated by the Spirit, I had no knowledge of the inerrancy debate. But that did not restrict the Word from becoming a life changing force for me. Personally, I believe the written Word is inerrant, but maybe in a deeper mystery than is usually presented in the normal systematic debate.
But again, let us not be as Abram and chase away the birds from the sacrifice and in so doing we neglect the sacrifice itself. We are followers of Jesus the Christ and we are consumers and obedient children of His gracious written revelation. The world does not need to see the unending debates concerning the Scriptures. What they need to see is a living and breathing manifestation of those Scriptures.
But I ask you. Have your heard the voice of God speaking through His Word? Do you read the Scriptures like a magazine or is your heart open and broken before Him as those ink words become spiritual food to your soul? Have you ever wept as you read His Word just because of the sheer weight of its glory? I exhort all of us to journey back into God’s Word as if it was your first time. Read it as if it came from the very mouth and heart of God. Place yourself upon the altar of Gods Word and receive the cutting away of the flesh and the grafting in of the new skin of the Spirit.
Has the wineskin of your salvation experience grown old and predictable? Are you clinging to revelations of days gone bye and have you stopped seeking the freshness of the Word today? Repent and ask God to renew your wineskin so that He may once again pour in some new wine from His Word that breaks up the fallow ground and brings forth some new fruit which has been dormant for way too long. Regardless of how much we know about the Word, or how much doctrine and systematic theology we claim to know, there are still immeasurable depths and fathoms of revelations that remain untapped.
I do not speak of some self serving and contrived communications. I speak of illuminations about the Lord Jesus and all His Majesty that patiently await the written alabaster box to be broken and the fragrance of His glory consume His followers and permeate the world. The voice of God changes men’s hearts.


Robin said...

Hello, Rick - Convicted again! - Thank you, Robin

Anonymous said...

Beautiful testimony to the power and majesty of God's Word. Thank you.