Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Missio Lux Weekly Reflection

Missio Lux Weekly Reflection
September 28, 2010

“The Tree of Life: Hearing God”

Remember the wind storm that came three years ago to Seattle? I have memories imprinted on my brain of 100 foot trees completely uprooted from the ground because their root systems were completely inadequate to support such tall trees. The root systems were perhaps 18 inches deep, not nearly enough to withstand a storm that came with great intensity.

We have a root system that supports us too. It’s called “God’s voice.” He communicates to us in so many ways, but some of us never hear him because we haven’t taken time to understand the language in which he speaks to us. When we don’t hear God, we go through life experiencing just a shadow of our true potential, calling and impact in life. Understanding God’s communication style to us unlocks the real person within us that he created us to become.

So, how do we understand God’s communication to us, as we deepen the root system to our tree of life? Jesus tells us in John 4:24 that “his Father is looking for those that will worship him in Spirit and in Truth.” He showed us that we will understand God’s voice in both the Word of God and the Spirit and it is when we are able to embrace and operate in both that we begin to see great breakthroughs in our faith and life on earth.

The first is one that is common to most of us in theory, but not all that familiar in reality. It is the Word of God. John 1 tells us that “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The Word found written in the Bible is truth. It is described as “Logos.” This word is not just text in a book, it is powerful and alive because it comes from God himself. We often forget that it is God speaking to us, to us, as we read the Bible.

How often do we tell ourselves or hear others say that the Bible is boring, hard to understand, or irrelevant? This is definitely what our enemy wants us to think because in reality when we spend enough time with God’s truth to us, reading it, studying it, meditating on it, it actually feeds us in ways that nothing else in life can.

I spent a lot of time reading the Bible on our trip to the UK. I got up earlier than everyone else and spent over an hour every day reading through the Old Testament. Just reading it—and what I read were some of the more challenging parts of Scripture that many of us shy away from. I realized experientially that Jesus was right, “his Word is our daily bread.” It fed me like nothing else has for a long time. It made me feel alive and energized and very hungry for more.

I sometimes wonder if we have ever eaten enough of God’s living Word to us to know that it is the very thing we are hungry for.

The second root system that it is vital that we develop for the challenging times in which is we live is the other side of Truth, the Spirit. This root is one that some people or faith traditions feel comfortable with, but whole segments of the Christian faith have shied away from because it feels unfamiliar and uncomfortable.

But, let me ask you a question: Do you talk to the people in your house? Doesn’t it make sense, then, that the Holy Spirit would speak to us because he lives in our body?

The challenge for us is in discovering the communication style that he uses with each one of us. Some of us see pictures when we pray. Some of us get clear thoughts and impressions. Some of us have dreams. Some see words written across people’s foreheads. Some have reoccurring thoughts that don’t go away until we take action. Some hear gentle whispers. Few of us hear audible words or blaring sounds. God is more subtle than that; and he wants us to seek him to find his communication style to us. The Scripture, the Truth, tells us that “if we seek him, we will find him.”

The first step is to change our mind about the Bible and to realize that we have the opportunity to hear from the One who Created us on a daily basis when we seek him through reading and studying it. The second step is to identify our rhema language and how God speaks to us through it.

The next step is to begin to operate in both realms: “the Father is looking for those that will worship him in Spirit and in Truth. “ As we begin to hear from the Father in both ways we step into a place of maturity because we are communicating in both realms and God can confirm over and over his plans for us. We can move confidently knowing that we are on his path for our lives, even being clear for his plans for our day and every situation.

Deepening our root system in fertile soil is one of the best gifts we can give ourselves. It’s healthier than exercising and eating good food. It will change the way we think which changes the way we live. It deepens our relationships with our spouses, family and friends. It will make our bodies healthy as every thought we think either sends a positive chemical to our body or a negative chemical, depending on what the thought is.

Our root system will remind us of how deeply we are loved by our heavenly father, how valuable our lives are as we are God’s plan for sharing his Son with the world, and will bring great meaning as we live out of God’s unique plan for us.

How to start? First, read your Bible. Sit down and read an entire book in one setting. Think about how different it feels than to read a chapter here and a verse there. Make a commitment to read your Bible every day for your daily food.

Second, drink from the Living Water of the Spirit. Begin to observe when you sense something stirring in you. Take notes of the ways it happens. Begin to act on those promptings because action will bring more of them. Talk about it to other people. You might be surprised to learn that they also have similar experiences.

Finally, remember that a small seed of faith +God’ power=transformed people and transformed cities. We resemble those we know. The more that we come to know God through Spirit and Truth, the more that we look like he does and we do the things he does.

Jesus told his followers in John 14:12-14: “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. 13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. 14 Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!”

Take this seed and let God plant it in your fertile soil. Then, watch out, things will never be the same!

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