Consider: The Word of the Lord

29 07 2010

Part 4 of “Consider This”

“You of this generation, consider
the word of the LORD…”
(Jeremiah 2:31 NIV)

My first Bible had a bright red cover; it was thick and heavy, both in weight and content. I didn’t really read it; I just looked at it.  I liked the small letters and the tidy columns; I liked the way it sounded when I turned the onionskin pages. There was a feel about it, like it was important, but I didn’t know what to do with it.

This is how it was for many years. Even when I was old enough to understand what the words meant; even when I could find my way around a Bible, I didn’t love it. I loved God, and I lugged around His book, but I could put it down.

Something changed; the word I would put to it is “want.”  I suddenly wanted something from that book. I began to look at my Bible as something to be unlocked. I took out some paper; just plain lined paper. I read a verse and decided to talk about it and ask questions of it and write down my prayer related to it. I didn’t exactly address it to anyone but I could see that a conversation had begun between God’s Spirit and mine, and this began to change my mind about the Bible, and it began to change me.

Many years have passed now, and that conversation continues. I can’t explain it but there is something about the pen hitting the page (or my fingers hitting the keyboard) that opens up something in me and allows God to speak to me through His Word, the Bible, which I have come to love.

I never know what I am going to get when I read a verse or a page of verses. Sometimes I think, “There is nothing here for me today,” and something in me responds, “don’t give up so easily.” So I press in and I ask and I think and I pray; I am curious enough (desperate some days) to see how God will show up in places I can’t see Him and then suddenly, there He is; there is the lesson; there is what He wants me to hear.

A lot of people hate writing and the good thing about this whole “exercise” is that it isn’t about the writing, the sentence structure, the perfect paragraph with the beginning, middle and end. It is about what is happening, what is going in to your heart and what is coming out of your thoughts. It is about seeing the thing you didn’t see before, and that only happens when we slow down and write down what we are thinking about.

The precedent for this is all over the Bible:

  • As God was passing instructions down to Moses He said, “write these words down.” (Exodus 34:27, 43:11)
  • God told Habakkuk to write down the revelation he was receiving (Habakkuk 2:2)
  • God told John, when He was describing everything that was to come, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:5)

Of course, the biggest example is the Bible itself. It is the written down interaction between man and God in 66 books that we wouldn’t have if God had not nudged people to write it down.

I have a collection of pages now, my pen hitting the paper, the zig-zagging plot of my life companioned by God’s words. The word of the Lord has met me, guided me, saved me, stopped me, affirmed me, chastened me, warned me, and envisioned me “for the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

I want to paint a realistic picture for those who might read these words.

  • I do not rise at 4 and find an aesthetically pleasing corner to meditate and contemplate life and the meaning of it (although this sounds nice).
  • I almost always sit down in the morning at some point (because the rest of the day is crazy) and sometimes I don’t. I try to be disciplined about it, but I am not always.
  • I usually follow a reading guide (because I like to be forced to look at books/verses I might not naturally choose to read and I love that God knows that I am going to be reading it and has already planned something for me).
  • I ramble.
  • I have the messiest handwriting on the planet.
  • I don’t always finish my sentences.
  • On some pages in my journal (looking back) I sound like a real idiot. So what. That’s the whole point of the exercise, to see this and to let God lead me to a better way.

Sometimes my times with God’s word is brief and to the point. Sometimes they are long and rambling. Sometimes what I end up with is really beautiful. Often what I end up with makes me realize how much work God has on His hands.

God calls this generation to consider the word of the Lord mostly because the word of the Lord considers us and shows us what we cannot see about ourselves. The word of the Lord is also the way we understand the will of the Lord. God’s word points to what matters to God in every situation and gives us half a chance of actually becoming a little bit of what Jesus desired when He prayed, “your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6).

We so often say, “what does God want?!?!” I picture God saying, “I already told you!”

Consider the word of the Lord.

— Teresa Klassen

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