Saturday, April 2, 2011

We Always Have a Voice...

I love how there is a continual unfolding of God's Word in my life, I have found this unfolding to always be timely, without force or strain, but rather gentle, beautiful and unmistakably... of God.

The unfolding of Your words gives light;
it imparts understanding to the simple.
Psalm 119:130  

This morning the unfolding of God's Word ministered to me as I contemplated the life of John the Baptist.  When John was asked to identify himself he began by stating, "I am a voice...".  I've thought about this many times over the years and yet this morning, God's Word unfolded a new beauty as I thought about what it means to be, "...a voice...".

I began to ponder, before God, whether I still have a voice regarding a specific situation and person in my life.  I quickly began to realize that I will always have a voice in Christ and just as God speaks His Voice in many ways, I am assured that His Voice through me will continue to speak in many ways as well - not being limited by the spoken word.

This is something that I want to reflect more upon and desire to understand more deeply.  God has assured me that He will fight for me during those times that I am to keep silent (Exodus 14:14) and that just as assuredly, there is a time to be silent and there is a time to speak (Ecclesiastes 3:7).  I don't believe that this silence is in any way referring to my voice in Christ, but refers to the actual spoken word.  While verbally silent, my voice in Christ continues to speak in my every thought, my every deed.

Many times our voice expressed in words will not be welcomed... but here is the thing... although God speaks in many ways, it is in the hearing of His Voice that He is truly identified... "My sheep hear my Voice, and I know them and they know me."  There is a hearing that goes beyond listening, a hearing that deepens relationships and leads to deep and intimate knowing of one another.  Our voices identify us to others... if someone does not want to hear another's voice, then they do not truly want to hear or know that person.

It's only when we truly 'hear' another's voice that we come to know that person.  There can be no relationship when someone refuses to truly hear the voice of another, our voices identify who we are, by refusing the voice, we are refusing the person.  Many refused to listen to the Voice of Jesus, Who was and is God's Word to us,  yet in His 'always and only doing those things that were pleasing to the Father', He spoke.  His obedience spoke as He offered Himself upon the cross, His love spoke as He asked the Father to forgive mankind, His mercy spoke as His blood was shed and He drew His last breath, and He continues to speak today... but there is no intimacy, there is no relationship, until we truly listen and truly receive the one Who speaks.

Jesus, when on the cross, spoke not only to the thief who responded in faith to Him, by using the spoken Word - the entirety of Who He was also spoke to those who mocked and hurled insults at Him - then He used His spoken word to address the Father concerning them... and asked Him to forgive.

In Jesus, we will always have a voice,
a voice that is intended to build and not tear down,
a voice that is intended to restore and not separate,
a voice that is intended to heal and not wound,
a voice that invites intimacy and understanding,
a voice that always speaks in love.

There may be some who do not want to hear our voice ... but in Christ we will always have a voice... it is not limited to the spoken word alone, but continually speaks in all that we do, in all that we think, in all that we are.

"I am a voice..."

  The unfolding of Your words gives light;
it imparts understanding to the simple.
Psalm 119:130  


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