Ephesians 6:17; Gazing at God through His word and entering the divine conversation.
Tuesday May 24, 2022
The spiritual life can be analyzed or enjoyed, but not both at the same moment. Its ultimate design is to be enjoyed.
The spiritual life is enjoyed when it is lived in real time with real experience of God Himself. However, we rightly enter Bible class and analyze it and read our Bible’s and contemplate it, and we have to so that we ensure that we are not fooling ourselves and enjoying (or trying to enjoy) something false, which is what the devil wants us to do. But through our analysis of the word of God under the teaching ministry, the tutelage, of the Holy Spirit, we sharpen the sword of the Spirit, so to speak, and we cut through the falsehood that would have us living outside of communion with God while thinking we should be satisfied.
Therefore be careful [look carefully all around] how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,
The power of the word of God is displayed to us in many ways. Its purity, righteousness, and holiness are striking. The way in which it states supernatural things plainly, and as a matter of fact, forces one to think that it is either nonsense or the very revelation from God. Its poetry is the best in the world. Its narratives are inspiring while at the same time displaying the ugliness and weakness of God’s people, even God’s heroes. Its prose in the New Testament letters reveal the kingdom of God, bring salvation to all men, and set free the downtrodden, the poor, the slaves, and all others who feel stuck in an unjust and evil world – and this makes us cheer for the poor in heart and marvel at our own deliverance. Its commands to holiness are as pure as heaven itself. No group of people trying to make a religion for others to follow would ever write anything like it.
Thy testimonies are wonderful;
Therefore my soul observes [natsar – keeps] them.
We would find several verses in this long and wonderful psalm where the writer analyzes or contemplates the testimonies and words of God, but it is vital that he observes them. Then, looking upon God as He reveals Himself to you personally, you have only begun. You must enter into the continual conversation that God is always having. In other words, we see God and then talk to God through faith, application of His word to life, prayer, and worship of Him. God looks at us, gives us His word, we gaze at Him, seeing Him because we have died and have risen, and we cannot remain silent in that moment. We must speak, and what we speak is a part of the continual divine conversation.
And yet also, we read that the word of God made the universe. God spoke His word and the worlds were made.
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
And by the breath of His mouth all their host.
Heb 11:3 says, “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”
So wonderful is God’s word that even the best of us often fail to fully comprehend it, but God is faithful to keep instructing us through His presence.
"Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know."
All throughout the Law God tells Israel to listen to His voice and do all that He commanded them.
Listen to His voice – our study of His word and all of our experience with Him (if we have ears to hear).
give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God
you shall perish; because you would not listen to the voice of the Lord your God.
walk in His ways and keep His statutes, His commandments and His ordinances, and listen to His voice.”
When by faith we look into God’s word and therefore into God Himself, we’re becoming participants in God’s speech or voice. God’s word goes forth into creation, falls upon our own soul, and we see God in it – but we are not done there. We repeat this revelation back to God in faith, in application, and in prayer. We are becoming willing participants in God speaking to God, living in that wonderful, divine loop.
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Neither are your ways My ways," declares the Lord.
9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
10 "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth,
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
11 So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
The word goes forth, enters you, and you in turn repeat it back to God through application, prayer, and worship. We became a part of the continual divine conversation.
This may be the reason why we are told that we do not pray as we should, but the Holy Spirit intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. We’ve entered the divine conversation, but our grasp of the divine language is at a preschool level at best.
Then why doesn’t every person experience full lives of exceeding joy? Go back a stanza:
Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the Lord,
And He will have compassion on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.
And then jump forward to the result. The believer gazes at the word through faith and then repeats it back to God and he or she enters into the divine conversation, and …
"For you will go out with joy,
And be led forth with peace;
The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you,
And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
13 "Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up;
And instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up;
And it will be a memorial to the Lord,
For an everlasting sign which will not be cut off."
In Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, He asked: “Father, I desire that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am, in order that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me” (Joh 17:24);
Listening to the voice of God is not only possible in Bible class or when you are reading your Bible, but it cannot be heard without biblical instruction. God speaks to us as we walk through life, as we succeed in executing His will and even when we fail; when we pray and when we meditate upon Him. I think it’s safe to say that God’s voice, like His omnipresence, is always everywhere, if we have ears to hear (not pantheism – if you hug a tree you are not hugging God).