authority, discerning the spirits, dreams, experience, fear of the Lord, feeling, God's guidance, God's love, God's voice, inspiration, Jesus Christ, joy, Martin Luther, Michael Clark, pain, prayer, rest, resurrection, spiritual power, suffering, visions
Well, basically, I had a day full of back pains and toothaches, but at the end of that day I dare say, “It was a pretty good day, though…” Originally I wanted to go to bed earlier than usual and I told my family about it one hour ago. As I thought about what to do in the following half hour before going to bed, I would ask God if He had any ideas or what HE wanted to do. At first I reflected on reading a bit… or on making a Sudoku puzzle… or not… however, I began with tidying up our flat as Jesus answered my question. “I want to spend time with you!” Wow! That came across pretty forcefully, even passionately. I immediately knew our Lord had spoken and my heart began to flutter in joyful anticipation.
Indeed, I always wonder when I read other people’s dialogues with God where Jesus appears to be a ‘weakling’ (Sorry for this word, Jesus!) who was in dire need of their help. They put words into His mouth and tell you that He asked them several times about their support in fulfilling His plans. Whenever I read such stuff, it makes me cringe! We truly have a loving and meek-minded Lord, but He is LORD! That means He does not go around begging every believer to do this or to do that for Him. Instead, He is a Commander because He is GOD!
Dear brothers and sisters, I cannot tell you how much I love this fact about Jesus Christ: He has an authority no human being on earth apart from Him has ever had on their own. I love His authority since it makes me feel totally secure. I know I am protected under His wings and I can trust Him to govern this whole universe without needing help from anyone to do so. We should be cautious to not over-emphasize His humanity and to neglect His divinity. He does not think like we do because He is God. And He does not react like we do since He is without sin. He does not reveal His plans to us, only these parts He wants us to know beforehand (aka prophetic insights through dreams or visions that refer to our own life). For all these reasons, I want to caution against letting Jesus ‘speak’ words that sprung from our own imagination and reasoning. If God really speaks (and most of the time He does not use many words), His words have an effect on us that cannot be denied. Whether we shrink back from Him in fear or if our hearts leap with joy, we KNOW when God has spoken. For instance, confer how the people reacted to Jesus’ words after the Sermon on the Mount.
And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes. (Mt 7:28-29 ESV)
I know I wrote about this Scripture before, however, I wanted to share with you, once again, that Martin Luther in the 16th century translated the verb “astonished” with “terrified”. This wording is much more appropriate, I believe, since it describes the very effect of God’s speaking to my heart I have often experienced over the years. It is not a terror that makes you fear man and what he could do to you, instead, it is a fear that shows you that there is only One Who is in Charge. Every other human being and their influence on you is eclipsed when Jesus reveals Himself as being the Christ, the Son of God, who rules with an inviolable authority in heaven and on the earth.
Back on topic. As I was still tidying up, I got some inspiration regarding two or three questions that had been on my mind during the last week. I had asked God to share His wisdom with me since I was pretty insecure about how to deal with several people. God even gave me a revelation of sorts. But not the way I expected, it was much better than this. With all these inspiring thoughts on my mind, I thought I should perhaps boot up the computer again and begin to write in the middle of the night. In fact, my back pains seemed to be almost gone. And the toothaches… not that bad, either. Thank God! 🙂 But Jesus wanted to spend time with me, I pondered, not with me writing on the computer. A silent prayer time was what I was thinking of as I was shaking the carpet on the balcony where countless tiny snowflakes were fluttering down from the dark night sky. Oops! What was this?? Right beneath our flat in the street I could read what you can also see when you look closely at the photo I posted above: “I U” written in the snow before our driveway. I had to laugh out loud. Long-winded speech is something our old nature might be inclined to, but God does not need to prove anything. He is God, a Man of few words, as Michael Clark often says. 😉
Many hours later, after a not so long night’s sleep I awoke with a headache and then some, BUT also in the presence of God. Dear brothers and sisters, by His grace we might experience that it is truly not so much about our circumstances, it is ALL about HIM. We were created to live in God’s Presence 24/7. May God help us to enjoy this heavenly condition, even here during our life on earth. Amen.