Our world is noisy.
It is loud in its declarations and proud in its boasting, so sure in its blaming, so seemingly gentle in its whisperings.
It doesn’t matter what the topic is, acceptance of others, acceptance of self, fight for right or gentle murmurings of apathy….. It is constant in its babbling.
It jostles and shoves others out of the way in the fight for the microphone, for centrestage.
Words working their way into unguarded minds, penetrating deep and unfiltered to the depths of hearts.
Mouths quick to speak and minds ears and hearts so unguarded in their listening. Tuning in occasionally and latching onto the cries for ‘peace’, ‘hope’, even ‘reform’ that spill out from our podcasts, televisions and newspapers. Nodding in assent when our distracted ears pick up familiar language.
Words spoken with such boldness and received with so little attention. Spoken with intention, meaning and purpose, these words flood our world, and we go through our days inundated with the thoughts and opinions of others.
I love words. I believe wholeheartedly in their power. I believe in the power of words to transform and shape life, in their ability to renew and strengthen, and I know their power to devastate and inflict pain.
Even now I’m writing, and I write for purpose:
The forming of thoughts to words
My heart on a page, on a screen
Spirit joining head and heart, back to head, and spilling out into written surrender, vulnerability, release.
Release, focus and articulation
Writing is reassembling and reforming, recreating
A meagre offering to be used, shared, cherished, discussed, refashioned and remolded.
Telling of a story
Writing is a stream of consciousness, a spirit inspired letter of the heart, a thought, a list, a plea, a moment in time, a commitment, a testament an invitation, a gift to be shared, an experience to be enjoyed and given, a uniting of hearts and minds from writer to reader, delight and exploration of words and structure, a tumbling and spilling out, an overflow of heart and mind.
I believe in words. I believe in their power.
I believe wholeheartedly as Christians that we are a people of The Word.
The Word of the Lord which came to his people through the inspiration of his Spirit, through the writers and prophets of Scripture. The Word of the Lord which came to his people as Incarnate Son of God, Christ, the Word of God, clothed in human flesh. The very word of God spoken by the very Word of God. As our ears endure the barrage of this noisy world, with its many words, Jesus assures us that as his sheep, we hear His voice, the voice of our loving Shepherd guiding us, speaking to us.
These are the purposes of the Lord’s words:
The revelation of His character, his heart.
His word as perfect representation of who He is
Self disclosure of our Heavenly Father to us his children
Self disclosure without weakness, without self deception, without malice
Self disclosure with full purpose and intent
To reveal all glory and honour and power belong to Him alone
To reveal that He alone is the Creator of all, fully sufficient in Himself and all else is created and dependent on Him.
As the defender of our hearts, the revealing of ourselves and the hope of our souls
To be pure truth, and sweet taste to our broken hearts
To be the convictor of our disbelief
To be the light to expose the darkness of our sin
Our delight and joy; our hope and wonder; our conviction and our commands.
“so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”Isaiah 55v11
There are so many voices, words spoken, muttered, heard and half heard in our days. It can be overwhelming and cause us to tune out, turn off the news, switch the podcast when we don’t hear something we like, tune in and out as we please. Our listening impacts our speaking. So we cut off one another in sentences in our jostling and fight for the microphone and we incessantly make our speeches to prove our points. Our mouths speak from the abundance of our hearts. Or maybe we parrot and mimick, take in words and speak them straight back, unfiltered, unprocessed, with no time to chew and ponder and question.
The world is a noisy and loud place. It jostles and fights for that centrestage platform, bellowing messages into the microphone.
But we are a people of The Word.
God has created and intended our lives for fellowship, for relationship, full of speech and rich in words. Our words are for the building of relationship with God and one another, not for a time to shine on stage. He gives us his Word to be savoured, enjoyed, received and spoken, whispered, sung, and proclaimed. The Word of God passed on through the generations, accomplishing its purpose of bringing hearts to repentance and new life in Him, accomplishing its purpose of revealing the Saviour of the World, accomplishing its purpose of all glory honour and power given to the Lord our God.
Rippling effects, always running through the onslaught of the noise of the world around, holding fast, breaking through, triumphing over every lie and false claim, every hopeless cry and transient message of the day, breaking down every opposition, scooping up and bearing repentant, broken hearts, giving the people of God new hearts, new language to be spoken, new words of life proclaimed. It does not need to jostle, its truths are steadfast. It does not need to fight, it is already victorious. It does not need to contend, for the Lord who speaks his Word will always accomplish his purpose.
While shallow substitutes flood the language of our world, while written words of empty vain ‘promises’ line our bookshelves, and speak to us from our television screens, let us speak a better language. Let’s gift the world with the Word of God. The Word which God has called us not to mindlessly receive and parrot back, but to savour, pray, chew over, to ingest so that it fills and fuels all we do. The Word which we thoughtfully, attentively take in and allow to flood every part of us, embed deep within our hearts and build up a treasure trove of precious promises there, so that the word is truly near to us, to our lips and hearts.
We are a people of the Word. So let us speak, for God’s Word will always triumph and fulfill its purpose.
There are many words in the name of peace, but the Prince of Peace has come, clothed himself in human flesh. The Word of God, the Word Incarnate has come to reign in true Peace between God and man.
There are many words in the name of comfort. Advice about relationship choice, magazines about home decor, podcasts on personal style and image, programmes and magazines proclaiming food is our comfort. But we have the one true Comforter, the Holy Spirit, who accompanies God’s word to pierce the darkness of our hearts and bring light and revelation of the knowledge of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
There is an onslaught of words offering advice and guidance, through TED talks, steps to success conferences, youtube motivational channels, but there’s only one true Lord, Soveriegn of all, our God and Father who alone is Creator, who alone knows our hearts, plans our ways and steps and whose paths are always steadfast love and faithfulness.
His mercy, grace and power go before us, his goodness follows us and love embraces us every moment of the day as we navigate our way through this loud, outspoken, noisy and desperately weak and needy world.
The world is crying out. We hear voices on all sides, words refashioned, reformed, misunderstood and misapplied.
But we have a Shepherd who promises his sheep will hear his voice.
We have heard it straight from his lips, the Word Incarnate.
The world is a noisy barrage of shallow fighting substitutes. Voices come and go with the seasons. The grass withers and the flowers fall but the word of the Lord endures forever.
We are a people of The Word.