May 7, 2012

Being a messenger

Last week, the Lord taught me practical lessons about myself and my difficulties with downsizing some areas in our house. Yesterday, the topic set months ago for my family Bible school class was simplicity — with a probe into why we allow our lives to get so complicated. I shared with the women what God had taught me.
This is a biblical principle for everyone. Before the Lord can use us to serve Him, we must have an encounter with Him ourselves. Then He uses what happens in secret to bless others. Consider this example.
The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon (Luke 24:34)… So those who received his (Simon Peter’s) word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. (Acts 2:41)
The author of today’s devotional says that if Christians want to speak for Jesus, they must first go to Jesus for their message. He adds that “much breath falls powerless on every side because it has not been inhaled in the sanctuary” and too often “we run without being sent and speak before God has spoken to us.” 

This can be reversed only when I am willing to do two things. One is first going to Jesus, spending time with Him and hearing Him speak to me about the issues and problems in my life. This is not as easy as it sound. How often do people go to friends, counselors, anywhere but to Jesus Christ for answers. But, if He is not my source, my words will not come from Him.

Second, I have to be willing to share what He shows me. Sometimes that is easy, but not always. When I learn a new lesson that seems so elementary that I should have learned it years ago, sharing it makes me feel like a ninny. Yet many believers seldom talk about what they are learning. When they experience transparency in someone else, they are more willing to share.

Is this important? Can’t we follow Jesus and grow in our faith without talking about it? Some seem to think so, but there is a quality about saying it aloud that cements the truths of God more fully in our lives. The Bible even says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Romans 10:9–10). For that reason, all Christians need to talk about their faith. Besides helping others, God uses our own words to affirm what we believe in our own hearts.

God, I never cease to be amazed at how You line up what You are teaching me with life’s circumstances. Not only did You teach me what You wanted me to share with others, You also lined up this devotional reading for today, affirming that any trauma associated with transparency is nothing compared to how You can use it in the lives of others. For me, it was not difficult to tell others what You are teaching me because I was so excited about it and about being set free from my problems. However, I know that opening my heart is not always that easy. Thank You for reminding me that the time I spend with You is important, not just for my spiritual health but to give me truth that I can pass on to others.

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