Monday, 17 October 2011

The Voice of the Lord

Over and over again, the Scriptures confirm to us that what marks our God out as different from the idols is that whilst they “have mouths but cannot speak” (eg Psalm 115:5), His voice is powerful and majestic (Psalm 29:4).

God merely had to speak and the heavens and the earth were created (Genesis 1). Yesterday I was humbled by my 6 year old boy when I pointed out the beautiful colours in the sky to him and said “Look, Harry, God has taken His paintbox out and has painted the sky!” and he replied to me “No, Mummy, God just had to SPEAK to do that!”

Whilst Adam and Eve were able to speak with God freely in the Garden of Eden, the Fall destroyed this relationship. Now evicted from the Garden, sinful man finds it impossible to respond to God.

But “all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27).

For the Son of God speaks, and His words have power:

I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 
(John 5:24-25)

Those of us who have been called heard the very voice of the Son of God speaking to us! And now, as His sheep, we continue to listen to His voice (John 10:27).

God spoke to His people through Isaiah when He promised: “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21) And this promise was fulfilled when He sent His Spirit. “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come (John 16:13).

I was so thankful that the Comforter ministered comfort to me earlier this year. In March, watching the television pictures of the devastating tsunami in Japan, I realised I was watching the effects of God speaking. “He…who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land— the LORD is his name” (Amos 5:8). I was literally laid low by the majestic, powerful voice of the Lord – lying face down on the floor, trembling in awe of Almighty God and the power of His voice, and feeling somewhat fearful in His presence. And the Holy Spirit reminded me that God remains my Heavenly Father, no matter what judgement falls upon the earth, because I approach Him in the Name of His Son. That blessed comfort undid me even more as I contemplated the sheer wonderment of the grace extended to sinners that we can call Almighty God our Heavenly Father!

The Scriptures clearly declare a future time when God will speak powerfully to all people and all nations of the earth. Isaiah 63 tells us that when the Messiah returns to the earth, He will come “speaking in righteousness, mighty to save” on this day of vengeance.  

“The Mighty One, God, the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets. From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth. Our God comes and will not be silent; a fire devours before him, and around him a tempest rages. He summons the heavens above, and the earth, that he may judge his people" 
(Psalm 50:1-4)

This will be a time when all people and all nations of the earth will be silenced, except for the resounding declaration when every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

A Mother's Prayer

I ask not for riches for my little boy;
His poverty – this is my plea;
That poor in his spirit he’d cry out to You;
From all trust in self he would flee.

I ask not that happiness fills all his days,
But fear of his Holy God grows;
That mourning both sin and contempt for Your Name,
Your comfort in Christ he would know.

I ask not that he’d do all he wants to achieve,
But instead would submit to Your will;
And as he learns meekness, You’d teach him Your ways,
In awe of You he would “Be still”.

I ask not that he’d be satisfied with his lot,
But a hunger and thirst he would feel,
And for righteousness’ sake a slave he would be,
Your Spirit in him as Your seal.

I ask not for accolades in his career,
But mercy to others he’d show;
Keen to forgive those who’ve wronged him at all,
His own sins once scarlet - now snow.

I ask not that he’d win the acclaim of his friends,
But Your face alone he would seek;
His conscience now cleansed by the blood of the Lamb
Your truth from his heart he would speak.

I ask not that his life from trouble be free,
But his work be the gospel of peace,
And that deep in his heart his sonship he’d know
So that fear and worry can cease.

O Lord, now I’m trembling - please come, strengthen me,
Voice faltering as I intercede;
Should he be persecuted because of his faith
I pray that Your grace meets our need.

(based on Matthew 5:3-10)