Tuesday, June 23, 2009

With who's voice do you speak?

Last night was our first night of prayer for Genesis and the Tacketts. There were eight people and God. It was good. And a few things were revealed that night. Some to me, some to Lewis. For Lewis, the power of prayer in his life and in the life of his future pastor came to a new light and he felt compelled to do something about it. I smiled at the man of God I saw in him last night. And while Lewis was talking about God doing something, although he did not know what, God was whispering in my ear and showing me a glimpse at what the end result will look like in both Lewis and CT's lives. I'm pretty sure I giggled.

For me, it was something different. Yes, the power of prayer, but also the voice with which we as Christians speak. We can speak with our voice and things get accomplished. But Psalm 29 talks about the voice of God and all that it can accomplish.

3 The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the LORD thunders over the mighty waters.

4 The voice of the LORD is powerful;
the voice of the LORD is majestic.

5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;
the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.

6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
Sirion like a young wild ox.

7 The voice of the LORD strikes
with flashes of lightning.

8 The voice of the LORD shakes the desert;
the LORD shakes the Desert of Kadesh.

9 The voice of the LORD twists the oaks
and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, "Glory!"

All this is accomplished simply by His voice! What a voice it is! What could we accomplish if we spoke with the voice of God? Meaning, how would lives, our own and of those around us, change if we spoke only what God told us to speak and then speak it with the power and authority that He has given us? How would our own lives change if we listened for the voice of God before we listened for the voice of Oprah or Dr. Phil to tell us how to live? There is a truth in the voice of God that is unparalleled!

Last night I prayed for Genesis, Craig, Brittany, and Tyler. I prayed for the people in the room with me, I prayed for people that were not there, and I prayed for myself. I prayed that I would be able to see the truth in the people around me, that I would be able to see truth like a shining light and run from any darkness. I have recently been fighting against a disillusionment that I had with a few different pastors to whom I listen. It bothered me for a while that what they were saying was not original, that it came from some other pastor. I think it bothered me most because they seemed to own what they were saying to such an extent that I hadn't even thought for a second where they learned it. But God reminded me that there is nothing new under the sun and just because they didn't personally think up these good things, that does not devalue what they were saying. The voice with which they spoke was so powerful, I didn't even stop to think where the information came from, only that it was right. Part of that scares me and prompted me to pray to see truth. The wool has been pulled over my eyes in the past and I have no desire to reenact that scene. God has given me a lot of discernment over the years, but I know I need to be closer to Him, to be engulfed in Him.

Here's a song that's been speaking to me a lot lately:

Burn Us Up
by Shane & Shane

There were three
Before the king
There were three who wouldn’t bow to him
For when you heard
The music play
And you were standing you would burn.
They looked at him and said…

Burn us up! Burn us up! Burn us up!
Oh king won’t you burn us in the furnace of
Your desire
We give up! We give up! We give up!
Oh king won’t you burn us in the furnace of
Your desire!
Won’t you throw us in the fire!

The king enraged
At what they said
Sent the three away to find their death
The palace stopped in unbelief
When the guilty raised their hands to sing
They looked at him and said…

You are able to deliver from the fire of affliction
It’s the declaration of my Lord
You’re not an image of gold
You’re the God of old
You have made us
Come and save us
We are Yours
But even if You don’t, we will burn!


Sam and Shelley said...

What an inspiring post this morning. It is such a privilege to see what God is doing in peoples' lives as they give themselves over to Him and to His service! God is raising up prayer warriors who understand the impact, power and meaning of prayer as a part of His plan.

I understand the battle with disillusionment over the originality (or lack thereof) of material that you hear others preach. I think there is a fine line between allowing the sermons, research, writing of others to inspire one versus purely lifting someone else's work and using it oneself simply because one is too lazy to put in the study time to develop a sermon or lesson. With that said though, your point about us focusing more on the Lord's words rather than on the perceived words of man is extremely valid. Ultimately, all that really matters is what does He say. Those of us who have a part in exhorting or encouraging others are blessed to have a part to play in His unfolding plan.

Great post!!

Brian said...

Interesting. If you hear one of my messages, it'll reflect what I have been taking in over the past week or two. So Driscoll will definitely be present. Sometimes CT. Occasionally Chandler. And, of course, the word studies or commentaries I've used for prep. Our general disclaimer to our folks is always the same: check what's been said against the Word of God and, if there are disagreements, go with God's Word over what was preached.

I actively recommend Driscoll to our folks, knowing that they will hear common themes and even phrasing. I don't mind. I'm not there to impress them with how I say something. I'm there to help them hear and understand God's Word in a way that transforms them. I don't use notes when preaching (other than the powerpoint/program outline), so what I've taken in comes out in much the same way.

Now, if I were to claim it all as my own with no outside input (an arrogant and foolish claim, of course), that would be deceptive and wrong. But our folks know that, in the end, the ultimate source is Jesus. And I'm pretty good with that.