Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Because We Can Hear the Unseen

A plane roars low overhead and I crane over kitchen sink to see.

It is gone before I can catch a glimpse, leaving waves of sound washing through my open window as I thunder-scour a cast iron skillet.

And I breath in deep the spring breeze of clover and smile at hearing the echo of Him who has come, and was hidden by cloud, and still speaks though unseen.

I look long across the carpeting green and think of what He's told me, how He transfigured before his disciples, how He is changing me, growing me to be like Him in this world. Everywhere new shoots of life push through seasons pruned off, laying dead, dull.

Sharing a Conversation
(Scriptures follow--words used in the conversation below are emphasized):
From my quiet time on February 18th, 2011

LORD, I hear You saying...

"When I transfigured before Peter, James, and John it was after they had followed me up a high mountain, and we were all alone. Hearing my voice may be terrifying, but I want you to listen to Me. Don't be afraid.
The light that comes from Me makes you recognize who you are and who I AM. That will frighten you, and you may not know what to say. I am not asking you to speak, I am commanding you to listen to Me, don't be afraid.
When you pursue selfish ends, you are defying all sound judgment. I have given you a spirit of self-discipline, a sound mind. Remember that I reached down from on high and took hold of you, and drew you out of deep waters, the words of your mouth. I delivered you from the mighty waters, the lies from the mouths of others. Your words can bring you strife, invite a beating, be your undoing, be a snare to your soul.
So run to Me. I am the Word. You are safe with Me. Humility comes before honor so listen to Me before you answer so you will not be ashamed. It is to my glory that you bear much fruit, and with the fruit I bring from your lips you will be filled and satisfied.
Your words have the power of life and death, and by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned. Remember that the things that come out of your mouth come from your heart, and these are what makes you 'unclean'. "

LORD, hear me saying... whispering...

" I am facedown to the ground, terrified.

I am overwhelmed. You expose me by Your Word, which always accomplishes that which You sent it for...

... Fear paralized me until You came to me and touched me, and said so gently, lovingly, 'don't be afraid.'

I was afraid because I was focusing on myself, but when I looked up, I saw no one but You. Your patient, humble, keeps-no-records-of-wrongs, always persevering, perfect love drives out my fear.
When You lead me to high places, I am terrified by my smallness. When I catch a glimpse of Your dazzling power, my extreme weakness is exposed to my daily self-blinded eyes.
Please help me to not imagine the things of this world, my extreme American middle-class wealth, as an unscalable wall of protection. You are my only Strong Tower.
I do love words, and I know that I will eat their fruit. I want to live for You and speak for You so I will remember You are the One who brought me out of slavery and I will open wide my mouth so that You can fill it with Your words.

I ask that You touch my tongue and take away my great guilt. Here am I, Lord, send me."

Scriptures that inspired the conversation(emphasis mine--NIV):

Mark 9:2-13

2 After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. 4 And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.

5 Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)

7 Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”

8 Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.

9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.10 They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant.

11 And they asked him, “Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”

12 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected?13 But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him.”

Matthew 17

1 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!

6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.

9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

10 The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”

11 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.

Proverbs 18

1 An unfriendly man pursues selfish ends; he defies all sound judgment.

2 Fools find no pleasure in understanding
but delight in airing their own opinions.

3 When wickedness comes, so does contempt,
and with shame comes reproach.

4 The words of the mouth are deep waters,
but the fountain of wisdom is a rushing stream.

5 It is not good to be partial to the wicked
and so deprive the innocent of justice.

6 The lips of fools bring them strife,
and their mouths invite a beating.

7 A fool's mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul.

8 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
they go down to the inmost parts.

9 One who is slack in his work
is brother to one who destroys.

10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe.

11 The wealth of the rich is their fortified city;
they imagine it an unscalable wall.

12 Before a downfall the heart is proud,
humility comes before honor.

13 He who answers before listening—
that is his folly and his shame.

14 The human spirit can endure in sickness,
but a crushed spirit who can bear?

15 The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge,
for the ears of the wise seek it out.

16 A gift opens the way
and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.

17 In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right,
until someone comes forward and cross-examines.

18 Casting the lot settles disputes
and keeps strong opponents apart.

19 A brother wronged is more unyielding than a fortified city;
disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel.

20 From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled;
with the
harvest of their lips they are satisfied.

21 The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.

22 He who finds a wife finds what is good
and receives favor from the LORD.

23 The poor plead for mercy,
but the rich answer harshly.

24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV), (KJV)

7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

7For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Psalm 144:7-8

7 Reach down your hand from on high;
deliver me and rescue me
from the mighty waters,

from the hands of foreigners
8 whose mouths are full of lies,
whose right hands are deceitful.

Matthew 12:37

37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Isaiah 6:1-8

1In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the traina of his robe filled the temple. 2Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”b

4And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.5And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”

6Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

8And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

1 John 4:16-18

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.
~Psalm 81:10

Isaiah 55:11
so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

read more from the conversation series here:

Learning to Dialogue with God

When it is Hard to Spend Time with God

A Much Needed Conversation

1 comment:

Craig said...

I’m here from Ann’s I know it’s Saturday – but I’m playing catch up – there were so many “Thank you” posts to read I didn’t even start reading the Wednesday linky until today.

I heart how you “talk” with Scripture. It’s brilliant!! And all that Scripture as your basis of conversation with God. I don’t do this the same way – but I rarely read Scripture without chatting with him about it. Yay. {smile}

Thank you for this today.

God Bless and keep you and all of yours

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