Thursday, July 30, 2009

Words of Life and Power

"If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it. -Anais Nin (French writer)
I've liked this quote for sometime, now. It also explains why I haven't had a lot to say, lately. While it is true: "writers write," I don't think every thought which comes to my head should be inflicted upon the public at large!

I've done a great deal of talking to God (and some listening, too), through my experiences at youth camp as an adult sponsor, where I was blessed to lead our student's quiet time, as well as on the Galveston Mission Trip for which I had the distinct privilege of writing the daily quiet time devotionals for our group. Both of these opportunities fueled and exercised my passion for helping people spend time in the Word of God.

Maybe that's why the quote up top resonates with my heart. Hebrews 4:12 says,"The word of God is alive and powerful." Only something alive can breathe, cry out or sing, and Scripture does all of these when exposed to a heart and mind that are open to its influence. And certainly our culture has need for all that the Word breathes, all that it cries out to us and sings to our hurting or joyful hearts.

Sometimes I catch myself reading more words about the Bible than the words of the Bible itself. And that's where I miss out on its life-giving attributes. God can use all the words of other writers to enhance my understanding of Scripture, but they don't contain nearly the same power as his words do. Paul tells us the Word is our weapon against Satan and his schemes (Ephesians 6:11,17). By leaning on the words of mortal men and women, I'm merely using a "frog sticker" (as my father-in-law calls his pocket knife) instead of a double-edged sword.

Lest I be guilty of causing you to miss His words for my own, I leave these passages from Psalm 119:89-96 to bless and empower you:

Your eternal word, O Lord, stands firm in heaven. Your faithfulness extends to every generation, as enduring as the earth you created. Your regulations remain true to this day, for everything serves your plans. If your instructions hadn’t sustained me with joy, I would have died in my misery. I will never forget your commandments, for by them you give me life. I am yours; rescue me! For I have worked hard at obeying your commandments. Though the wicked hide along the way to kill me, I will quietly keep my mind on your laws. Even perfection has its limits, but your commands have no limit.

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