SPIRITUAL LIFE | GOD IS SPEAKING
CADET JENNIFER IVANY reflects on how the Lord speaks: in Scripture, and to us today….
When you look at these paintings in front of you, what do you see? At a quick glance, as you would an inkblot test, what do you see?
Hold on to that ‘quick’ analysis of the picture you chose and we will come back to that.
Now let’s take a look at a handful of Scripture verses and try to pay attention to a common thread that runs through them:
“2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”4 When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.“
1 Kings 19:11-12
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
9 The LORD said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you.” Then Moses told the LORD what the people had said.
28 Then the LORD opened the donkey’s mouth, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”
29 Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.” 30 The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?” “No,” he said.
31 Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.”
2 Samuel 23:2
2 “The Spirit of the LORD spoke through me; his word was on my tongue.”
3”As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” 5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
5 “I spoke once, but I have no answer—twice, but I will say no more.”
6 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:
7 “Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.”
After reading all of those ‘chunks’ of Scripture, do you see something that they all have in common? Or do they have no correlation to one another?
If you really pay attention while reading those verses you will see that the common thread that runs through each one is that the Lord speaks. Not only does the Lord speak, the Lord chooses to speak in a variety of ways. The Lord chooses to speak through His creation, many different aspects of His creation. The Lord speaks through fire, through the wind, through an animal, through a person, through a cloud; and these are only the few that I chose to focus on.
So, what does this say to you about the world around us?
I hope this says to you that God chooses to speak to us through the world around us. We need to be paying attention to our surroundings. We need to have eyes to SEE, and ears to HEAR the Lord of Lords in all of His creation. We need to have ears to be attentive to His voice. In everyday situations, God is speaking. The question for us today is; are we paying attention?
Now let’s come back and take a look at the paintings again. Remember that ‘quick’ glance interpretation you had at the beginning for these paintings? Forget those interpretations, and look at them again. Is it possible that if paintings are among the theme of things created, that the Lord may choose to speak into a certain situation in your life through the artist’s expression on canvas? Take a look out of a window in your house. Is it possible that God may choose to speak to you through the people on the street, or even through the trees in the yard? If so, I suggest we pay attention.
The challenge for you is to look at ‘things’ in a new way. Let your eyes and your ears work in correlation. Notice the Lord speaking and most importantly, listen.
Essay by Cadet Jennifer Ivany. Jennifer and her husband Joshua are cadets in training at CFOT. They are the parents of two sons, Aiden and Liam.