13
Jun
09

The Word of God is alive

I’ll just start out the long lists of blog entries that are dying to get out in cyberspace by writing about a wonderful discovery that I made while I was in Nigeria teaching about who we as children of God are in Christ. God spoke to my friend Tim and I about this trip and we decided to go with the flow (read: the Holy Spirit’s guidance) and teach in a for us completely new, daring and different way. We canned any manuscript, teaching manual, power points and other multimedia tools and decided to face a week of teaching about who we are in Christ, grace, mercy, freedom and abundant life in Christ and security of salvation only armed with a few diagrams to explain some truths, what God has revealed to us as individuals and the Bible. 

I have never taught so “unstructured” before, and yet there was a wonderful structure and flow provided by the Holy Spirit. I would go up and teach and share, and at some point I would feel like I was running out of steam. I would look at Tim, sit down, and even though I would have no clue where he would be leading the group. I would feel confident and trust that God was in complete control of the teaching week. And he was. And he did answer our heart cry for him to reveal himself. We desperately need more revelation of who he is, and when we see more of who he really is, we also see more of who we are. And as these wonderful quotes show it also goes the other way around:

“There is only one problem on which all my existence, my peace, and my happiness depend: to discover myself in discovering God. If I find Him, I will find myself and if I find my true self, I will find Him” (Thomas Merton)

“There is no deep knowing of God without a deep knowing of self and no deep knowing of self without a deep knowing of God” (John Calvin)

“Grant, Lord, that I may know myself that I may know you” (Saint Augustine)

And God revealed both. He revealed more about who we are, and he revealed more about who he is. And he did the vast majority of the revealing through his Word. Through the Bible. Through the most sold book in the history of mankind. Through verses that many of us had read many times before. Through establishing connections between Bible verses that I had never seen before. Through showing that His Word is still alive!

Hebrews 4:12 teaches us that: “the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword“. I knew that verse before my trip to Nigeria. I have seen that be true before. But never as intense and real as during this time of teaching in Africa. It was truly amazing to see God open the spiritual eyes and ears of us all through the Scriptures. All Tim and I did was sharing what God had reminded us to share, and God used that to reveal himself, because we were speaking his word. Jesus said that we will “know the truth, and the truth will set us free” (John 8:31), and I saw that happen in front of my very eyes. I saw the truth, who is Jesus (John 14:6), set people free.

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One of the Pastors said this at the end of the week: “I have been wearing a mask trying to show people that I was perfect, but on the inside I was always afraid of failure. Now I’ve seen that I don’t have to and don’t want to wear a mask. I’m free to be me. This week has become a new life for me. A whole new life for me personally, for my marriage, for my ministry”,

another Pastor added: “I have seen that God loves me. No matter if I look strong or weak, God loves me just the way I am. Unmasking the mask is the power of effective witness. I experienced an explosion of joy yesterday. I have been trying to fix my life, fix my wife, and fix my children. Now I am a changed person” 

and a third person said this: “I have been reading the Bible for more than 60 years, but I have gotten more revelation this week than ever in the past. I now know who I am in Christ and I can read the Scriptures with confidence.”

The Word is truly alive! It’s real. It’s changing lives of people today! I am so thankful that God expanded my faith in the fact that his Word is alive. It’s not about fancy new techniques, programs, flyers, books, new technology or anything like that. It’s about who God is and how he reveals himself and the truth about who we are through his Word. We simply need to know that we know that we know that we know that we know that we are loved just the way we are, not the way we could/should/will be. We need to see that God doesn’t love us in spite of our weaknesses, but in light of our weaknesses. And we need a Rock to build our lives on that doesn’t move. And the only Rock that will not move is Jesus Christ and the revelations about him in the Bible. 

All glory to the living God who is alive and working yesterday, today and forevermore!

Blessings, Torben

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