I recently listened to a book about a woman who was run over by a semi-truck. In her story, while not directly about God, it is impossible to miss His behind the scenes presence nonetheless. As I listened to her recounting of her life and healing, I heard all of our vulnerabilities to Him. We were made as such. We were designed utterly frail, no matter how strong we attempt to appear or how we might miss His movements. This world was created for and by Him, and He is simply inescapable for God is good.
God is Good – The Author
Now as a good charismatic Christian, I know our tendency is to believe our way into oblivion. I’ve hurt myself believing in that which I wanted rather than entering into actual Faith. I was like a kid on an Easter egg hunt. I find a pretty scripture and then collect it in my basket, claiming it as my own. Yet there’s a problem with this. It doesn’t work without the Author of the Word, authoring the text in me. I can’t simply apply scriptures at will as if they all are applicable to me. He is the Word, so it is impossible to separate the words from The Life. My faith connection to God’s Word is through hearing it from His mouth and believing in faith what I’ve heard.
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17 NKJV). Notice this doesn’t say, faith comes by reading the Word of God. Faith comes by hearing the rhema Word of God. The “Word of God” found in Romans 10:17 is rhema. And the definition of rhema is: “that which is spoken, a statement, word. Particularly a word as uttered by a living voice.” Yes, God’s Word is living.
The Word That God Speaks
For the Word that God speaks is alive and active; it cuts more keenly than any two-edged sword: it strikes through to the place where soul and spirit meet, to the innermost intimacies of a man’s being: it exposes the very thoughts and motives of a man’s heart.
Hebrews 4:12 Phillips
Life is about relationship with our living God. If anything tempts me towards independence of God, it is not from God. And if I could just live with a brain and a book, then I wouldn’t need God, right? Again, this just makes life an Easter egg hunt, not an intimate encounter with God. To have relationship with God, I need His Person, His Life, and His Voice.
In the face of another possible tragedy, a man told me of his encounter with someone about Irma. Irma had already torn up the islands of the Caribbean and it was appearing that she had Florida in her sights. It was possibly going to be extremely catastrophic. In response to his inquiry about preparations, this happy fellow said, “God is Good!”
God is Good – No Matter What
God is good has become the new mantra. “And if I say it enough maybe I can ward off evil spirits and bad things happening, right?” Here is a reality many don’t wish to embrace: God’s goodness doesn’t translate into my comfort, ease, and steady path. Sometimes God’s goodness might be seen in how He picks up the pieces after a tragedy. Though it chagrins many, the fact remains that just because I am His child, I’m not guaranteed purely smooth sailing.
The fact that God is good is indisputable but His application of goodness has to be connected to His Will and Ways. Goodness might mean something quite different than my hoped-for application. In the story about the woman hit by a truck, God’s goodness was seen in her tragedy and how He cared for her after. This isn’t how we typically see goodness and that is why I must live by His VOICE.
I write this in connection to my last post about delusion and presumption. My call is seeking and finding Him, listening and hearing Him, and inquiring and knowing Him. God wants to make Himself known and relationship with Christ is my destiny. But this requires hearing His Voice, believing His Words, and living in His Life.