~ Saying the Word ~
Writing letters and commentaries, such as these Weekly Reflections, probably teaches me more than my readers. That's because right now my mind is full of thoughts, and I'm not sure how they all will finally integrate as words on this paper. Expressions such as "Gather your thoughts," "Lost in thought" or "My thoughts are all over the place" hold literal truth. Nothing exists, objects or events, without having first had its basis in thought. The journey of a thousand miles does not begin with the first step, but with a thought!
Like faith, thoughts can be considered the substance of things not yet made visible or not yet manifested in the physical world. Thus, I suggest a strong connection between faith and thought. The Proverbs establish a strong link between thought and being: "As a man thinks in his heart, that he is." (Proverbs 23:7)
Just as light presents in various ways, thoughts also vary in their organization. Normally, light is composed of varying wavelengths (colors) whose nature is to scatter. But laser light has just one wavelength, highly focused and intense. Its beam is one grand synchronicity of light, with tremendous power of both distance and penetration. What, then, is the laser equivalent of thoughts?
Words! Jesus said, "In the day of judgment, all will be accountable for every idle word they speak. By your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned." (Matthew 12:36-37) "If you put the brethren in remembrance of these things, you shall be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and good doctrine, which you have attained." (1 Timothy 4:6) Note that the power of these Scripture verses would not be the same if you substituted "thoughts" for "words." Words have laser power! With words creation came into being. With words Jesus did His miraculous works and declared His followers would do the same and more with the faith of only a mustard seed.
When the words of one resonate in harmony and agreement with those of others in Christ's Name, the power of synchronous words (or prayer) multiplies manifold! "I promise you that God in Heaven will allow whatever you allow on earth, but He will not allow anything you don't allow. I promise that when any two of you on earth agree about something you are praying for, my Father in Heaven will do it for you. Whenever two or three of you come together in my name, I am there with you." (Matthew 18:18-20) "Lord, I'm not worthy that you should come into my house. Just give the word, and my servant will be healed." (Matthew 8:8)
Words are so powerful that Jesus warned against the still prevalent practice of using God's Name in vain, or anyone's name in vain for that matter: "Heaven is God's Throne, so don't swear by Heaven. The earth is God's footstool, so don't swear by the earth. Jerusalem is the city of the great king, so don't swear by it. Don't swear by your own head. You cannot make one hair white or black. Let your communications (words) be only 'Yes' or 'No.' Anything else comes from the devil." (Matthew 5:34-37) Too many people call upon God's Holy Name in obscene condemnation of others. Words, especially emotionally charged ones, have power to heal and create and to damage and destroy.
Most people seem to think the third commandment (Exodus 20:7) prohibits us from using the name of God in vulgar language. True, but this is to be ignorant of what we are really doing when we invoke the name of God in vain or when we end prayers in the name of Jesus Christ. God, of course, has many names, but interestingly there is one that we also use when referring to ourselves every day. God told Moses, "Tell the people of Israel, 'I Am' sent you... This is my name forever." (Exodus 3:14-15) "Jesus told them, 'Truly I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.' Then they picked up stones to throw at him..." (John 8:58-59)
Jesus was careful in His use of the declaration "I am." He declared, "I am the resurrection and the life" (John 11:25) and "I am the Alpha and the Omega" (Revelations 22:13) along with many other "I Ams." But when He hung upon the cross, the best and most accurate translation expressing His thirst was not "I am thirsty" but rather "I thirst." (John 19:28) Jesus' language was spiritually significant. When you use the words "I am," you are describing your nature, your essence. So the declaration, "I am afraid" or "I am powerless" means "My essential nature is fear" or "The essence of my being and nature is powerlessness."
Since we have been made in the image of God, of the "I Am," since we were bought by Him with a great price, since He gave us His Spirit and abides in us, we are careful to not grieve the Holy Spirit and hinder His work through us with idle, thoughtless mutterings of "I am." I, at times, have fear; I may, at times, feel powerless. But I am not fear or powerlessness. I am a "new creation in Christ." I am an "ambassador of His kingdom." I am a "servant of Christ." I am God's child. I am, by the grace, mercy and love of the Father. As people reborn in spirit through Christ Jesus, this is our essence and nature. God wants us to declare and live these truths, otherwise Christ would have died in vain.
One of the most powerful string of words that I can utter is also one of the most pleasing to God: I am totally dependent in all things on my Lord, my God. Deus Meus et Omnia! My God and my all!
Can you possibly imagine what God could and would do with you and through you if you permitted Him to totally consume you, to infuse with His Holy Spirit every fiber of every thought, word, deed and being of yours? "What God has planned for people who love Him is more than eyes have seen or ears have heard. It has never even entered our minds!" (1 Corinthians 2:9)
John S. Hilkevich, Ph.D.
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Weekly Reflections © December 30, 2000
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