Thankful for the Word..

This was actually supposed to be *last* Thursday's Thankful Thursday post.  Occasionally I will have a strong urge to write a particular post, have it practically composed in my mind, but be prevented from actually getting it typed out for a period of time no matter how hard I try.  And then suddenly "It's time."  And I realize at that point that there is a reason God has blocked my posting earlier...because I need to be reflecting on those thoughts *now*.   That is definitely the case with this one.

Last Thursday morning I woke up thinking about this verse...

"For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." 
 Hebrews 4:12

The night before, I had had one of those "take your breath away" moments, when God allows you to see His glory more vividly than usual.  Bro. Kent's sermon the previous Sunday (from John 21:1-14) had been one of those that seemed that it had been written *just for me*.   I had been struggling for direction in a difficult and critical situation...a situation in which it was more obvious than usual that we could not make a decision in our own wisdom...it was crucial that we *know* we were following God's plan and not our own.  I was "chomping at the bit" to move, feeling a completely unsettled need to act.   At the same time, I kept remembering our commitment throughout the whole long situation not to take a single step without definite, unmistakeable guidance.   And as much as my mind was screaming "act", a still, small voice (1 Kings 19:12) was saying, "Be still, and know that I am God."  (Isa. 46:10)

And in the midst of this tug of war between "acting" and "being still", I ended up sitting in the Sunday morning service listening to Bro. Kent preach on "waiting on God in uncertain times". Here are a few tidbits from my notes...

* "What next? Do we keep waiting on God, or do we do something?"   
* Sometimes that is where God puts us..."just waiting", for a long time.
* God calls us to trust Him in uncertain times. 
* When the Lord has given us instructions, to do anything else is sure failure.
* Sometimes God says, "Wait," and if that is what He has told you to do...then WAIT.  Continue to do what you know He wants you to do, even in little ways, and otherwise, just wait. 
* God calls us to trust in Jesus.  Our tendency in difficult times is often to pull back. Don't pull back!  Run to Him.  
* Remain faithful to your prayer life, and don't allow troubling circumstances to take your eyes off of Him.

I was completely overcome, sitting in the pew scribbling notes as fast as I could scribble, with the thought that God's plan in the situation at hand was to work in a way that there was no doubt in anyone's mind that it was "all Him", that it had nothing to do with any wisdom, abilities, or actions on the part of men.  

And so, we waited.  And God acted.  And sure enough, there was no doubt in our minds that it was "all Him".  We were completely blown away at the unexpected turn of events that was obviously entirely orchestrated by God.  

I shared with our pastor what an impact that sermon had had on me, and his reply about God's direction in that sermon instantly brought to mind those words from Hebrews 4:12.  Looking back at the way that God had used His Word so directly, so pointedly, so "relevant-ly" did take my breath away.  I've pondered them at various times in the last week, as I've thought about that sermon and others over the past few years that have been "just exactly what I needed" at that particular time.  To fully understand that, you have to realize that our pastor has been preaching through the book of John on Sunday mornings for almost 4 years.   (I think we are actually within a few sermons of the end.:-))  I was no stranger to the merits of expository preaching prior to Bro. Kent's arrival, but I have been *so* completely amazed at the way God has spoken directly to whatever has been happening in *my* life at that *exact* moment as we have travelled through the book of John.  And I know that that is not only the case for me, but for others as well.  His Word is truly living and active

Today, we find ourselves in *wait* mode again.  You would think, so soon after God had shown His power and glory in an awesome way, the waiting would be easy.  I keep telling myself it should be.  But...I still struggle with contentment in His timing.  I find myself needing the reminder from His Word, and from reflection on His Work in our lives, all over again.   As I was preparing this post and going back through my notes from last week, I came across this article, found during last week's study on "waiting".   It's a long read, but excellent, especially for anyone going through a time of trial or waiting on the Lord.  

God's Word is truly living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword.  I am so thankful this morning for His Word.  I am so thankful for pastors and others who are so faithful to teach and preach the truth of the Word, without apology.  I am so thankful for the stack of Bibles beside me on my desk...in various translations and formats.  I am thankful for websites like BibleGateway, where with a few clicks of a button we can find any verse, or verses on any topic, in a multitude of translations and languages.  I am thankful for an intimate, personal God who cares about every detail of our lives, and who speaks to us directly, through His Word.  I'm thankful for the fact that even this morning as I've been working on this post, He has again, and again, and again, shown the truth of this verse, and given much-needed guidance for the moment at hand and the days ahead.  

For more Thankful Thursdays, please visit Laurie's blog


Denise said...

Such a fantastic post.

Jerralea said...

Great post! God is always on time, even though sometimes it feels as if He is dragging His feet!

I'm so thankful, too, for Bible Gateway and the various translations we have today. So much easier to study -- yet I wonder if people study less than the ones who do not have these resources?

At any rate, I appreciate them.

Serendipity said...

This is a wonderful post! I am thankful for Bible Gateway too and many other resources online.

LAURIE said...

Thank you for sharing so deeply from your heart with us on this TT! Have a wonderful Easter! -Laurie