Speaking for God

“We speak where the Bible speaks, and are silent where the Bible is silent.” ~ unofficial motto of (most) churches of Christ.

“Lord, fill my mouth with worthwhile stuff – and nudge me when I’ve said enough!” ~ prayer of the probably mythical old preacher

“If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.” ~ 1 Peter 4:11a

Isn’t this one of the heaviest burdens carried by those who truly desire to speak for the Lord? Whether preaching, teaching, writing a blog, or just conversing about matters religious with a friend?

How do we know when we’ve stopped speaking for Him and started rattling off our own perceptions about what He’s said?

Isn’t it pretty important to stick to what He’s said?

And after all, aren’t there plenty of powerful speakers with advanced degrees in biblical studies who don’t agree on what He’s said?

I wonder from time to time if this doubt isn’t one of the most powerful tools Satan has in shutting us up about the Savior. I wonder if it’s one of the un-discussed root causes for preacher burnout and parishoner abandonment of evangelism.

I wonder if we’ve made the gospel more complex than it is.

Would you like to know what gives me hope when I try to write or speak on the Lord’s behalf – however imperfectly, humbly, and haltingly?

“Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, ‘Jesus be cursed,’ and no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.” ~ 1 Corinthians 12:3

“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: ‘Rulers and elders of the people!'” ~ Acts 4:8

” … for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” ~ Matthew 10:20

The Spirit of our Father speaks through us. We just leave it to Him. It happened just as Jesus described it to His followers. And Paul writes to Corinth that it still works that way. It’s a simple message (“Jesus is Lord!”), delivered in a simple manner, through simple people like you and me. No advanced degrees required; just the Holy Spirit speaking through us.

And all we need do is ask for His help.

“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” ~ Luke 11:13

You can even ask for that help to be given to others:

“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” ~ Ephesians 1:17

“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” ~ Colossians 1:9

I have resolved to take a new approach when disagreeing with others about scripture, or when trying to argue toward a common understanding of God’s message, or whenever I feel compelled to speak for God. I’ve resolved to pray for the Holy Spirit’s discernment for all parties involved, including (especially!) myself.

I can be as opinionated and pig-headed and closed-minded as anyone else I know. I need to be more open-minded … no; not so much that my brains fall out, but so much that His Spirit can fall upon me. I need to make room for God’s understanding, even if it pushes my understanding out through my nose and ears.

So I’m asking you to pray the same thing for me.

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8 thoughts on “Speaking for God

  1. Keith, it sometimes brings me close to weeping, when I see someone such as yourself, who I have no doubt believes in the Lord God, and his son Jesus Christ, post so well, then sometimes miss the truth so far as you sometimes do. And I do pray for you to be able to see the truth as it is written.

    (“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” ~ Luke 11:13

    “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” ~ Ephesians 1:17

    “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” ~ Colossians 1:9)

    I have no doubt if I were to ask you what this “holy spirit” is, your answer would be the third “person” of the trinity, who indwells the Christian body. Lets examine what this “holy spirit” is referring to in scripture.

    Isa 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

    Jhn 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, [even] the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

    1Jo 4:6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

    Jhn 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

    No Keith, this “comforter” which God sends is ” enlightenment” the truth, spiritual wisdom and understanding. Ask and you shall recieve, if we were indwelled by an all knowing person, we would never need to ask. And I do pray for those who believe in things that are not possiable. God bless.

  2. Just wanted to say that I love what Paul has to say about speaking for God in II Cor. 4. First, he clarifies that their message is from God, as he said that God, who made light shine in the darkness, “made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to slow that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

    He goes on talking briefly about some of the difficulties he’s faced in his ministry, then he quotes from a Psalm in which the psalmist asks for God’s protection and claims, “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Paul says he speaks from that same spirit of faith.

    So, Keith, along with your question of do we have the faith to pray for His Spirit to grant us the wisdom to speak for Him, the question that haunts me is more along the lines of do we have the faith to believe that He hears us when we are speaking for Him, protecting us as He is also providing us with His wisdom?

    That might help eliminate some doubt as well.

  3. Keith, have you ever sat down and thought about faith, what it is, and in who and what your faith resides. does the word of God ever enter into that thought? I have spoken with many people when ask where their faith lies, answer with Jesus Christ.
    People make that statement many times not knowing who Jesus Christ was.

    Jhn 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

    Hbr 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

    Jesus for all intense and purpose was the “word of God” does that make him God, no more than the written word is God.They are both representatives of the same God.
    Whether we know it or not, when we say our faith is in Jesus, we are saying our faith is in the word of God. The man Jesus was not with God when the worlds were created, but the word was, the word is eternal, not the messenger .

  4. Laymond, we’ve hashed this out before. Clearly, you’re trying to bait me and I’m just not willing to bite.

    I believe that any time someone reasons within himself – armed with only some scripture but unwilling to accept other scripture – and concludes that God can’t do or be this-or-that; no longer does or is this-or-that … that person is treading dangerous theological ground. You believe differently.

    What’s to discuss?

  5. Pingback: Speaking on God’s Behalf « Christianity 201

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