Have you said anything yet today?
I ask because a combination of conversations and books over the last few weeks have made me pause before writing or speaking so quickly.
It all began as I read The Incomparable Christ by J. Oswald Sanders (a book you'll be hearing a lot more about in a couple of months). I was reminded over and over through these chapters of how intimately Jesus—who was fully human and fully God—walked with His Father. For example, take His 40-day temptation by Satan in the desert:
In each temptation Satan endeavored to induce Jesus to act in a manner contrary to complete dependence on God . . . [Jesus] preferred remaining ravenously hungry to moving out of line with His Father’s will. He would await His Father’s word and provision.
That same week, I went to a restaurant with an older couple. Over antipasto and other mouth-watering Italian dishes, I was deeply struck by the fact that I need to not only know the Word of God, but be filled and led by the Spirit of God, as Jesus was.
A couple weeks later, over Mexican food, another friend reminded me that not only did Jesus never speak on His own authority; but, the Holy Spirit didn’t, either:
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come” (John 16:13).
Well, you say, that was Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Surely we’re not expected to do the same!
If you and I truly are “in Christ,” we are now one with God. That means we’re dead. We no longer live, but Jesus is alive in us (Gal. 2:20). That means that it should be as though His fingers are typing and His voice is speaking. The question is, are we letting Him in on this process of writing and living and speaking, or are we doing these things “in our own authority,” without thought of or consultation with Him?
You may or may not blog like I do. But, if you’re like most women, you speak . . . a lot. Every day. My prayer for you and me this holiday season and beyond is that we would speak and live by the Spirit, as Stephen did in Acts 6:10, which says the Jews couldn’t stand up against his wisdom “or the spirit by whom he spoke.”
PS: Please don’t get the idea that I want you to stop talking! I just want to remind and encourage you that as you walk intimately with God, your words should and will reflect that. So, let’s talk together about what this looks like in our lives. How can we begin more and more to speak in God’s authority rather than our own? What will this look like practically?