Is there more?
Ask me about my story of salvation…I’ll be quick to tell you Jesus saved my life.
Religion can be a great start. I read the Bible many times before I was saved, with no emotion, nothing more than dry historical words. They meant little to nothing, except a mirrored reflection of something I could never live up to in my 10,000 plus mistakes in life. Many people pick the religion that best fits their own beliefs. This can also lead to some human direction and rules which pervert the gospel. We like to be headstrong when it comes to organizing religion, making sure it’s all done proper and in a particular way. Then we like to repeat this type of session over and over until it becomes comfortable and ritualistic. It can help us maintain good lives, structure and stay out of some trouble.
Some problems with religion however is that often times, we are so focused on doing it ourselves, we leave God completely out. We like to argue our belief system until we are blue in the face, which causes issues when there are disagreements among us as brothers and sisters in Religion. If we don’t believe the same, we fight people we love to be “right” in our eyes and in the eyes of the Religion we stand for, the name on our walls, or at the door of our buildings. Jesus referred to religious people as white washed tombs.
Let’s turn to Matthew 23:27-28
27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.
So with my experience and with each of your own experiences that you’ve had throughout your life, are you satisfied with religion, the one that teaches you how to be a good person, or do you long for something more? Do you maybe feel a longing or desire to travel a journey with Christ to allow each day to become an adventure, led by the Spirit, or are you comfortable with white washed tombs?
What are some ways that God speaks to us today?
The one I want to speak with you about today is:
1) His Word - which is broken up to three specific translations throughout the Bible
- Graphe - the book
- Logos - the message
- Rhema - the utterance
It’s the Rhema word, that captured my heart. It’s the Rhema word, I hope, if it has not done so already, captures yours. It’s the Rhema word that challenges you to walk out of your religion and into a relationship with Jesus.
The Rhema word is what happens, when your Spirit has questions, and you go to God searching for answers. Not on social media, not in Pastors, Preachers, Prophets, not on TV, not in busyness, or in temptations, not in the Word, not in Politics, or definitely not in Religion. You seek out God in His Graphe (the book) or in his Logos (the message) and as you begin to read with a open willingness to listen for Him…all of a sudden the words jump off the page, or they highlight with the brightest yellow highlighter you’ve ever seen, or you begin to weep…because you know at that very moment, that God just spoke directly to you. You might not even understand what He’s trying to tell you, but you know that your Spirit just connected with His and He just spoke directly and personally to your heart. The message was specifically for you, at that very moment, the moment He knew you would need long before you were even in your mothers womb. He has been waiting for this very moment for you to hear Him speak with you.
It’s the Rhema word that made me hunger for more, to sell everything I had and go after what I found in Christ as the Bible referred to in the The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl in
Matthew 13:44-46 (Let’s turn there)
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. 45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
It’s the Rhema word that made me seek God like the scripture says in
Jeremiah 29:13 (Let’s turn there)
13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
It’s the Rhema word that assured me that no matter what I went through, God would never leave me or forsake me, that He knew the plans He had specifically made for me, as he does for you, that they were plans to prosper us in HIM and help us advance the Kingdom of heaven. That we are more than we believe, more than a nobody, more than just a speck of dirt formed from dust to return to dust. That I have purpose, that you have purpose. That the God who created the Universe, who is bigger than I could imagine, took time, precious time, time that meant the only thing in the world and gave me His divine attention and spoke directly to my heart. I assure you, God… speaks. I’ve heard it.
It was the Rhema word that changed my perspective, made me see light when all I could see at one time was darkness. It’s the Rhema word that set my tongue ablaze like Jeremiah when he proclaimed in Chapter 20 verse 9 (let’s turn there)
But if I say, “I will not mention his word
or speak anymore in his name,”
his word is in my heart like a fire,
a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
indeed, I cannot.
It was the Rhema word that helped free me from the religious bondage that created chains and shackles around my hands and feet, that created the fear that I would never be enough. Never good enough, never talented enough, never gifted enough to be anyone to anybody…yet He stopped time to show me, I was everything... to Him.
He longs to show you too.
It was that Rhema word that transformed a sadistic God, into a Father, a Dictator into an encourager, a Warden into a friend. A law that I could not measure up to, into a safety net and a warning sign before the fall.
It was the Rhema word that transformed my heart…one that although still struggles with temptations, emotions, questions and hurts, into a confident daughter, ready to give an answer to anyone that asks….
Maybe religion is safe and comforting for you. Maybe it’s the security of a mundane ritual that keeps you complacent and satisfied, never craving or hungry for more… Content with white washed tombs.
Don’t take for granted for a single moment that God is still longing to walk in the garden with you. That the God of the universe longs to spend time with you, who longs to speak words of LIFE into your tired and very weary souls… who illuminates His words at the perfect time, in your desperate need to change atmospheres that advance His love. A single Rhema that is extremely contagious for others to catch His divine utterance into their lives...transforming death into life.
God I am overwhelmed at all the times throughout a day that when I stop to listen can hear your heart, can feel your hand, can see your goodness. I am in awe of all you do….in all your ways, how they are always good, especially during those times where fear floods in and my faith in small. Let us always be willing to take an adventure with you, instead of living in the confines of a white washed tomb.