MORE THOUGHTS FROM HEBREWS ELEVEN

THE POWER OF WORDS

Hebrews 11:3

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“By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.”

Do you remember using ‘invisible ink’ as a child? Your mother may have shown you how to squeeze a lemon, then carefully paint a message with its juice onto course absorbent paper. You could barely see what you were writing, and the brush strokes were always thicker than you hoped they would be, but it was exciting. You imagined intrigue and mystery. Your friend, or brother, or sister was to read the invisible message by placing it in the oven or over a hot element briefly, when, surprise! The message began to be revealed as the juice-letters browned.

Words coming from the mouth of God are a bit like that. They have the power to make the invisible visible. They make what was not become what is. This is the concept of God’s creativity: He makes out of nothing. He speaks and creates.

His object-making comes from word-speaking. It is important to understand this concept because it describes God’s unique position within what we might call the realm of reality. He is the source of all resources. Everything visible has its source in Him. People may reassemble, replicate, and redesign, only God can speak to create.

The 21st millennium invention of ‘3D printing’ is more replicative than creative. 3D solid objects are made by digitally scanning what is to be replicated. Layers of plastic resin are built up until a functional object is created. It’s new. It’s improved. But it’s not creative. Something is not actually made from nothing.

This aptitude of God to speak and thus make is far more relevant to our lives than lemon juice messages or 3D printers. Committing ourselves to read His written Word, the Bible, creates spiritual life in us, where before there was chaos. In addition, we are called to become people who pray.

Prayer seems, in some astonishing way, to be endowed with a vestige of similar creative power. God living, breathing, speaking into our lives, speaks through us as we return prayer to Him. His creative power flows through us like rushing water through an unbarred conduit to effect creative change.

In prayers of worship, we begin to see the unseen. The invisible character of God is revealed to our inner being and we are changed.

In prayers of confession, we begin to understand our own appalling condition apart from God. Light shines on our darkness revealing what was hidden.

In prayers of thanksgiving, we are enabled to observe blessing. Our eyes are opened to see God’s loving-kindness where before we only, selfishly, saw inconvenience.

And in prayers of petition we speak God’s power into the lives of loved ones. We do not control the creative process. We submit to God’s hand, but our prayers enable us to participate with Him in the making of something out of nothing.

As we go forward on our journey with Him who is invisible, let us submit ourselves to His creative processes. He speaks, we pray. Imagine what might become visible!

 

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