Contemplative Life

Speaking Life Aloud

Sensory clutter surrounds us.  Extremely sensitive to it, I’ve used toilet paper from public rest rooms to plug my ears in school hallways, coffee shops, and grocery stores.  Why is so much “nothing” available, and why at such loud volumes, in such bright colors?  And why does it all fuel so much distraction, emotion, exhaustion, etc?

Have you noticed how many people walk around wearing earbuds or headphones?  On one hand it seems sad, emphasizing yet another way we isolate ourselves from the rest of the world. On the other hand it seems wise, taking control of what enters our minds.  It isn’t enough to avoid all the clutter; we have to intentionally fill our ears and eyes with quality fuel.

Recently after a long, stressful flight, I was grumbly in my spirit: revisiting the details would edify no one (insert your own grumbly experiences here as you continue to read).  My daughter and I went out for hotel room snacks.  As we left the quickie mart, a man held the door for me.  I said, “Thank you!” and smiled at him. I love when people simply acknowledge another human being by holding the door open for them.  He said, “You’re welcome.  God bless you.”  I turned back and said another strong, “Thank you!”  He stopped, stepped back outside and said, “May the LORD Jesus Christ bless and cover you and your precious family.”  Surprised, I drank the blessing in like cold, fresh water on a hot day.

Words speak life or death.  They have the potential to lift us out of our own (even self-induced) pits of mire.  Toby Mac’s song Speak Life is an encouraging challenge.

We can easily, simply choose to speak life.  Using Scripture is the primary tool.  Simply choose a passage that speaks to you. It’s helpful to study the passage and original audience/context, but not always necessary.  Hebrews 4:12 assures us,

God’s word is alive and working.
It is sharper than the sharpest sword and cuts all the way into us.
It cuts deep to the place where the soul and the spirit are joined.
God’s word cuts to the center of our joints and our bones.
It judges the thoughts and feelings in our hearts.

The Word of God is alive and full of power.  It is active, operative and energizing.  If it penetrates into the deepest parts of our nature, God surely uses it to speak to us.  As God, He knows what we need to hear and when we need to hear it.  Rephrase the message in your own “voice.”  Bible Gateway online can provide several translations of the passage.  Online dictionaries for synonyms/definitions are also helpful in strengthening the message.

John 4:14:
May you drink deeply of God’s Goodness and Wisdom.  May you be refreshed by His Spirit.

Colossians 3:
May the peace of Christ rule your heart, may His Wisdom guide your mind, and may your soul rest in joyful gratitude.

Proverbs 3:5-10:
Believe that God is at work—in the conflicts, in the opportunities, and in the heart of your day.

Psalm 46:
May you have time and space to reflect on Who God is, and what He is (more than) able to do.  May you see Him at work in your life – guiding, fighting for, and protecting you.

Sometimes it’s helpful, in a note card or email, to introduce or expand on the passage:

Psalm 118:
“The God of glory thunders … His Voice is majestic …
The LORD shakes the wilderness, twists mighty oaks, and rules over floodwaters …”
May God reveal Himself to you more, strengthen and sustain you, and bless you with peace.

Isaiah 55 tells us His Word will not return void:

For as the rain and snow come down from the heavens, and return not there again, but water the earth
and make it bring forth and sprout, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless],
but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

It leaves Him, comes to us, and somehow returns to Him It leaves Him, comes to us, and somehow returns to Him because it changes us – for the better.  May you read.  May your mind awaken (quicken, stimulate, animate) to the Love of God on every page.  May that Love renew and recreate you (to give new life or freshness) always.

Share this post

Keep Growing

Do you want robust Spiritual Formation resources delivered straight to your inbox each week?

Explore the Coracle Fellowship ProgramONLINE or in NoVA/DCApply by DEC 15th!