Creative Reception to the Tangible
Rom 10:8 But what does it say? “THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching,
Righteousness based on faith Speaks
Old testament is full of visual expression. These expressions were to be seen as a seed. What were they growing? In whom did they grow.
As we look through the scriptures we can see God relieving His son and His plan for our redemption. Interestingly enough God expressed this in so many different ways, yet most of God’s people still didn’t recognize the fulfillment of the promise when He came. If all we had was this expression of their experiences it should be enough, yet righteousness based on faith speaks about the word being near us, in our mouth and in our hearts (Rom 10:8). Just before this verse we read in Rom 10:6-7 about who will ascend into heaven or descend into the abyss? Their saying who will go that we might believe, yet with faith the reality comes to us as we express it.
Exploring righteousness by faith and How it expresses Jesus.
You might ask why should I read this? What purpose does this have? The purpose is that you would increase you capacity to receive, have faith and express what is happening in a way that brings life to you and those around you. Not with your mind only but with your hole heart. God’s intention is always to give us something, wash us from something or break down a barrier to knowing Him fully and what He is like. His intention is always to increase trust in turn expanding the kingdom. We see this explained in Rom 10:10
For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. Rom 10:10
Preparing to receive
So before we go any further let’s start with preparing our hearts to receive. Jesus spoke about this in a parable of someone going out to plant seeds. When sowing them they landed on different kinds of soil. We wont to be good soil, but how? What were some of the distractions or conditions that undermined God’s communication with us from growing?
Luk 8:12 “Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved.
Luk 8:13 “Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.
Luk 8:14 “The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity.
Luk 8:15 “But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.
So we have it being stolen because part of our understanding is hard and the enemy can take it without any troubles. Next there is a shallowness to our ability to see God in this way, first we get excited then go dry quickly, and temptations becomes more appealing and we get off track. Then there’s hearts that instead of seeing the possibility focus on wanting more, resulting in worry that chokes the growth that brings maturity.
These things will always be stumbling blocks if allowed in your life resulting in loss of growth. A place with no growth will become barren and fruitless.
Hearts that grow
Now that we recognize what barriers stop growth, what can we do to get ready to receive and express in a way that gives life. In this parable we can see the ingredients for a healthy heart are those who heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.
Let’s explore what is means to have an honest and good heart in contrast to the other types of receiving. What I see in the other ways of receiving, elements that we wouldn’t wont others to know we are thinking, yet with God nothing is hidden. There is a genuineness God want’s us to have. If the state of our interaction is genuine then we till be more receptive and trusting that what is being expressed is genuine. If there is trust, there is a greater hope and faith that what is being express will happen and worth persevering till the promise happens.
Expression brings life
Let’s look back at Rom 10:10. For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. Let’s look at this. We have our mouth expressing what is really going on in our heart (that’s what confesses means) and this brings about it’s reality. The reality here is salvation (wholeness, deliver, health, salvation) comes when a reality of faith is in our hears and we express this reality. Why do we need to express what is going on in our heart to bring about transformation in our life, isn’t just believing in our heart enough? Much like how the existence of creation resulted in the first place, there is a relationship to the reality of things having their source come from expression. The most basic of these expressions being talking, but is this the only way to confess or communicate the reality of having faith in Jesus?
What is valuable expression?
Have you ever thought of an idea and made a drawing or doodle on a peace of paper to help remember it? If not a drawing how about wrote some words or a song? Did doing this help you remember? Have you ever not done the doodle or writing and later wish you had as the idea was now gone? How about having the start of an idea and as you did the doodle or writing of the idea became even more clearer? When it comes to salvation and things of God this expressing or faith is vital to it becoming our living reality. It goes hand in hand with living by faith. Our salvation is by faith and it’s reality must be our expression.
What form does our confession come in?
It’s interesting that watching someones actions you can probably guess how they feel about you, others or them-self. We also read in the scriptures that faith without acting on it is dead. We have recorded in scripture all kinds of ways God communicated through the prophets, festival expressions, designs and routines in the temple, responses to God’s presence and other things to help us understand God’s intention of loving us and drawing us close. Some of the prophets even were directed to put on plays so that we might hear God’s heart for us. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, and a picture speaks a thousand words. This is probably why God uses visions and creation so many times to speak to us. So the reality of faith and it’s confession is expressed in so many ways?
What roll does this play relationship with God?
One day during a worship time, God said ,”come away with me.” I immediately knew He wanted me to grab a notepad and draw. I drew elements He had been stirring up in me during worship. As I was drawing I could really feel God guiding me and receiving my expression of adoration. This happened while away from my family. The next day my wife, while in worship, had a vision. She saw a row of children, all holding faith shields and a glory clouds rolling in behind them. She then tried to get permission to have the children to stand on the stage with their shields but it didn’t happen. She was very disappointed and it caused her to question what she thought God had showed her. She told me about this when we got home. I then showed her the drawing I had done the night before and in it was a row of children with shields and a glory cloud rolling in behind them. The drawing helped to defuse the doubts, confirm what God was saying and Helped us to preserver with the promises God was speaking to us about.
Another time while away I had been on an outreach doing prophetic art. God gave me a drawing, scripture and message of what God wanted to say to a person with dark hair, glasses and that his name was Sam. Unknown to me the night before my wife had been at a prayer meeting and got the same scripture. As she was thinking about the scripture someone at the prayer meeting started reading out the scripture. The problem was that the scripture spoke of what happened to the people who had stolen the ark. My wife new it was from God, but was He saying His presence had left and been stolen away?
Not knowing this I shared at church the word God gave me with the prophetic drawing outreach. What happened next was amazing. This stirred one of the guys in church to recognize he had been inviting Gods presence but holding to his own desires and this was causing a mess. Along with this was also a recognition that God was bringing a transformation for relational connection with a leader from Borneo. This because I shared in church a picture and word of an outreach were I couldn’t find the person that I thought God was talking to me about.
God’s releasing expression
Faith and knowing God is good is so key to this. Even more than this is His love for us. We have to know He chooses us. We need to say he chooses me. We need to express that we are chosen, then follow Him in all our expressions. We need to believe in our heart and with our whole hearts express with our whole body that He is alive and we are following Him.