Speaking for God; January 25, 2019


Matthew 17:5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

Here we have a repeat of the Father’s pronouncement at Jesus’ baptism. (Matthew 3:1-17) However, here He adds something: “Listen to Him.” Rather than continuing to speak from a cloud, the Father makes it clear that Jesus is His mouthpiece. Likewise, when Jesus was about to be crucified, He told His disciples, “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” (John 16:12-13) In other words, the Trinity is in complete unity when it comes to what to say. When we listen to the Holy Spirit we are listening to Jesus and to the Father as well. It is a major step down, but believers are also to speak what God is saying. That is what prophecy is all about, but this certainly isn’t limited to what we think of as prophecy. We are to express God’s character and His will in all that we say. That’s why Paul said, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.” (Ephesians 5:3-4) Even some ministers today fall into speech patterns like that, thinking they are being “more relatable.” Peter made it clear that the way we speak should be appropriate for God’s representatives. (1 Peter 4:11) God often chooses to speak through human instruments, but when He uses us, it shouldn’t have to be drastically different from how we speak all the time.

I have had many times of realizing God was speaking through me, and sometimes He has done so when I wasn’t even aware of it. I remember a time a Japanese pastor spoke to me and thanked me for something I had said to him years previous, because it had completely shaped his ministry for the better. I didn’t remember ever having done so! Of course when I speak from the pulpit I seek to be an open conduit, accurately transmitting whatever God wants to say, but my focus must not be limited to such formal occasions. Just yesterday someone was pouring out their frustrations to me by texting, and I felt led to respond simply by texting them that their value was not defined by the person who was frustrating them. They might have taken that as a complete non sequitur, I don’t know, but I believe it was God’s word to them. I know full well that when I speak out of my own heart and mind that there’s nothing special about it, so I am never to be proud or presumptuous about God sometimes speaking through me. Rather, I am to seek His help to live in such a way that I am available to Him at all times, for either speech or action, to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8) and otherwise do His will, for His glory.

Father, thank You for the incredible privilege of speaking and acting as Your agent. Help my whole life be appropriate to that, so that I may not be deceived and so that You alone may be glorified. Thank You. Praise God!

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About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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