Category Archives: The voice of God

The Ventriloquist’s Puppet

Spiritual growth goals can become idols. When I long for God to re-order my life to be more fruitful there is a danger that I unconsciously imagine Him saying what I want Him to say. I act like a child on a trail, running ahead of its parent. “Look at this view.” “What pretty flowers!” […]

Muted Presence

Silence accuses. When we can’t hear God, or feel His presence, a nagging inner voice suggests that we have done something wrong, we are incapable of hearing, or He is at fault. Only the first is a possibility, and God is always willing to convict and correct the humble. We need to get comfortable with […]

True Servants

It’s risky being entertained in someone else’s home when you need to talk. Unless you have considerable clarity, tact, and strength of character, the host will tend to limit or control the meeting. Did you come with important, perhaps delicate, things to discuss? How awkward will it be to say them while the hostess draws […]

Initiative

Initiative is generally considered a good characteristic. We hear the encouragement, “take the initiative”, or the admonition, “use your initiative”. But Jesus seems to have thought about it differently. John records several places where Jesus used the word emautou (literally, “of myself”) in the sense of taking the initiative. The pattern is interesting. In most […]

Rhema or Rabbit Trail?

I often experience a deep weariness at doing things that seem fruitless or mundane. I fear new paths will turn into impassable rabbit trails. There seems no point in getting exhausted if there will be no return on my investment. Simon and his partners felt something like that one morning after catching nothing all night. […]

A Sigh at Sunrise

Nothing can stop the Lord answering those who cry out to Him sincerely. Psalm 130 begins with an anguished cry for the Lord to meet some deep request; it ends with unswerving hope. Sin might separate us for a while but repentance breaks the power of iniquity (straying from or twisting the abundant life that […]

Clearing Cluttered Hearts

Few of us have much understanding of farming conditions in Israel. In many countries, we see vast fields surrounded by tidy fences or hedges. Crops grow in an almost sterile environment with hardly a weed visible. Rarely does the plough encounter a stone larger than a potato. One summer I worked on a typical farm […]

Ears to Hear

Whenever I go to a doctor I expect a diagnosis before any treatment. I dislike taking medicine just to alleviate symptoms. Treat the underlying condition and the symptoms will vanish. Similarly, it is important to understand the roots of spiritual deafness and blindness so that full health can be restored. One of the main reasons […]

The Parable of Parables

Story time was over. The keel of the fishing boat ground into the gravel along the shore and the men stopped rowing. Jesus climbed over the side and paddled to the beach. As He and the disciples gathered their gear and prepared to go back to the house to rest, one of the disciples raised […]