Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I Know I'll Go Crazy if...

I've been challenged recently to consider the "Voice" of the Father in affirming, encouraging and validating me as a man created in His image and being restored in Christ to all He means for me to become. Deep stuff, I know. But we ALL need encouragement and affirmation.

Think about it: Jesus was the Son of God...God in the flesh; as regards His human nature, sinless. Yet the Father validated, affirmed and encouraged Jesus constantly...

In Matthew 3:17, at His baptism, the Father's Voice spoke over Jesus: "This is My Beloved Son, with Whom I am well pleased." Think of the encouragement that filled the soul of Jesus as He heard these words of affirmation. By the way, the greek tense of the verb signals that the delight of God in the Son is timeless: The NIV Study Bible notes: "God has always been and always will be "well pleased" with His Son."

Then, later, in Matthew 17:5, while Jesus is on the Mount of Transfiguration, the Father's Voice spoke again: "This is My Son, Whom I love; with Him I am well pleased."

What is amazing is that through faith in Christ, by the power of the Spirit, a believer in Christ is baptized into union with Christ, so that all that is true of Christ becomes true of the Father's validation, affirmation and encouragement spoken over the Son is now spoken over all those whose lives are hidden IN the Son!

We may be terrible at hearing the Father's Voice, but He is constantly speaking over us: "You are My son/daughter! Whom I love! With you I am well pleased!" I know, it seems too good to be true...and all the contrary "voices" seek to drown out the Father's voice...there's so much noise from the crowd, we have a hard time hearing...but listen...listen closely....

"The Lord your God is with you...a Might One to save...He will rejoice over you with gladness...He will quiet you by His love...He will exalt over you with LOUD singing." (Zephaniah 3:17)

We need is hard! The Christian life is hard. As Bono of U2 sings in the song, "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight"..."It's not a hill, it's a mountain as you start out the climb. Do you believe me or are you doubting? We're gonna make it all the way to the Light."

It is God's Voice that encourages us that we are going to make it...but like Bono, we must also learn to speak the "echo" of the Father's encouragement and affirmation TO one another as well.

Listen for the Father's affirming voice...listen for it through the Word, through His Spirit, through His Body, the Community of Faith...and then remember to SPEAK words of affirmation and encouragement to those around you today!

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