“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets.”
I feel a little bit like this blog is just a long, continuing list of my favourite things about God. One thing I’ve been treasuring about God lately is that He speaks. And not just every once in a while, when we really need Him to say something, but “at many times and in many ways.”
This verse is from the beginning of a letter addressed to the Hebrews. In this letter, the author is helping the church in Jerusalem transition from their old Jewish ways to the new way of life that Jesus brought. Later on in the letter, the author quotes an older passage of scripture explaining a piece of this life after Jesus: “They shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest.”
The author wasn’t just talking about a distant knowledge of who God is, but a personal knowledge. The kind of knowledge of a person based on spending time with them and talking to them. The author is reinforcing the idea that God was expanding His methods and frequency of communication even more! No longer was hearing from God and speaking His words the job of just a prophet or a priest. Anyone, from the least to the greatest, has the ability to know God personally!
Long before Jesus came, God communicated to His people and many of His messages were shared through the prophets. Communication was, and remains, a big deal to God. God has so much to share with His creation, even today. And that verse in Hebrews holds true:
God wants to speak to us in so many different ways!
One of the greatest advancements in the Kingdom of God came through the invention of the printing press. Think about what it was like before bibles could be created quickly and in mass quantity! Bibles were written by hand, a process that took a very long time and therefore was a huge investment. Only the wealthy and the church elders could pick up a bible and read it anytime they wanted to. After the printing press was invented, bibles could be distributed at low costs and to more people. That means that bible studies could be held in homes and bible stories could be read by parents to children. God used a human method of communication to speak to more people in a new way!
I also believe that the internet and social media has been a great advancement in sharing God’s love with the world. Yes, a lot of darkness has come through social media platforms. But, the light is always brighter! I think about the very first churches and their methods of communication. We know of many letters that Paul and others wrote to different churches, but how often could they receive encouragement and correction when letters were their only form of correspondence? I am absolutely amazed at the mass of encouragement, truth, and love that can be shared over social media. When I post a simple scripture or story on the YWAM Perth Instagram, five thousand people instantly receive a dose of encouragement, right on their phones!
Yesterday, I was thinking about how special my day-to-day life is. I was reminded – again – that my work isn’t meant to be like a normal job: in and then out, just doing the tasks that are meant to be done. I am part of what God is speaking to His people. It’s not about posting on Instagram to get likes or making magazines to gain revenue. It’s about communicating who God is and what He is doing in the world and in hearts.
“God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul.”
Once when I read this verse, God highlighted the few words “by the hands of…” to me. Of course we give God the credit for doing extraordinary miracles through us, but what else can He use our hands for? I often think about this idea and ask God to be the one to take photos and share stories through me. I simply want to be a messenger. I want God’s words and thoughts to flow directly through me, in the same way that He spoke through the prophets long ago.