Friday, January 30, 2009

“The Inspiration of the Prophets”

The “Good News” that Lesson 5 gives us immediately is that whatever “inspiration” the Lord poured upon His prophets in giving us their message, He has promised to pour upon us as in our receiving it.

It’s the work of the same Holy Spirit: He is One, whether He inspires the prophets to write or whether He inspires us to receive it, He is equally at work.

That makes Bible study become exciting!

We are connecting to a “high voltage wire” when we read thankfully what the prophet wrote in the Bible. The miracle of inspiration works two ways: (1) in the writing which the prophet does, and (2) in our “listening” when we either read it or even “hear” it read by someone else (cf. Rev. 1:1-3).

You may be young or immature in your reading of the Holy Word (or listening to it); but the Lord will “meet” you personally as you take this little step towards Him in receiving the writings of His prophets. He is overjoyed when we begin to appreciate reading or listening to what He has inspired them to write, just as a chef who has prepared a tasty dish enjoys seeing our enjoyment of it and appreciates our words of thanks for it.

(a) Get on your knees; whether you think you know how to say the right words or not, get into the “attitude” of prayer. That’s the first step.

(b) Then “wait” before the Lord, even if you do not know what words to say.

(c) But do “put away” the “world,” that is, your TV and the radio and your little electronic devices that cry for your attention. Turn them all off. You are approaching the office of the great God of heaven.

(d) Be polite enough to the Lord by giving Him your full attention; in your prayer, you will give Him full priority; no one else can intrude, and don’t ask anyone to do so. Turn it off.

(e) If you are having a “visit” with the Sovereign Lord of the Universe and the One who is your personal Savior, Jesus says, “shut your door.” He explains what He means when He adds, “Go into a room by yourself, shut the door, and pray to your Father who is in secret.” He “hears in secret” (Matt. 6:6).

(f) Don’t be afraid that Satan will hear you pray and confess your sins and your weaknesses; he cannot read your thoughts or eavesdrop on your private “meetings” with the Lord. That’s because the Lord “hears in secret,” He says, which means that He guarantees you His full attention in private.

(g) Read each word which the prophets have written in the Bible as though it is addressed solely to you; through the Holy Spirit; it is!

(h) Then you will actually be participating in the grand process of divine inspiration—which works both ways in the “giving” of it and in the “receiving” of it.

You want an exciting life? You have it—“in Christ.”

—Robert J. Wieland