Once again, it’s time to hear from our sister in Jerusalem about what she is witnessing there as a believer in Yeshua. Put your prayer shawls on and pray for Israel and Sister J. Now here she is —
Dear brothers and sisters,
May The Lord be glorified and blessed and may you be encouraged and blessed because of Him.
As I was walking to work in the early morning on the day following the US elections, I found myself praying with great fear about the use of words − my use of words in particular.
My prayers were interposed with some of the MANY scriptures about THE WORD:
“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” “In the beginning was The Word and The Word was GOD and The Word was with GOD…””For The Word of God is quick and powerful, sharper then any two edged sword…” the engrafted Word which is able to save your soul …receive The Word…keep The Word…abide in The Word…The Word was choked…The Word fell by the wayside…The Word bore fruit…”
They just kept coming.
Think how many WORDS we are hearing all the time. Some words are used so skillfully − strung together to give comfort and press people higher. Some are harsh and cruel and instigate anger. Some are Truthful and some are lying and it is just all so confusing. Words, flung around, influencing hearts, minds, actions. What happens when we believe a lie? What happens when we reject a Truth? AND worst of all − the way that we use words can INFLUENCE someone who believes a lie or rejects the Truth!
All of this was pouring into my mind and out of my mouth in prayer, a cry of sorts. I thought of people who have written to me and told me that I write well and should consider writing a book. And I thought back to how this writing of mine began and has proceeded forth in the world of words.
It seems to me that I have loved words since I was very young. That in one form or other I was always looking for Truth. It took a LONG time to find Him!
When I was in high school, I would spend my lunch break in the school library reading through the unabridged dictionary (no…I never got to the end). I remember well coming up to the word “ergo” which meant “therefore or hence.” Armed with this new word, I proceeded to use it in class after lunch and was laughed out of class.
But I loved words and listened as people argued and so often I wondered if they were from different planets and why no one really LISTENED or could understand the other.
Things became MORE interesting as my husband is profoundly dyslexic. Words mean less than nothing to him. Our second daughter came along and I watched how profound audio dyslexia affects communication and I became even MORE impressed by the power of words.
I will not go further in this description but my despair at the thought of the world ever communicating one to another made the impact of The Living God also being The Living Word… oh so much more important to me!
It also holds over my head a genuine fear of misusing what some have graciously called “my gift with words.”
When a person uses words well, he can very easily mislead people, particularly if he speaks with authority. We have an easy prime example (because history has already judged him, I feel free to use his name) in Hitler. His speeches, I am told, were hypnotically persuasive.
But we have a BETTER Word.
I was deeply blessed by hearing the same confession by each of my early Pastors. NONE of them felt that they had any gift of speech or natural ability with words, and they approached their calling with fear and trembling and relied with full dependence upon The Holy Spirit to anoint them and speak through them. They were the greatest examples that I could have had, and The Lord has continued to bless and challenge me by gifting me with such men of God. I am still convinced that my Pastors have been His very best.
So, Lord, what do I do with the gift of words that You gave to me?
After the US elections, I did listen to many of the speeches. Before the elections I did not hear locals speaking much about them. Here they were viewed as so aggressive and arrogant on all sides, and I chose not to focus on them as well. But AFTER the elections the talk was passionate on all sides. So I thought about the use of words as I listened to each one.
No doubt about it, Obama is a good speaker. PLEASE! I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT CONTENT, TRUTH ETC…SIMPLY HIS USE OF WORDS…excellent. If I were a young idealistic academic, there would be no question. I would be persuaded.
With smooth words:
Jeremiah 12 says “Do not believe them, Even though they speak smooth words to you.”
Psalm 55 says …”The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, But war was in his heart; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords.”
In Romans 16 we read “…and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.”
Words can be a stumbling block for me, too. So I turn quickly back to my prayer” “Oh Lord! I don’t KNOW my own heart! Please guard me from using persuasive, smooth words to deceive, manipulate, distort in any way or to convince someone to see something my way. PLEASE TAKE THESE WORDS AND USE THEM FOR YOUR GLORY ONLY! YOUR KINGDOM COME YOUR WILL BE DONE! ‘
And I mean it.
The Lord told me, “What you see, write. What I show you, write. Be a faithful witness.”
I WANT to be, but am I? Examine my heart Lord and lead me in Your path!
During the bloody awful second intifada, when the buses were blowing up daily, the Clintons came to Jerusalem. Bill Clinton spoke to the public at the Convention Center and I watched the proceedings on TV. His wife, Hillary, had gone to Gaza and Ramallah that day to meet with Suha Arafat (Arafat’s wife). Hillary Clinton stood with Suha Arafat in a nursery school. Her eyes were full of love and pity and she nodded in agreement as Suha told her (and the international cameras) that Israel was poisoning their water and giving them aids. Later she appeared with Bill at the convention center. He appeared very warm toward us there and he asked for anyone who was close to someone personally or related to someone who had been killed in the current intifada to please stand up. There was a moment of silence and then the entire huge crowd stood as one body and he was visibly shaken and brought to tears. I will never forget how his wife stood beside him, uncomfortable, like a stone filled with hate, NOT toward them, but obviously toward us. It was a shocker to see and I never forgot it.
At work following the elections, as I said, people started to react, really quite emotionally. Many more were relieved then I expected, but we have a number of patients who are professors and they are generally quite liberal. As we spoke, I reminded these professors of that visit during the intifada. One said that he didn’t have any memory of their visit, but another stopped and lowered his head and said “Yes, now I remember. Thank you for reminding me. I had forgotten that.”
Each of them stopped and thought about it and thanked me for reminding them.
The power of words. What a responsibility!
Perhaps the current situation will cause American Jews to finally make aliyah. May my family be among them. God can use anything to bring about His purposes.
And as we pray for the situations both near and far in our own nations and others, thank you for praying for this nation and people. May we pray His Heart for His glory and look away to Him, not fixing our eyes on the situations that shake all around us and seem to demand our attention.
He said to Martha: “Only one thing is needful, and Mary has chosen that better part.” Looking unto Yeshua, sitting at His feet.
May you each be encouraged and blessed.
your sister J