“God spoke to nothing and created something, He spoke to chaos and it became order, He spoke to darkness and it became a light.” AW Tozer.
I look back at Biblical characters, theologians, and heroes of the faith and find they have something in common. They see injustice of the world, but their response is not one of blind courage, rather their first response is one of pursuit of God. The men and women of our Christian faith first and foremost encountered the Word of God prior to their response to any injustice.
Men and Women of Faith
Let me give you an example. Moses was a man favored by the pharaoh. He lived a comfortable life, and was given great authority over the kingdom. But look at the perversions that lived throughout the land. The Israelites, God’s people, were slaves. They were trafficked, murdered, and were seen as inferior. Not only that but the government
completely and totally supported their specific treatment. This relates to today for many reasons, but certainly outweighs what we face today. God heard the cries of the enslaved. God responded to the cries of the enslaved. He called out Moses, and seemed to have prepared him for a specific task.
We know the rest of the story, how Moses led the Israelites out of their enslavement. This is truly a beautiful picture, but the process leading up to that was extremely eventful. But think of how it started, Moses first encountered God. Before his response to any injustice, Moses first encountered the beauty and passion of God. During that time he encountered the Word of God, that same word that spoke to nothing and created something. It was that word that refined Moses, that gave Moses vision, that gave Moses humility, that gave Moses boldness, that gave Moses direction, and so on. Without the encounter, the continual encounter of God, there would be no Exodus.
Luther and the Protestant Movement
Let’s look at another individual, let’s look at Martin Luther. The perversion of the Catholic church during the 14th and 15th centuries were very prevalent. When the Bible was translated from the Greek to the vernacular, Latin or Latin Vulgate, there were a few mistranslations. However one was the translated word found in Romans on repentance. Instead of repentance the word was translated as penance. The theology and way of life during this time period of the Catholic Church was not centered on repentance. Instead it was focused on this mistranslated word of penance, or the idea that you can work or pay for your salvation. This opened the door to many perversions in the church during that time.
God used people like Martin Luther, to bring clarity and righteousness to this situation. Martin Luther, prior to his involvement in the Reformation, continually encounter God. He encountered God in a thunderstorm, he encountered and wrestled with God in the monastery, he encountered God in the tower. The outer reformation of the Protestant Movement, was a direct result of the inner reformation of people like Martin Luther. Much like Moses, Martin Luther was refined, given vision, prepared, equipped, and more by the Word of God via his encounter with God.
Living God’s Word
Esther first fasted prior to approaching the king and saved generations of Jewish people. Martin Luther King encountered God numerous times, had a mountaintop experience, thus impacting today. Scripture tells us that the Word of God is alive, that the Word is God. John 1, says in the beginning was the Word, the Word was God, the Word was with God…. and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The Word of God raises the dead, heals the sick, brings restoration, gives instruction, brings justice, created the world that we know.
As Tozer says, the Word of God spoke to nothing and created something. It is not that God spoke, but that God is speaking. His Word has life. His Word is life. When we encounter God we also encounter the word of God. When we put ourselves in position, and continual position, to encounter God we continually encounter the power of His word. It continually refines us, until we begin to look like Jesus and act like Jesus. Mind you I did not say become Jesus.
When we take a look at the world as we know it, we see a lot of beauty but we also see a lot of ugly. We are called to care for the beauty, but stand against the ugly. Human trafficking, poverty, child soldiers, war, are very prevalent today. You’re called to be a light in the midst of the ugly. But before we can become a light, which is strategic, which is powerful, must first encounter God. So as we prepare for life or prepare for ministry let us know the most important thing we can do as a generation is to be with God.
Colby May is a father of two wonderful boys and husband of 13 years (Amanda May). He is been involved in campus ministry for over 15 years, much of that time in Austin TX. Colby is founder and president of LIT, a non profit organization leveraging energy consulting as a means to empower change (via the local church) in the most vulnerable countries. He recently spent two years in Boston completing is MA in Ethics & Society (Biblical Justice) from Gordon Conwell Seminary.