I realised something this week: the way I read my Bible & hear God’s voice has completely changed over the last few years.
I noticed it as I was reading 1 Peter & came across this verse: ‘Be holy as I am holy’. Now, the way I used to read this & hear God’s voice in it, was a command. God commanding me to live a holy life because He is a holy God. But I don’t read it like that anymore.
This week as I read those words, I was aware that I was hearing a tone of promise not command. I was hearing life-giving, fully transforming words where Jesus was declaring over me ‘Be holy’ much like he would declare healing over someone – ‘Be whole’ – not a command to them to make it happen, but a declaration of life over them – ‘This is what I’m saying you can be & now are’. Why? Because He is holy. His DNA is holy & that very DNA is in me. I get to be holy not because I try to be but because He has put His DNA in me & therefore I will be holy. I hope this makes sense to you – a promise, not a command.
I realise too that I now read words that I used to see as rebuke – words like ‘Go & sin no more’ – as promise not rebuke. Again, Jesus releasing life-giving transforming words over the hearer. Because He says it, power is released to accomplish it and therefore it’s a promise not rebuke.
What enables us to access the power of the promise is how we hear the words. If we hear Jesus’ words as command or rebuke that’s all the power we will encounter. But if we recognise in His words transforming power (which is His intention) and take hold of his words as such, explosive miraculous life will lay hold of us.
I wonder, what is Jesus saying to you today? If it’s ‘Stop sinning’, it’s not a rebuke but a word of empowerment – releasing over you the power needed to stop sinning. If it’s ‘Lay hold of me’, it’s not a command but a promise – he is to be found by you. If it’s ‘Run faster’ (ooh such a goody!!), it’s not a rebuke or command but a word of supernatural acceleration.
Hear his intended tone & you will reap his intended purpose: life and life in all its fullness.