Day 17

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12

Like most of the people that have walked this Earth through history, for me the word of God has been confined to the written word. Unfortunately, I am not as lucky as some of the Bible’s more famous followers of God; He has never spoken directly to me. Or even through a bush, an animal, or an angel. At least, not in any language I can understand. Until, that is, I stop and think to myself, maybe I am not focusing on the right language.

We’re told in Genesis about the Tower of Babel, which when it was destroyed by God spread the people of Babylon across the world, separating them not just by distance but by language. But it stands to reason that the language of the Lord wouldn’t fall into a single one of those languages, but all of them, together, and none of them at the same time. The language of God is all around us.

I once interviewed a friend of mine named Dave Buehring. Dave told me the story of how, as he read through his bible, he liked to highlight examples of God’s character on display. Things like, “God is mighty, but despises no one; he is mighty, and firm in his purpose.” (Job 35:5); “So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous.” (Exodus 1:20); “The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving.” (Daniel 9:9). Dave has been doing this for many years, and as you can imagine his Bible is streaked with yellow highlights. So how can God’s word become alive and active? By looking out for these same characteristics in the world around me. There are little examples of Godliness taking place all around us. Each act of mercy, forgiveness, and strength can be an example of God’s word coming to life in our world.

Another thing I enjoy is watching His creation come to life all around us. Just the other night I had the good fortune to see the “conjunction” of Jupiter and Venus in the early night sky. Two celestial bodies, separated by 400 million miles, seemingly coming close enough to kiss.

When I first read this passage, I couldn’t help but think about a surgeon wielding a scalpel. When we open our eyes and ourselves to the world around us (and above us), with a precision greater than any doctor he carves away the hardened areas of our souls and lifts out our impurities, leaving a bit less of “us” but making room for a bit more of “Him”. Getting out into the world and breathing in all that we see is how we submit to going under the Knife.

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