Throughout the years of our relationship, I have always enjoyed surprising my wife with gifts, special events and by doing special and slightly out of the norm things for her. When we were dating we would both surprise each other with little inexpensive gifts. She had a knack of finding little books filled with cute pictures or drawings that just happened to say the right thing at the right time for me!
When my family and I had gone on an extended vacation during the first summer Piper and I dated, I surprised her by calling her from home and telling her that we were still on the road and would return the following day. Then I hopped in the car bearing all kinds of gifts and suddenly appeared at her doorstep a few minutes later. I surprised her with an engagement ring during a date at a local steak house… that one didn’t go quite as romantic as I had planned, but the effect was still the same (thank God!).
A few summers later when her family was on vacation, I spent a few days at her house and blacked out the funky fake silver looking grill on her new Pinto woody wagon and another time purchased and installed a cassette player into the same car. Once married, I would stop many times on the way home and buy her a single red rose (mainly because that’s all I could afford... from Walgreens no less!) and I always bought and surprised her with a new nightgown each time we took a short mid-week holiday together.
The element of surprise can be exciting because it can keep you in expectation of the potential of things to come. On the other hand, knowing exactly what is ahead can give you a sense of security and cause you to make specific decisions or take definite steps toward particular events or goals in your life. Whenever I organized a special event at church I always spent a lot of time trying to imagine all the potential contingencies of the event and planned various courses of action to meet most any situation.
I thought about this as I continued to study Hebrews 4:12 again this morning. In this portion of scripture the author of Hebrews is succinctly telling his readers that the Word has the answers for any contingencies by declaring that “The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow. God’s word judges a person’s thoughts and intentions.” (ESV/God’s Word ©) Every time I look at this verse the Lord shows me a different angle or usage of this foundation of our faith. This morning I was able to see it as the answer to when someone may talk negatively about you or as I have mentioned in early posts, when they just don’t seem to hear or care about what you are saying or doing because it doesn’t agree with them!
The Lord simply told me that “since the Word is a living and active entity filled with the Zoë life of God, then it is best to always bring your problems to the Word and then bring that Word back to the problem.” The thing that really caught my attention in Hebrews 4:12 was that the term “two-edged” literally means having two mouths and infers people who say two different things at the same time! That hit home in that the folks that said some stinging things to and about us would turn around the next time we saw them and talk like nothing was ever said and act as if they were our best buddies!
James tells us that a person like this is filled with doubts and “can’t make up his mind about anything.” (James 1:8 God’s Word ©) God says that the best thing we can do in the midst of persecution is seek the solution in His Word and then pray that Word continuously over the offending parties. In other words, it gives Him a free hand in the situation to work His Word in their hearts.
The Message Bible relates Hebrews 4:12-13 as “God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubts or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it – no matter what.”
This solution makes sense to me. My attempts to clear things up, to give my personal defense to their incorrect assumptions just tended to fall on deaf ears. It would seem that the Lord was trying to tell me that it is really a matter of the heart, and nothing is better equipped to handle that kind of problem than is the living and active Word of God… working from the inside out!
I think that once we change our perception of the Word of God from that of words written in a book to the words of the living and breathing Jesus Christ, we will see the effectiveness of God’s solution. And in reality, this is the same approach that will work in any situation or circumstance that we face in our daily lives, whether it be physical needs, financial needs, healing, relationships, or plain old wisdom on how to handle a problem that is placed before us. His living and active Word contains all the answers we need!
So when the opportunities present themselves to you this weekend, go to His Word and then bring His Word to the opportunity! Have a great weekend together with Him. Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or Whom am I expecting to go to for the answers today?”