Many of us have heard someone say, “The Lord told me…” or “The Lord said…” That’s a very common phrase in Christian circles. We’re accustomed to hearing it and sometimes saying it. We understand it, and in many cases we overuse it – but let’s look at it from another point of view.
Do you realize how preposterous that sounds when you really stop and think about it? And pretentious as well. The Lord talks to you? I mean, what’s the matter, is the Pope too busy? It’s one of the most outlandish things that a mortal could ever say, especially viewed from outside Christianity.
The Lord talks to you?
We are so accustomed to the terminology that’s it’s kind of become one of those Christian buzzwords. Many times we say it even when we shouldn’t say it. Many times we say it and attach to it something that the Lord has in fact not said, but by saying “The Lord said” we remove it from any questioning. The phrase gets abused and trivialized. It’s probably better not to say that at all unless nothing else will suffice. In fact, Luke starts out his gospel by saying:
“Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.” Luke 1:1-4
It Occurred to Me
In the Living Bible, verse 3 says “It occurred to me;” other versions give the impression, “I had a good idea.” In other words, here’s a guy that woke up one day and the thought struck him – “I ought to write all this stuff down” – and he did, but he was being led by the Holy Spirit.
“It occurred to me.” Now, that’s not so spiritual sounding, so we might not come across it as being spiritual, but is our objective for the person to understand the message or for them to think that we’re spiritual? A lot of people just can’t get past that phrase “The Lord said” and will only look at us cross-eyed if we say it.
In the Old Testament II Kings 12:4 talks about Joash, a young man who became King of Israel. It says one day he awoke and decided to repair the temple of the Lord. If you were to ask him, “did the Lord tell you to do that?” He’d say, “Well, no, I just decided to do it!” But in fact, it was the Lord talking to him.
Many times God just lets us know something and it just comes to us. It’s pretty innocuous to say “it occurred to me.” You walk up to someone and say, “You know, I was thinking about you the other day, and the thought struck me that…” You see, at that moment, they are listening to what you’re going to say, rather than how you’re saying it.
The Lord Speaks
The bottom line is, the Lord does speak, doesn’t he?! And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you and me saying so. The Lord speaks! That is one of the great distinctions of Christianity. It’s one of the many things that set us apart from every other expression of man’s religions. Every religion on earth has a God that they worship even though they can’t hear, see or speak.
Our Lord, on the other hand, is alive! He sees, He hears, He speaks, He blesses. That’s the very first thing we’re told about God in the book of Genesis. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and God said ‘let there be light.’” The very first thing that we’re told about Him besides the fact that He creates, is that He talks! He speaks; and that when He speaks, light replaces darkness! Right off the bat He wants us to know that about Himself. He’s a speaking God. He talks, and when He talks, darkness goes away and the lights come on.
We can depend on the fact that yes, He does indeed speak to us today.