Wednesday, December 2, 2015

What are you doing with what you have received?

Let God's word richly inhabit your lives - what a word picture!  First and foremost, there is this idea of actually giving God "admittance" into our time and space.  He need access if his word is to do the work it is designed to accomplish and he needs the time to do it!  Sure, God can do stuff instantly, but when he does, we often don't appreciate it quite as much - why? It might be because we received what we did just way too easily!  Some of the best things I have in my life are those that I had to work for the hardest - like my relationships with those I love.  It doesn't just always come easily to us to be involved in some relationships, so the work we put into them actually is a little tougher than one might think!  

Let the word of the Anointed One richly inhabit your lives. With all wisdom teach, counsel, and instruct one another. Sing the psalms, compose hymns and songs inspired by the Spirit, and keep on singing—sing to God from hearts full and spilling over with thankfulness. Surely, no matter what you are doing (speaking, writing, or working), do it all in the name of Jesus our Master, sending thanks through Him to God our Father. (Colossians 3:6-7 VOICE)

When God has both the access and time to work in our lives, he also looks for our attention. When someone inhabits something it carries the meaning of possessing whatever it is one inhabits.  If my cats used to take over a cardboard box when I placed it on the floor, they were telling me they now "inhabited" the box - it was no longer mine!  Maybe this is where we get the legal phrase: Possession is 9/10th of the law.  God doesn't compete for space - he asks for admittance, then he asks for the space, followed by taking the time to actually get to know each other.  If we read closely though, we will see that he doesn't come as one who is "needy" into our lives - making us even needier.  He comes as one who will "richly inhabit" our lives.  He brings what we lack and that which enriches us beyond measure.

This "inhabiting" of our lives is to cause something pretty profound to happen - we are to begin to reflect the goodness of God in our lives, so as to allow it to touch the lives of others. In allowing God's word to begin to inhabit our lives, there is a certain amount of godly wisdom which begins to permeate our minds and hearts.  That wisdom is to be used - not hoarded.  Wisdom is of no use unless it becomes that which we "apply" into our experiences and relationships.  We use it to teach, give counsel, and to instruct others - because it is intended to be shared, not squirreled away.

We teach - part of which is this whole process of demonstration.  Most of what I have learned in life hasn't been because I heard something, but because I saw it with my eyes and experienced it with my hands.  I am a visual learner, and I also learn by doing whatever it is I am attempting to learn.  There is power in demonstrating the wisdom of God we have been given when we spend time allowing his word to richly enrich our lives!  It often is the catalyst by which change is sparked in the lives of those around us.  Oftentimes I see something the way I'd like it to be long before it ever reaches that point!  This is how most of us actually make change - by seeing something the way it can be.

We counsel - a good deal of which is this whole idea of allowing enough consideration to be given to a matter that a more "educated" plan is formed.  In other words, we infuse into the circumstances of life enough consultation and instruction that a conclusion can be reached upon which we take action.  This is much of what counsel is in our lives - more than advice that sounds good, but advisement which actually provides some instruction which helps us make the choices which will better our circumstances.  For example, my employer arranges for the members of our retirement investing firm to come periodically to provide us with insight into how well we are doing with our retirement planning - his or her advice is helpful in allowing me to make right decisions on my investments.  I don't know the field as well as that planner does, so I rely upon their advice to assist me to direct my investments so I meet my goals.

We instruct - a great deal of which is simply the ability to bring disclosure of what has previously been hidden or unrecognized in a person's life.  Instruction is really a process of uncovering - the truth was always there, it just wasn't fully known or appreciated - nor was it clear how it should be applied.  We cannot really teach apart from demonstration, nor can we counsel apart from giving sound advisement.  We certainly cannot instruct without bringing revelation of what has previously been hidden!  God's word has a way of doing all three in our lives, but in turn, he expects us to take these three very skillfully utilized "tactics" into the relationships around us in order to better those individuals in much the same way as his word has bettered us.  Just sayin!