STRENGTH FOR THE WEEK: Flood Church’s Weekly Devotional
SERIES 4: What Jesus Does
“The Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent.” ~ John 5:37-38
This is such a staggering statement.
Jesus says the starting point of our relationship with God is believing Jesus. Not reading God’s word, not hearing God’s voice, and not seeing God’s form. In fact, he says that if you don’t believe Jesus, you cant hear God’s voice, you can’t see God’s form, and the word of God you read can’t be a living thing inside you. Incredible!
The other incredible thing is that Jesus makes a distinction between seeing God’s form, hearing God’s voice, and having God’s word living in you. Of these three, perhaps the easiest to understand is the last one, because God’s word has been written down once and for all and we can read it for ourselves. Of course, Jesus is not here promoting the practice of reading God’s word, which is a carnal activity that anyone who can read can do. Instead, he is promoting the spiritual experience of having the word as a living thing that does God’s work inside us, which he says can only happen if you believe Jesus.
What’s not so easy to understand is what seeing God’s form means and what hearing God’s voice means. And one of the things that makes these things hard to understand is that there are places and circles in the institutional church that have built entire theologies against seeing God’s form and hearing God’s voice presently. But Jesus teaches that if we believe him, not just believe in him, then that kind of faith not only makes the Word of God a living thing within us, but also opens our ears to start hearing God’s voice and opens our eyes to start seeing God’s form.
Does this make you afraid? Don’t be afraid. Only believe. And if you or anyone truly believe Jesus, you will know it, because you will hear God’s voice, see God’s form, and experience God’s Word as a living thing within you. Do you believe?