Acts of Grace January 15, 2017

January 15, 2017


Part 2  By Dr. Jeanette Storm

Soar and Roar, Triumph and Reign in Year 2017!

An amazing passage in Ezekiel 1:10 described a vision of the four living creatures the prophet saw.  As for the likeness of their faces, each had the face of a man; each of the four had the face of a lion on the right side, each of the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and each of the four had the face of an eagle. John had a similar vision in the book of Revelation.  I began to ask myself what it meant. Not everything in the Bible is to be taken literally. Sometimes God has to speak to us in images in order to give us some understanding of who He is and who we are.

To me, each of these four faces represents one aspect of the ministry of Christ. The eagle face represents the prophetic ministry of Christ because the eagle is a bird of vision. The ox is a burden-bearing animal which pulls the plough and does heavy work. It does its work steadily and keeps pressing on. So in the ox, we see Jesus as the suffering servant who bears our burdens.  In the face of the lion, we see Jesus as a ruler, who functions as an apostle. In the face of the man, we see Jesus as the Compassionate One.  The Lord became one of us to show us who and what He is like.

Plato, the Greek philosopher who lived before Christ came had said that if God ever wanted us to know Him, He would need to become one of us. Isn’t that amazing? That was what happened when Christ came to earth.  Jesus Himself has declared, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” Similarly, the only way that people around us will see Christ is through us.  We are to reflect the glory of Christ and carry the presence of Christ to them. We are to be living testimonies to the reality of Christ and that is why He said that we will receive power and that we will be His witnesses.

Like Jesus, we can also function in each of the ways I have described above.  According to our temperament, God divides His gifts as the Spirit wills. Some of us function more prophetically whereas others may be more of an evangelist or play an active role in government. However, let us not be limited to only think in terms of the five-fold ministries given to the church. There are others in the secular world with an apostolic function like the entrepreneurs or developers in business and the media. The apostolic role is really leadership, and it extends beyond the church. We come to church to be fed, to fellowship and to receive strength from one another and from the word of the Lord. It is outside of the church that real ministry happens.  Each one of you has a ministry outside of these four walls which is important to God. Whatever our vocation, each of us are to be witnesses of our Lord and to participate in what He is doing in the world today.

Let us come to this image of the lion.  What does it mean to be a lion, the king of the jungle? The lion king starts off as a little lion which looks cute, but it does not have a voice to roar yet – it can only squeak.  Maybe that was what we were like as baby Christians.  We do not really know who we are yet.  We do not understand that we have been given a voice with which we can reign and use it to bring people into God’skingdom. Do you know that the voice is very powerful? The Bible tells us that through words, God created everything that we see around us. He spoke and they came into existence.  Do you know that when you speak your words, they keep going out furtherinto the universe? They never end.  So, what we say is powerful. We can crush ourselveswith discouragement, despair and even depression by always speaking negative things.  We create realities through our speech.  The lion is known as the king of all beasts. Herules and his voice shapes the jungle.  God has given each one of us a voice and with it,He wants us to shape our city for God.  With our voice, He wants us to create realities that do not exist.  Do you believe it can happen?  A few of you have already experiencedit, but some of you are still in the stage of discovering your voice.

I believe that God is challenging us to cease to be silent.  Instead we should take the sword of the Lord and to begin to speak the things of God. We know that the voice of a cub is different from that of a full grown lion.  The latter’s voice can be heard for aboutfive miles. Time and distance is not an issue with God. You can pray here and it can affect what is going on in China, Iraq and the rest of the world.  When the lion roars everything else becomes quiet.  I believe there are so much chaos and confusion in our world because the church is not roaring.  Instead we are purring.  When a cat purrs, it isalways sitting on your lap and feeling contented. It is certainly not stalking its prey.

There are different times when we need to roar.   Remember, our voice is a sword.  We are told that out of Christ’s mouth there comes forth a sharp two-edged sword.  The book of Hebrews says that the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God can divide asunder the soul and the spirit.  My words do not have much power, but God’s word does. InOctober 2016, in praying for Hurricane Matthew to leave the United States unscathed, I spoke the words of David in Psalm 3.

Isaiah 49:2 says, “And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword; In the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me, and made Me a polished shaft; In His quiver He has hidden Me.” You need to speak out God’s purposes. You need to speak out courageously with compassion and insight.  We need to use the sword that He has given to us.  The Lord is challenging you to use your voice because it is His sword!

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