The Bare Soul - November 30, 2008
Lasting Impressions

Deuteronomy 11:18 - You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.

When something is touched, it is never the same. We may touch hundreds or thousands of things throughout a normal day. The change might be as slight as our fingerprint, or it might be much more profound. When we touch people, either literally or figuratively, we always leave an impression. Whether it is sub-conscious or consciously overt, we are continually changing those around us by our presence, by our words, and by our deeds. When we touch those we encounter with our words, we are either building them up or pulling them down. There is really no neutrality in what we say, for as Solomon states through the Holy Spirit in Proverbs 18:21 "Death and life are in the power of the tongue ...". There really isn't gray area in our speech -- either we are bringing healing or harm to those lives we speak into. Something that may appear neutral in our minds will always be perceived as positive or negative in either the conscious or the sub-conscious of the hearer. To explain it at a spiritual level; if our words are not born of the Spirit of God then they are born of our flesh.

God's words always bring life. Even when we may think that God is harsh and critical it is only our perception as tainted through our own flesh. If he wounds, it is only to ultimately heal. The Greek word "rhema", meaning the spoken word of God is literally a Divine Utterance that is given to provide specific direction to any given situation that an individual or an entire nation might need to hear. When God speaks, people listen, right? The Bible is full of examples including every prophet in the Old Testament that spoke forth the message of God. These are dramatic examples that might give the appearance that God only speaks in demonstrative ways to an "ancient people". In reality, God speaks daily to humans in our contemporary times and with the same clarity that He did to the patriarchs. We just need ears to hear.

One example might be when a man or woman learns of their sin and its remedy. In John 16:8, Jesus said that He would send the Holy Spirit into the world to convict of sin, righteousness, and judgment. When conviction comes to a human life (which in itself is a gift from God), there is a stirring from this first impression that the Lord God through His Holy Spirit has begun to work in this soul. From this time forward, it is a matter of Divine Course that God will continue to impress on a man or woman's soul regarding their sin until there is a decision one way or the other. If the subject initially rejects the prodding of the Lord, He will continue to convict or "convince" this person of their need of Him. (Of course, there does come a time when the Holy Spirit can be "grieved away" from any further confrontation toward a human heart.) For those who surrender to the conviction of the Lord and who agree that they are indeed a sinner in need of salvation, then the Spirit can begin to have His way with this respective soul.

When a mortal accepts the grace of redemption and puts on immortality, the expression of the Divine Life should be manifested by the working of sanctification. To be "set apart for God's purposes" or to be sanctified is not the action or the responsibility of the believer. Sanctification, just like justification is merely something that only the Holy Spirit can perform in the human soul. Just as a person initially surrenders and obeys to His first impressions of sin's conviction, thereby resulting in salvation, so must we continue to surrender daily to the voice of the Lord as He woos us away from our own self-centered lives. The result is a glorious salvation -- our sanctification -- the opportunity to draw closer to Him every day. There is NO other fuel for this daily journey than obedience and surrender. Jesus said that "... if you love Me you will keep My words [commandments]" (John 14:23). Beloved, let us all follow His impressions to first love Him above all things. This manner of abandonment to the Person of the Lord Jesus will ultimately lead to His Divine Life expressed through our lives of obedience.

Lord Jesus, thank you that you speak to us daily. Thank you that you are leading us by Your impressions through the Holy Spirit. Continue to make and break us daily from our own ways and allow your Divine Life to be expressed in ours. In Jesus Christ's Precious Name, Amen.

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

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