A couple of years ago I did the Daniel Fast by Susan Gregory. I only drank water and ate essentially lettuce and rice for 30 days (I checked the rules and coffee didn’t count as water so I almost died.) I wanted to fast because I needed some direction and had some pressing aches in my life that I wanted the Lord to address and fix. But during that time I sensed Jesus saying, don’t seek the fix; seek My face. This was a bit of a new angle for me because having grown up in the church I’m actually pretty skilled at seeking Christian fixes, ideals, and disciplines. In other words, I’ve learned how to seek Christianity. But seeking Jesus, not for what He could do for me or give me, but for who He is, turned out to be exactly what I needed.
As we step toward spring and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, I know many of you are coming through the thick of an icy winter desperate for healing, a fix, a spotlight of direction, a miracle, a green bud on the branch. In seeking the face of Jesus you won’t be ignoring or abandoning those longings, rather you’ll be affirming that Jesus is the greatest need of your life.
Jesus, Our Speaking Savior
One of the reasons we lay aside something of significance during Lent is to make room for Jesus—to hear His voice with less distraction and greater clarity. Listen to the words of Hebrews 1:1-3:
Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways. In these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son. God has appointed him heir of all things and made the universe through him. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of his nature, sustaining all things by his powerful word… (emphasis mine.)
We discover that a really long time ago, back when the Old Testament prophets were alive, God spoke! To whom did He speak? The people of God under the old covenant (fathers). How did He speak? By the prophets. But now, in “these last days” that we’re living in—during the date on your calendar, in your city, on the street you live in, within your church community, right now—God has spoken. But He’s no longer speaking through the prophets; rather, He’s spoken through His Son Jesus.
I’m a communicator by nature. I enjoy being thoughtfully communicated to and love communicating with others. This is sometimes to the dismay of my closest friends who occasionally like to not discuss every single thing under the sun. Sometimes they just want to be with me, something I do not understand when we could be conversing and figuring things out! So I find it particularly meaningful that the God I serve is a speaking God and that He’s chosen to speak specifically through Jesus. When I set certain meaningful things aside, I express through quiet and self-denial, that I long to hear from Him.
You may be thinking, “I need to hear this from Him today”, or I need Him to communicate that to me.” But what if we reframe our time with the Lord, simply by acknowledging, I need to hear from Jesus today, whatever He may say.
Jesus, Our Sustaining Savior
In that same passage we find out another revelation about the speaking voice of Jesus: The whole world is sustained by “his powerful word.” The word “sustaining” here means to uphold and gives the sense that Jesus is personally carrying things forward to their “appointed end or goal.” As unruly as things can be in our world, Jesus is still ruling and reigning. He has not left us. One scholar put it like this: The author of Hebrews “is not referring to the passive support of a burden like the Greek god Atlas bearing the dead weight of the world on his shoulders. Rather, the language implies a ‘bearing’ that includes movement and progress towards an objective.”
You may have unsolvable problems and pain in your family, friendships, marriage, or workplace. In the midst of what is so tumultuous, Jesus is personally involved and sustaining all things. He has not lost control of our world or your world. He is intimately involved by the power of His word.
As we enjoy this season of Lent by reflecting on Jesus, be encouraged that God has spoken through His Son Jesus. If you need a word from Him, He’s eager to give it because He’s a speaking God. And if you fear He’s left you alone or taken His hand off your life, go ahead and kick that lie to the curb because He’s personally sustaining all things. I know this because Jesus is a speaking Savior who told us so.