"You're in God's Army now. Drop your baggage, put on your armor and let's join the battle!" Robert Stearns says emphatically while pointing at what seemed to be directly at my wife. She and I have talked about that moment a number of times over the year. It was an important statement that was full of life in some strange way. "God was talking to me," she said.
The rhema (Greek "expressed energized") word has power and life, unlike the logos (Greek "written") word (Bible) which is meant to instruct us and help us to put on the mind of Christ. Each type of word has value, but the rhema word is the one that speaks directly to our life in a very personal way. Sometimes playing Bible roulette, is never going to give us what a true rhema word can.
It's interesting the both logos and rhema are always translated the same way, word. You can check out the specific verses that use each Greek word HERE. (Amazingly, I went to a Bible study at church last night, after I started this blog topic, and these verses were given, so I decided to use them. There are many more.) However; here are a few important ones from the KJV because the Greek references are coded to those.
John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (KJV)
Jesus said that the words that He spoke were sprit and life. I guess these could be rendered red in the red letter Bible. But more importantly God wants to have a relationship with us, not for us to have a relationship with a book; regardless of how inspired it is.
Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (KJV)
I don't know about you, but this verse is used as a supporting text in every "read your Bible" sermon I have ever heard. Some "word of faith" folks said the we needed to speak and pray the word over each other, and listen to it read for the purpose of building our faith. All of these things are AWESOME, but, it is much more personal and meaningful to hear the voice of God-- the "expressed and energized word" for us, right now, so we know that we are listening to Him, and following Him.
Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (KJV)
I used to attend a church where they would ask us to take out our sword (Bible) out so we could look up a verse for the sermon. However, when you consider the fact that this verse too, is rhema, it changes everything. His Word is Spirit!
Luke 5:5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. (KJV)
This verse takes on a very new meaning when we see it using the "expressed and energized word" of God as opposed to something that Peter might have read in the Torah years before.
Here is my point. Rhema means that we hear hear God now; expressed-ly. Can this be an illuminated logos Word? Absolutely! However; do not short change yourself in your ability to hear from God by assuming that He will only speak through the book. Here is a brief list of how God speaks to His sheep, and the ability for rhema is ever present:
-1 The scriptures - The infallible guide to Christianity. There is no other authoritative text.
-2 His people - As God assembles his saints locally and regionally, they have a voice. Hopefully it is Him.
- 3 Your circumstances - Because God knew you before your were born, He will continually try to set up circumstances that bring you closer to Him.
- 4 The internal audible voice (sense or feeling - direct revelation) - often during prayer or during times of direct ministry.Revelatory utterances from on High: for the edification of the church and sometimes individuals
- 5 Tongues and interpretations, words of wisdom, knowledge and faith (internal revelation).
- 6 Spiritual Song, both vocal an instrumental (internal revelation) - a form of prophecy
- 7 Dreams and interpretations (internal revelation) - a form of prophecy
- 8 Prophets (internal/external revelation)
- 9 Angels (direct revelation) - Generally reserved for significant information to be brought to earth.
- 10 His audible voice (direct revelation) - Generally reserved for significant information to be brought to earth.
-11 Sermons and books (biblically based of course)
-12 The beauty of creation
- 13 My blog ;o]
I hope this will get you thinking about how God would speak to you personally. Some of the above maybe outside of your experience, and others very rare, but that does not mean that God will not use that venue if you let Him. Here is another take on this subject HERE.
John 10:3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. (KJV)