Saturday, November 3, 2012

To Teach is to Touch

UV 567/10,000 Ezra 7 v 10 To Teach is to Touch “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgements.” To be a scribe for God like Ezra requires preparation. There is a need for preparing ourselves before we study the Word of God. It says that “ Ezra had prepared his heart..” It implies that what is required is an inner preparation of our attitudes before we study the Word. We need to have an attitude of reverence- the people stood up as Ezra read the Word in the assembly. Ezra set right his emotions before the Lord. He repented of his sin. The people wept when they heard Ezra reading the law for they were convicted of their shortcomings. We should not approach the Word with a casual or cavalier or bored or coerced attitude. We need to study the Word with a sense of both diligence and delight. There must be a sense of expectancy that we would hear the specific Word meant for us. We need to read it as if the whole Bible is the Father’s love letter to all mankind and to us individually. Preparing our heart also implies that we invite the Holy Spirit to illuminate and interpret it to our hearts and minds. The Holy Spirit will quicken or enable our intellects to comprehend the finer nuances as well as the direct application of the Word in our contexts. To “ seek” means to pore over the text again and again to understand it. As we seek with all our hearts or with complete commitment and passion, the Lord will reveal hidden truths, precepts, principles and promises. Our next responsibility is to “ do it”. The Word is eminently “doable” or applicable to our daily and practical lives. The statutes of the Lord are to be obeyed. Law in application becomes judgment. Merely studying the Word only makes us knowledgeable. It is doing it that makes us wise and gives us liberty or spiritual freedom. We need to apply that which we learnt to our own lives. Hearing or studying the Word should trigger specific changes in our lives in response to what the Lord has taught us. Once we apply it to our lives only then are we qualified to teach it to others in Israel. “Israel” refers to the Commonwealth of believers across the world. What we teach will ease their struggles in understanding and relating to our Lord. In the past year and a half, or 567 days to be precise, as I committed to spending time at the feet of the Lord day after studying His Word, I am greatly encouraged to receive feedback from people with various backgrounds as to how the Word spoke to them in their unique situations. The God of Ezra is at work. To teach is to touch. To touch the untouchable areas of our hearts and minds is to truly teach. He who has not touched these areas has not truly taught. He who has not been touched, has not been truly taught. The teachers and books of knowledge and wisdom of the world do not and cannot access the hidden, deep and inaccessible parts of our spirits, souls and psyche. When we teach the Word, we touch or impact lives. To touch is to heal, to release the power of God into difficult or impossible situations. The Word is imparted as the breath of God to empower both the speaker and the listener, the writer and the reader. This is the reason the Word is called a “ two-edged sword.” The one who wields this sword and the one who hears it are both cut to the inner lining of the bone or to the core of their existence. The extra covering or coating of our inner heart attitudes will be excised or cut out. The results will be evident- Ezra had the favour of kings and was given authority in Israel to rule and to pronounce judgements. We will be given authority to pronounce judgements out of the spiritual realms. Prateep V Philip

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