Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

The church I pastor (the Bridge) is affiliated with John Paul Jackson’s Streams Ministries International. We are a member of the Association of Bridge Churches.

On April 7th 2006 I received this article from John Paul titled:
A Picture is worth a Thousand Words. I read it and thought you might enjoy it. In the next to last paragraph John Paul recommend a simple exercise to help you grow in revelatory gifting. Do it and be blessed, I have!

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

By John Paul Jackson

God holds more mystery than an Agatha Christie novel. It doesn't take a three-decker brain to figure that out. Just open the Bible at random, and you'll quickly see that He's no "see-Spot-run" first-grade reader. God's mysteries run so deep and complete that at times, Einstein's theory of relativity seems more tangible than God does. Why do you suppose He's like that?

Over and over again, the Bible shows God's attributes instead of just coming out and stating them, so in order to really grasp what is going on, you have to "read the white," or read between the lines. The prophetic is often like that, because God loves the deep things that take time and more time and focused intimacy with Him to understand. So He speaks in parables; He gives metaphors and writes us stories and speaks in dreams and visions and other strange events that can't necessarily be understood at first glance.

For the Christian, nothing of worth, nothing of any value at all, exists outside intimacy with God, which is one reason why the Bible says He cloaks Himself with darkness (Psalm 18:11). He does this so that we will search Him out and find Him--something that takes time and more time and focused intimacy with Him to do.

God loves metaphor--in other words, to tell a good story, and one of the main rules in creative writing is "Show, don't tell." Describe. If your main character is nervous, don't just come out and say so--that would leave you with boring, dry writing that wouldn't inspire anyone to take out the trash, much less want to talk to God. Instead, when you're writing, show the details. Describe what the character's doing; help the reader to see her. Use pictures. Why? Because a picture is worth a thousand words, and it takes time and more time and focused intimacy with God to truly understand His metaphors.

The Bible shows God; it paints pictures of Him. Because of this, long, drawn-out meditative times with Him are required. Some of His metaphors are more obvious than others, but no matter their simplicity or complexity, the Bible and its word pictures can be understood only through the Holy Spirit's revelation.

In the same way, creation also paints pictures of God. The Heavens do declare His glory, the skies His handiwork . . . The rocks do cry out, and all the earth professes His splendor! These are pictures of Him, of His characteristics and attributes, how He feels about you. Read the white, and you'll see the world around you in ways you never have before.

Look for Him in the everyday. Experiment and see what He tells you. Take some time this week to study an object--any object at all--and ask God what He would tell you about Himself through that object. You will be amazed. It will open you up to a whole new world, one that interacts with God at a deeper level than you may have thought possible.

God speaks in the everyday. He writes His glory in the stars, but He also writes His glory in the notebook on your desk. He declares His splendor in colossal, mind-boggling prophetic encounters, but He also declares it in the simple greeting given by a neighbor. So keep your eyes open this month and watch for Him. The whole world speaks unendingly of His glory--and it takes time and more time and focused intimacy with Him to begin to understand how amazing He truly is.

Copyright © 2006 John Paul Jackson, Streams Ministries International. All rights reserved.

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