When I was in the fourth grade, our school system hired a couple from Brazil to begin teaching Spanish. It started with simple colors, numbers, days of the week and months of the year. As I moved into high school the classes were more intense. I loved it and felt that I was very good at it. I didn’t continue my training or practice through the years, but for some reason when I went on my first mission trip to El Salvador, I was confident that I would be able to communicate with our new friends there.
Boy, was I in for a surprise! They spoke rapid and full of passion and I could only understand a word here and there. Our transport bus trips became impromptu classrooms attempting to enable us to know how to express a few sentences. Our leader was so patient to help us, but there was only one of her and about 12 desperate students.
At the end of a women’s conference most all of the women came forward for prayer and ministry. They were broken, crying out in desperation, but I couldn’t understand a word they were saying. There were only a few interpreters and I so longed to communicate. I am thankful to be certain that prayer pushes beyond any barrier and love is a language that is always understood, but I wanted to hear their heart. The little children tugged on my skirt telling playful stories, while I smiled and said, “Si”.
I returned home determined that I would learn to communicate before returning again. Our fearless leader ordered books for us and began to teach us Spanish. I found it to be more difficult than I remembered and it took much time to study and practice. I discovered a hundred excuses why I couldn’t continue and therefore I returned to El Salvador again with only a little bag full of Spanish words.
My friend Sherry has a different story. She invested much time and money into learning the language. Even when eating at Mexican restaurants, she would invite the servers to engage allowing her an opportunity to practice. The following year, she led worship in Spanish and was buzzing around having conversations with children and adults. I was amazed and envious. She had more than a desire. She had the tenacity to keep her commitment, sacrificing things that got in the way of her God-given goal. The pay off is that she now has a new language to share Christ with Spanish speaking-people.
Jesus came to earth speaking a different language.
He brought the language of heaven to earth and taught us how to speak it and live it.
In Matthew 5 we find Jesus saying over and over, “You have heard it said…but I say….” We have learned the language of this earth and it is full of negativity, pessimism, fear, doubt and unbelief. Jesus brought an entirely new way of thinking, speaking and living.
The language of heaven is love, possibility, opportunity, belief, and the miraculous. It is always full of faith. As followers of Jesus, we must learn this new language. By faith, we believe what He says to be true. We embrace His way of living that is so opposite of this world. Without practice and determination, we will never become fluent in our new language.
If not guarded, we will continue to speak the language that we know. There will be hundreds of excuses why we can’t believe what He says is true. We will easily give up and be trapped in the negative, unbelieving mindset.
We are messengers of hope and our language must be filled with words of hope and belief.
We must put aside our excuses and determine as children of the Kingdom of God that we will speak, think and act like Kingdom Children.
Lord, train our eyes to see kingdom.
Give us understanding of this new language.
Train our tongues to speak the language of love.
Transform our entire being to look, sound and live like Jesus.
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.