By PKD Lee
Inspiration is usually used in the context of the Bible and we say that the Bible is inspired by God. The word inspiration comes only once in the Bible in 2 Tim 3:16 in connection with the scriptures that they are inspired. Another word used in this context is ‘moved’ or ‘carried’ used in 2 Peter 2:21 saying that the prophets were moved to prophesy. Hebrews 1f says that God spoke through the prophets.
The word inspiration in the Greek is from a combination of ‘theos’ and ‘pneuma’ or God and breathe. Pneuma has many different meanings in the Bible and can be breathe, or spirit or Spirit. So the word can mean not just the breathe of God but the Spirit of God moving them to write the scriptures.
But the Bible shows the Spirit of God moving people to do a variety of things, not just write scripture or prophesy. He moved Samson to wreak violence on the Philistines (Judges 14:19), He moved Bezalel to make the Ark of the Covenant (Ex 31:3), He moved Moses to bring the Israelites out of Egypt and to write the Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 18:15-18).
How did God move people to write scripture? Moses was not a great speaker, so he preferred to write. David wrote poetry and responded to the world around him with these poems. Job underwent a traumatic experience and out of that trauma wrote. So, inspiration was not just the words they wrote but the experiences they underwent which led to the writing of the scriptures.
Today we do not write scripture, but we do share the word of God with people. This word of God does not come just from our study of the Bible but the interaction of the Bible with our life and experiences. God is speaking messages through your life. Are you listening?
God communicated to us through Jesus, not only by what He taught, but by the life He lived. He touched the leper and showed compassion. He fed 5000 showing His willingness to meet our needs. He wept to teach His emotional involvement with us rather and than being an aloof God.
John 17:4 says that Jesus glorified God by the works that He did. It was not just speaking but doing, John 17:6 says that Jesus manifested or showed God’s name to us. This is through His actions. John 17:8 says that Jesus has also given us God’s words.
In John 14:9-11 Jesus chides Philip saying you are saying “Show us the Father”. If you have seen Me you have seen the Father. It is not heard Me or listened to Me but seen Me. It is the inspired works that show the Father.
John 17:18 says that we have been sent just as Jesus was sent, with the same commission. Acts 1:8 says that God empowers (inspires) us with His Spirit so that we can fulfil this commission.
God inspires us to do. Twice while traveling on the train God moved me to do. Once while traveling in an overcrowded third class coach one youth got serious diarrhoea and a doctor was called. The doctor advised detraining and admission in a hospital. The parents were reluctant and said they would reach home and deal with it. As the train started, I asked the parents if I could pray for the youth. They agreed and I prayed a simple prayer and the diarrhoea stopped instantly. The comment by a co-passenger was “Your God is powerful”.
Inspiration is not just to speak or write but to do. Sometimes it is to speak also. Rajkumar Ramachandran of Delhi shares how he was inspired by the Spirit to speak to an air hostess. He was not comfortable, but just told the lady just a sentence – God loves you. That opened an avenue for witnessing that would not have happened.
Study the Bible and God will inspire you to speak and to teach. The Great Commission includes teaching and not just preaching, and God inspires us to do this also.
Be available to God with no strings attached. Do not put conditions about where you want to serve God, and God will inspire you to be a blessing.
Listen to the pain of the people around you and be inspired to be a blessing.