I had a dream once. I was sitting on the shore of a vast ocean and the voice of God was calling me out into the water. I know there's a song playing in your head now, so I'll spare you the details. I argued with the voice because I did not feel what was being asked of me was for my good. On the shore I felt more grounded, more solid than if I were caught in the waves. The voice shared a scripture with me:
And so I was left with a choice. Do I agree with what is being asked of me and step out, or do I stay on the shore and face being found the fool? I decided to stay on the shore. And believe me when I say this: I think most of us do. Fortunately for me, this dream didn't end here.
God wants us to see what is true.
In the dream, I cried out to the voice and said, "It is safer here and there's no rock out there so I'm staying!" Suddenly, I was taken up by what felt like a crane and thrust into the ocean where I could see no land in every direction. Then I was plunged into the water. I found myself still able to breathe even as we reached the bottom. And suddenly my eyes were opened. I was being shown a vast mountain range under-girding the ocean I feared so much. There was a rock, I just couldn't see it on the surface.
Get off your shore.
I received a revelation from God in this dream that I still haven't gotten over to this day. Hopefully I will never get over it. When God says something, it is for His glory and for my good and it is more true than anything else I think is true at the time. God's truth patiently waits for us to get off the shore and into full agreement with Him. This is what it means to truly live.
How do we learn to agree with God? Can His truth really set us free? I hope that the next few minutes help you take actionable steps forward off of the shore and into His truth.
The Greek word ἀμήν is used 143 times in the scripture. In english we translate it as amen, truly, verily. In church culture, it is a common practice to say AMEN when you agree with what is being said. The word carries a certain level of biblical authority and is commonly attached on the end of our prayers without much thought. Do you realize what we're saying when we say amen?
Find your Amen.
When we say amen, it is an expression of our confidence within the truth we have spoken or we have heard. We offer an amen as an affirmation of the truth that leads us to plant it deeper within who we are. It also helps to reveal and uproot the things we've held to be true that are inconsistent with the truth. Amen isn't saying, "I believe this fully". Saying amen means, "I want to believe this fully so let it be so."
In churches, amen is a word most preachers long for their congregations to exclaim when they hear the truth of God's word. But amen is less an encouragement for whoever is preaching and more a vocalized agreement by whoever hears. Amen is a statement of faith that the truth is what we need regardless of how we currently feel or see things.
For some of us, our first step off of the shore will be saying amen during a church service. For others, it will be making the choice to believe the word of God when it stands in the face of what we've always held to be true.
If saying amen sounds weird to you, try saying, "TRUTH!" "THAT'S A GOOD WORD!" "PREACH!" when you hear the word of God. When the truth hurts you can say, "OUCH!" if you need to. And that's okay. The truth found in Jesus will never leave us unchallenged. Truth will always be finding us in our untruths and that is never comfortable. But at the same time, Jesus will never leave us in want if we choose to come into agreement with Him. Let's allow God to shape and mold us by our response to His truth.
In John's Gospel, Jesus says the phrase, "Truly, truly" (ἀμήν ἀμήν) on 25 different occasions before He shares truth. I love this! Jesus does not have to learn how to agree with truth. Jesus starts with an amen toward every facet of Truth that He shares. He is the way, the TRUTH, and the life. We - on the other hand - are constantly growing into our amen together as we learn to agree with the truth He has taught us.
Even the dead respond to the truth that Jesus speaks! Later in John 11 Jesus is weeping at the tomb of his friend. Filled with compassion He calls to him, “Lazarus, come out.” This man who had been buried for four days comes out of the tomb in response to the word of God. And according to the apostle Paul, the same promise to Lazarus is for us as well.
The Truth will make you free.
When Jesus speaks, do you realize how much He wants to set you free with the truth? He wants to open your eyes to see clearly, to think rightly, to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with Him. This is why Jesus came: to set us free from every fear and insecurity and lie with His truth.
May an amen rise up within us and respond to every truth revealed to us by the Word of God. And when we hear His voice calling us out from the shores of what we currently believe, may we have the faith to respond in the knowledge that His word is always good and more true than we could ever imagine.