February 12, 2021

Guest Column / Richard Etienne

Listen, pray for God’s wisdom to speak his words of faith

Richard EtienneDo you ever have a thought that cannot be stifled? Have you ever said something to someone and later wondered, “Where did that come from?” The Scriptures are filled with prophets who had similar experiences.

Jeremiah tried not to speak God’s word, but found it was impossible. In the Bible, we read, “You duped me, O Lord, and I let myself be duped” (Jer 20:7).

Also, remember that Jonah was not initially keen on preaching his message to the citizens of Nineveh. In the first chapter of the book of Jonah, we read that not only did Jonah decide not to speak God’s word against the city, but actually boarded a ship to avoid it.

When Jesus made his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the Pharisees wanted the crowd silenced. But Jesus, in the Gospel of Luke, says, “I tell you, if they keep silent, the stones [themselves] will cry out!” (Lk 19:40)

It seems that the word must go forth and do God’s will and, in every situation, shall find a way to be spoken.

There is a magnificent passage in the Book of Isaiah that reads, “For just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the Earth. … So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it” (Is 55:10,11). Isn’t that a fantastic image?

So, the next time you wonder where a response in conversation came from, you might ponder if it was a message directly from God.

Even the decision to write periodic columns for this publication was a faith-filled response within me to an action that I felt God wanted from me at this time in my life.

How about you? What message is God encouraging you to speak today, and to whom are you being sent? How long will you resist this urge to speak?

Keep listening and praying about it. God alone knows the place and the time.

(Richard Etienne is a member of St. John the Baptist Parish in Newburgh, Ind., in the Evansville Diocese.)

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