Word pictures – speaking the truth in love

By Dave Henning / February 24, 2018

“Word pictures take a little more time and a little more effort to construct, but few things are more effective when it comes to speaking the truth in love.”- Mark Batterson

Mark Batterson concludes Chapter 8 of Whisper as he posits that God speaks in moving and mental pictures because they effectively speak the truth in love.  For example, the prophet Nathan elicited King David’s confession through a lamb word picture.  And Peter acted on the vision God gave him that contradicted every Jewish dietary law on the books.

Consequently, Pastor Batterson offers four observations about God-given dreams and word pictures:

  1. God-given dreams won’t contradict Scripture.  While a God-given dream won’t journey beyond the boundaries of Scripture, it will stretch you.  Thus, you’ll do things you didn’t know you even had the capability to attempt!
  2. God-given dreams will confront prejudice.  At times God needs to force us our of our comfort zone.  However, while we want God to do something new, we desire to maintain the status quo in our lives.  God’s voice challenges the status quo as He nudges us in new directions.
  3. The meaning of dreams isn’t always immediately discernable.  Since Peter needed time to process his dream, we’ll probably need time also.  Although some dreams make immediate sense, others take decades.
  4. If you want to establish God’s reputation, you might have to risk yours.  Mark states that Peter took a calculated risk to enter the house of Cornelius.  Technically speaking, it was against the Law.  But Peter obeyed his vision from heaven.

In conclusion, Mark comments that accomplishing the dream is of secondary importance:

“The primary goal is who you become in the process.  Big dreams make big people because we have to trust a big God.  Nothing keeps us on our knees like God-sized dreams.  They force us to live in raw dependence upon God.  Without Him, the dream cannot be realized.  God-sized dreams force us to lean in a little closer, and that’s when God has us right where He wants us.”

Today’s question: How does God speak the truth in love to you through word pictures?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “A great cloud of witnesses”

About the author

Dave Henning

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