Have you ever been reading something and realized you had no idea what you had just read? Or have you left church on a Sunday morning and could not recall what the topic of the pastor’s sermon was? Words have a lot of power, power to hurt or to heal, power to freeze or to motivate, but they only have power when they penetrate our spirit. It is only when God’s Word moves within us and begins to make waves that it can make an impact on the world around us.
I was recently reading an article on sound waves and the concepts of reflection, absorption, and transmission. It struck me that those 3 concepts could be applied to how we, as believers, react to the Word of God.
Reflection is when sound waves hit a hard object and bounces back, causing echoes. Sometimes the Word of God cannot penetrate our spirit because we have become hardened by unconfessed sin in our lives. Psalm 66:18 says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” Sin becomes a barrier that blocks communication with God. It is times like these when we often feel our prayer are bouncing back to us unheard. The barrier works both ways, blocking our prayers as well as our ability to hear God in the way that we should. We have to be open to the Word in order for it to work in our lives.
Absorption is when something like a wall absorbs the sound waves. The waves go in but not all the way. Sometimes we put up walls because we are not willing to hear the words God has for us. We hear Him speaking, but we don’t want to listen. James 1:22 says “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” If we absorb the word, but do nothing with it, then it becomes useless.
Transmission is when sound waves penetrate through. This is when we hear what God has to say to us. When the Word penetrates our spirit and we take in the Word, it can make a difference in our lives. As in the parable of the seeds, our spirits can be the good ground where the seed takes root and produces fruit (Luke 8:1-15). We become conduits for God’s Word, living it out in our daily lives and transmitting it out into the world.
Once it goes out into the world, our part is done. It is up to God and the individuals we encounter whether the Word is reflected, absorbed, or transmitted. Our job is to keep the lines of communication open by praying and confessing our sins to God, listening to His Word through Bible study, and being obedient to what we hear. As God stirs our hearts, He make waves that spill out of our hearts and into the world around us. So, if you want to make a difference in the world, go to the source and let him start a ripple in your heart that will reverberate across the world.