God’s Body Language
I had the privilege of seeing Bertie Brits preach live a few times while he was in Chicago a couple of weeks ago. He is one of the best preachers of the Gospel around in my opinion, so if you are not familiar, I would highly recommend listening to some of his teachings at www.dynamicministries.com. One of the things he talked about that stuck with me was when he discussed God’s body language. I thought it would be a good topic for a blog post.
Body language as described by Wikipedia is a kind of nonverbal communication, where thoughts, intentions, or feelings are expressed by physical behaviors, such as facial expressions, body posture, gestures, eye movement, touch and the use of space.
So we see that these physical behaviors (body posture, gestures, etc.) communicate something to us. This language helps us understand others on a deeper level and many times speaks louder than our words. The example Bertie gave was if he asks his wife how she is doing and she says fine, but then starts vacuuming the floor violently, slumping her shoulders, and giving him mean looks then her actions are communicating to him how she is really doing, despite the fact the she said she is doing fine. If we are going to try to understand others, we really need to pick up on the nonverbal communication they are speaking and interpret it.
So what does God’s body language look like and what does it communicate to us? God’s body language can be found in Jesus. Some of you may be thinking, well since we can’t see Jesus I guess that doesn’t do us much good. Hold up a minute and consider this. The church is called the body of Christ in scripture (1 Cor. 12:27, Rom. 12:5). It is referring to people, not a physical building. People who are believers have the spirit of Christ dwelling in them. When you see a believer do something nice to you…you’re seeing Jesus. When a Christian says something nice to you…you’re seeing Jesus. When you see a need in the world (financial needs, health concerns, etc.) that the church comes together to help out with…you’re seeing Jesus. Some people are mouths that speak His words that people need to hear. Some people are ears who listen when somebody needs someone to talk to. Some people are arms that lend a helping hand. When you see these things happen…you’re seeing God’s body language.Jesus is God's body language. ~ Bertie Brits Click To Tweet
Plus we have the scriptures. Jesus told the Pharisees of his day that they were searching the scriptures because they thought the scriptures gave them eternal life, but that the scriptures point to him (John 5:39). The scriptures they had at that time were the Old Testament. The New Testament hadn’t been written yet. That means that even in the Old Testament we can find scriptures that show us Jesus. I used to not study the Old Testament too much until I started learning about types and shadows of Jesus in them. Now I love studying the Old Testament to find more revelation of Jesus. I won’t go in depth into them now but here are few examples:
- Noah’s Arc – picture of the believer in Christ being pitched within and without with the atoning blood of Jesus. God sheltering His people and protecting them against all judgment of sin.
- The life of Joseph – put to death by his own people, falsely accused, exalted by God, etc.
- The Cities of Refuge in Joshua Ch. 20 – a picture of the refuge we have in Jesus
- Jonah – in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights then resurrected.
Obviously we have the Gospels too. Four different accounts of Jesus’ life. Some highlights I think about that show God’s body language are:
- Healings – blind see, lame walk, dead raised, etc.
- No condemnation – Woman in Adultery
- Abundant Supply – Feeds the Five Thousand
- Humble Servant – Washes The Disciples Feet
- Unconditional love – The Cross
Now some people may say well what about when a Christian does something bad to me? Is that God’s body language too? No. Just because somebody is a Christian does not mean they will live perfectly. They are still a human being who is capable of making mistakes. John 10:10 is the plumb line for this. It says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” So basically anything bad that happens is from the devil and good is from God. When people say or do bad things to you, it is inspired by the devil. God has only good thoughts about you and only good plans for you.
It’s unfortunate that many Christians seem to lose sight of Jesus and God’s body language somewhere along the way in their experience at church. At some point, it usually becomes more about behavior modification and/or what they can do for God then enjoying their relationship with Him and what He has done for us in Jesus. Many have great hearts and zeal for God, but are misled by church leaders who are either eager to build their church, think the success of their ministry is found in things other than their people being made whole in Christ (number of people in their church, size of their building, missionary giving, etc.) and/or misinterpreting scriptures. Many who are taking scriptures out of context or defining certain words incorrectly will say what about this scripture and what about that scripture? Well what about Jesus? What about what He did? What carries more authority? If your interpretation does not line up with what the Son has shown us, we should take a step back and say we have probably misunderstood what was being said.
But thank God for preachers like Bertie and Greg Henry who make it a point to show you Jesus and God’s love in everything they preach. Jesus is the perfect representation of the Father (Heb. 1:3) and the image of the invisible God (Col 1:15). He is the window to heaven. He is what you need to hear about and keep hearing about. He is what you need to feed on for life.
Getting to know God is the single most important thing you can do in your life. If you are interested in doing that, get to know Him by studying His body language (Jesus). It will effortlessly bring you into relationship with Him. Be sure to check out my resources page for more links to help you learn about Jesus. Thanks for stopping by. Blessings.