In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Genesis 1:1-3, KJV
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1:1-5, ESV
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:10-11, ESV
In the beginning, God chose how to begin finite space and time, and He chose words.
In the beginning, God chose how to communicate to His people throughout the ages, and He chose words again.
In the beginning, God knew you and I would use and love words, and I think it comes straight from Him.
A couple years ago, my friend Chelsea asked me to film a video for her youth group girls on modesty. I had a GREAT MANY THOUGHTS about it, but I decided to do something I had never known anyone else to do: go back to the beginning. So I read about and wrestled with Adam and Eve in the Garden, trying to understand what God was trying to communicate across the ages when He made garments out of animal skins.
As I did then, so I want to go back to the beginning now. God chooses, of all the methods He could, to speak. He meets His people for millennia by speaking with them. He takes on and walks among flesh, speaking. And then He ascends, leaving behind His disciples, who write to us. God chooses words. He chooses language.
James 3 tells us the tongue is “a fire, a world of unrighteousness… [N]o human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison” (vv. 6a, 8). Job, Psalms, and Proverbs are full of reminders that our mouths hold so much potential for evil. And yet, they hold so much potential for good. Because if God is the Word, it must innately be holy.
Words, too, are what we have corrupted with our sin. But words, too, are a place to see the redeeming work of Jesus Christ.
In the beginning, God chose words and spoke the world into existence. And in the beginning, He knew He would be the Word made flesh. His first words were to bring physical light into existence to banish the darkness. And His work on earth was to do the same spiritually. John 1:4 tells us life was in Him, “and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Dwell on that with me for a moment.
Darkness has not overcome the light. It never will. It actually can’t, because God’s word does not return empty. God’s word spoke light into existence and effected the death of darkness. God’s word speaks light into your existence and effects the death of the darkness in you.
All He asks of us in return is that we talk about it.
All He instructs us to do is tell the story of what He has done for us.
You think you aren’t good enough to tell your own story? Well, who else is going to tell it for you? Do you think the Samaritan woman had a lot of ground to stand on? “You have had five husbands,” Jesus told her, “and the one you now have is not your husband” (John 4:18). You think that sounds like qualification? And yet what does she do? SHE TALKS ABOUT JESUS. All she said was, “He told me all that I ever did” (v.39). And do you know what that testimony effects?!
“Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony” (John 4:39).
Her testimony was eight words long.
If you had eight words to tell a town about Jesus, what eight words would you choose?
If all that’s standing between you silent and you speaking your testimony is fear you aren’t qualified enough, you’re right. But don’t you think Jesus in you is enough? Is He enough to save you but not enough to give you the words to talk about it? Is He enough to pierce your darkness but not enough to pierce darkness through you?
“You are the light of the world,” Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:14. I think He meant us to believe it.
So speak the words of Jesus, sister, and turn on the light. If you’re not sure where to start, can I suggest a few words? “In the beginning…”