I was watching a video during a Bible study class a while ago about taking the Word into the world. The commentator used a word to describe this act that quite frankly surprised me. I’m familiar with witnessing, testifying and even evangelizing when it comes to spreading the Word. If you’re really committed, I can relate to someone saying he or she is doing missionary work, even though I cannot profess to have been on any of my church’s missions. But when the commentator used the term “rhythm” about taking God’s Word into the world, it caught my attention. According to the host of the program, there is a rhythm, a pace, a balance to trying to take the Word into certain places, pitfalls and circumstances that, simply living life, presents.
What so fascinated me about using the term “rhythm” is that this is something I thought I really understood, inside out, on my terms, be it music, dance, poetry, song, novels, plays and in some cases television. Have you ever been to a “slow movie”? How about listening to someone you wished would hurry up and get to the point? Reality television has given us all a taste of people who cannot sing and have no business trying to dance. Yep, you got it. No rhythm. But to hear someone talk about spreading the Gospel and use the term “rhythm” was beyond me for a moment, but in some ways not foreign. As I watched and listened, I became and now have become more comfortable, if not capable, of hearing a rhythm in someone’s voice that perhaps needs praise or prayer. Being “in rhythm,” I now believe, is a perfect description of being prepared to respond with a word, when the Word is what’s needed. Being “in rhythm” suggests reacting in tune with the situation in order to bring balance to confusion and order to chaotic things happening to you or to someone trying to tell you about their mess.
If you can begin to see the rhythm of which I speak, then you know that all things work together for good, for those who love the Lord. You know that joy is not an emotional state of mind. It is a spiritual state of being. When you’re “in rhythm,” you can anticipate, improvise, be creative and create opportunities to witness, testify, hear testimony and relate the Word to someone’s worldly situation, no matter how difficult their circumstance appears. You see, the Word makes the world make sense. As is often said, the truth shall set you free. When Peter and John were commanded to be silent in Acts 4:19–22, they could only respond in one way. “Whether it is right in God’s sight to listen to you rather than God, you must judge; for we cannot keep from speaking about what we have seen and heard.” You see, they were in rhythm. As such, it is almost an impossible to be in rhythm and at the same time out of touch as to what to say to someone in need of a word; a word of praise, encouragement, a word of prayer or forgiveness or assurance, or just plain physical contact. Being in rhythm will make you shut your mouth and simply hug someone who needs it. You see that rhythm thing makes much sense. It opens your eyes and ears to the world in a way that allows you to live sometimes through your heart alone. Now listen for the beat. It’s always there. It’s God’s orchestra, and if you listen carefully, you’re in tune, in touch and in time. For the record, that’s the Holy Spirit on bass. May God bless and keep you always.