‘Who says?’ is a popular way to respond to an instruction or a new piece of information. It is everyday practice. We want to know whether or not to take the instruction or information under our notice. French Philosopher, Michael Foucault wrote a famous essay that began with this inquiry “What does it matter who is speaking?’ He thought authors were irrelevant because everyone has the right to interpret what is before them in whatever way they like. The reader is king. Which sounds great – until you try to lodge a cheque. Then you want the author to be king. There’s some things we don’t want left to interpretation!
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. [John 16:13]
Jesus promises His followers that the Holy Spirit will teach them the truth. He will grant them eyes to see how things really are. The Scriptures, their lives and the world around them are not subject to anyone else’s interpretation. God defines reality for them and us. This is good news! I am no longer at the mercy of other’s assessment of my life. My value and worth comes not from what you say about me but about what God says about me. The difficult circumstances I face can now be viewed from a radically different perspective. Scripture reminds us..
our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us a glory in eternity that far outweighs them all. [2 Corinthians 4:17]
Discipleship is all about surrendering to God’s perspective on everything. Mary wasn’t sure how a virgin could be with child but she surrenders to God’s revelation by saying ‘let it be to be according to your word.’ [Luke 1:38] The Holy Spirit fuels our faith to believe what our eyes cannot see. He grants us the eyes of Jesus. Christian maturity occurs when we acknowledge God’s perspective on life. We don’t get to interpret our circumstances any way we choose. God doesn’t make the same guarantee as Starbucks. Life doesn’t turn out ‘just the way you like it.’ Even in these times the Holy Spirit can awaken us to the truth. His role is to give ‘airplay to a different version of events’ in our lives and the world around us. To alert us to The Author’s interpretation of everything so that we can have hope and faith in the face of every challenge.
Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. [1 Cor 2:12-13]
God is speaking and it matters.