The Day God (Elohim) Spoke To Me

Elohim: The All-powerful Supreme Creator

Elohim (e-lo-HEEM) is the Hebrew name for God in Genesis 1:1. This name for God is used over 2500 times in Scripture. It is the plural form of El or Eloah and means all-powerful, mighty judge and creator. Since Elohim created time, space and matter, He is transcendent of it. He exists outside of it. It’s how He can say in Isaiah 55:8-9…

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Not only is He transcendent, but He is also immanent. He is here…everywhere…all the time…omnipresent.

Under this title, God created the heavens and the earth. He created something out of nothing. This is why He can ask, “Is anything too difficult for the LORD?”

Under this title, God fills the formless, void, dark waste with light. He brings order to chaos.

Under this title, God creates man in His own image. Man is called to mirror his creator.

I grew up in church. As a young girl I was taught that God was all-powerful and that He created the heavens and the earth. I never disputed this truth. I knew that was sound teaching. I just didn’t understand what that had to do with me personally…until He introduced Himself.

I was 16 years old. I had two sisters, 15 and 10 years old. Our home had been a rocky one. At that time, my parents were on the brink of divorce, one sister was in rehab for drugs and alcohol, and the other sister was beginning to flunk her classes at school after being a straight A student. On top of that, my relationship with my boyfriend had recently ended, leaving me confused and hurt. Everything seemed to be falling apart.

During this time I was attending a small church with some of my friends. I fell in love with the families there and they welcomed me like a daughter. On one particular night, I felt heavily burdened for my family and my future. During the sermon it seemed like every word was spoken just for me. I listened intently, soaking everything up. At the end of the sermon, an alter call was given. This was the time to go to the front of the building and kneel for prayer if you felt led to do so. I felt led.

 While I was there crying my heart out to God, I felt a flood of power go through my head and down to my feet. I suddenly had complete peace. After a moment I remember thinking to myself, “Now what do I do?” It was right then that I heard the voice of God. It was like a peaceful thunder. It had such authority and power, yet it was not scary, but calming. He said, “Be still and know that I am God.” I just thought, “Okay” and stayed still until I felt released to move.

 After that experience I thought I would return home to a family that would be miraculously healed. I thought my parents would get along, my sister would be free of drugs and the other sister would get her grades back up. I even thought my ex-boyfriend would surely want me back now.

None of that happened.

I didn’t understand. God talked to me in an audible voice. I heard Him. He was going to take care of everything. Where did He go?

In the years that followed, my parents got a divorce and both remarried someone else within weeks of that divorce. Now I had an extra large blended family. My sisters went from bad to worse. They were just as confused as I was, but didn’t have the faith support that I had at my church. I tried to get them to come with me, but they didn’t want any part of it. All I knew to do was to keep moving forward, trusting that God would somehow bring restoration.

A few years later, I fell in love and married the man God had picked out for me. Both of us were working in retail and thought we had our future planned out. Several years into our marriage my husband was called to work on staff at a local church. I really didn’t see vocational ministry in our future, but here we were. I began leading ladies Bible studies and spent hours diving into the Scriptures to get ready for lessons.

In this season of my life I had some turmoil rise up again and began to pray fervently for an answer. That day I came across a verse I had never seen before. It was Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” I just stared at it in disbelief and then was suddenly very aware of God’s presence around me. After I collected myself, I highlighted, underlined, starred and circled that Scripture. I realized that God had spoken His Word to me as a teenager. But then again, what else would He speak but His Word?

I had already learned about some of the names of God at this point and wondered at which one was in this Scripture. I soon found out it was Elohim. That verse had even more meaning now for me. This God could take my chaos and bring order to it. This God was powerful enough to create something out of nothing. Nothing was/is too difficult for Him. No wonder He spoke that verse to me years before.

Now I wanted to pick apart the whole verse. Here’s what God showed me:

“Be still and know I am God”

“Be still” – in some translations it says “Cease Striving”. In other words…LET GO, STOP. This is a tough one for this first-born control freak! I had to learn that some things are just beyond my capabilities and no amount of striving is going to fix anything. Okay, I’m still striving to learn that one.

Once I am still then I can “know”. Surrendering comes BEFORE the knowing. The Hebrew word for “know” is “yada” (yaw-dah’) and it means “discern, get acquainted with, know for certain, know closely”. There’s no wavering on this one. There’s no doubting. It’s full on assurance and it’s personal. He’s not asking here either. He’s commanding. What does He want us to be sure of? That comes next…

“I am God”. Those first two words “I am” are very important. They are there to put us in our place. They are to remind us exactly who is God and who is not. It’s funny how we easily forget. He alone is Elohim, the Supreme God. Since He is the Supreme God, He will do things on His timetable. Elohim is the one who created time, so He gets to control it. Sometimes it looks like Elohim is not exercising his power on our behalf, or that He is just procrastinating. Not so. He has a bigger purpose in the wait. He has done many great things in my extended family. I know He will be faithful to complete His work in His time.

I guess you could say this is my “life verse”. It’s the verse I go to when things in this world seem to be spiraling out of control. With this verse I know that He is in control.

If you find yourself in a stormy season of life, please hear God speak this over you, “Be still and know I am God”.

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The Bride of Christ

If you are a Christian, then you are a bride. For you guys, that may not sound appealing. However, it’s how Jesus sees His Church. The ancient Jewish wedding ceremony is remarkable. For a detailed explanation of how we fit into this custom, click here.

For now, here is a basic outline:

Ancient Jewish Wedding Ceremony

A. Arrangement phase  (Shiddukim – matchmaking)

1. Matchmaker

a. Ancient custom: The father of the groom sends a matchmaker to select a bride for his son.

b. New Testament fulfillment: God sends Holy Spirit

2. Written Contract

a. Ancient custom: Ketubah –legal document citing wishes and expectations

b. N.T. fulfillment: Bible

3. Bride Price

a. Ancient custom: Mohar –price the father of the bridegroom was willing to pay

b. N.T. fulfillment: Jesus paid with life

4. Cleansing

a. Ancient Custom: Mikveh – bride and groom separately take a ritual immersion.

b. N.T fulfillment: Baptism

 

B. Betrothal phase (Kiddushim – Sanctification/Set Apart)

1. The Cup

a. Ancient custom: Cup of Sanctification – the bride and groom share cup of wine

b. N.T. fulfillment: Communion/ Lord’s Supper

2.  Gifts

a. Ancient custom: rings were exchanged as a deposit or guarantee.

b. N.T. fulfillment: Holy Spirit and gifts of Spirit

3. Separation

a. Ancient ceremony: Groom leaves to prepare new home. No contact until done.

b. N.T fulfillment: Jesus goes to prepare a place for us.

 

C. Celebration phase – (Nissuin – Hebrew verb “nasa”- means “to carry” or “lift up”)

1. Groom returns with a trumpet blast

a. Ancient custom: a shofar would blow to announce coming of the groom.

b. N.T fulfillment: 1 Thess. 4:16-18

2. Marriage Supper

a. Ancient custom:

1. 7 blessings over couple

2. Shared cup of wine

3. Marriage supper lasting 7 days with the whole community

b. N.T fulfillment:

1. Revelation 19:7-9

2. Shared cup of wine that Jesus said he would wait for at the last supper

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.  Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.”

Revelation 19:7-9

Intimacy while we wait for the Groom’s return (W.I.F.E.)

A. Worship –God first in spirit and truth

1. Jeremiah 2:32 “Does a maiden forget her jewelry, a bride her wedding ornaments? Yet my people have forgotten me, days without number.”

2. John 4:24 “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

 

B. Instruction – Study of Word (Ketubah) and growth

Proverbs 1:8-9 “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.”

C. Fellowship – Encouraging other believers (the bride)

1. Acts 2:46-47 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

2. Romans 1:11-12 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong—that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each others faith.”

 

D. Evangelism – Enlarging the Bride of Christ

1. Meaning – “sharing good message”

Christ saves, we just share

2. Live what you learn –share by example

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The Man behind VeggieTales

I have always loved VeggieTales. My husband even used Madame Blueberry as our Sunday School lesson once…yes for adults. It was a hit and brought home the point of materialism better than anything he could have taught. It’s hard to pick a favorite VeggieTales video. They’re all so good…genius really. I’ve always wondered what kind of person puts these things together. Who thinks this stuff up?

Phil Vischer…the man behind the veggies. In his book, Me, Myself, & Bob, Phil talks about the rise and fall of his dream to impact the world for Christ through creative media. The average VeggieTales viewer probably doesn’t even know that anything “wrong” happened. I didn’t even know. It seems VeggieTales goes on as usual. Same voices, same look. But something big did happen and Phil tells the story of the exciting growth of his company and the devastating loss of it just several years later.

The lesson learned (because in VeggieTales there is always a lesson “learned that applies to our lives today”) was that knowing God and walking with Him is bigger and better than what we can DO for Him.You might want to read that again.

Another lesson learned, there is a difference between vision and revelation.

Vision is something we dream up on our own and try to make happen with God’s blessing. Revelation is what God gives us with the tools and power to make it happen. Phil learned that abundant life happens in revelation.

I have so many thoughts after reading this book (I couldn’t put it down). I want everyone I know in ministry to read it. There is a great deal I still need to process. It’s got me thinking…and praying. All I can say is that if you have a dream…something “big and good” you want to do for God…read this book first. May it bless you as it has me.

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Cure for the Common Life

I finally got my hands on Max Lucado’s book Cure for the Common Life: Living in Your Sweet Spot. I believe it’s the book that inspired his children’s book The Oak Inside the Acorn. I think I see now where he got the idea for the children’s book. In chapter five, he quotes Judges 9:8-15. This is a part of scripture that I have never read before. I’m always excited to read “new” scripture. In this passage, Jotham warns the Israelites against Abimelech through a parable:

Judges 9:8-15 (New International Version)8 One day the trees went out to anoint a king for themselves. They said to the olive tree, ‘Be our king.’
9 “But the olive tree answered, ‘Should I give up my oil, by which both gods and men are honored, to hold sway over the trees?’
10 “Next, the trees said to the fig tree, ‘Come and be our king.’
11 “But the fig tree replied, ‘Should I give up my fruit, so good and sweet, to hold sway over the trees?’
12 “Then the trees said to the vine, ‘Come and be our king.’
13 “But the vine answered, ‘Should I give up my wine, which cheers both gods and men, to hold sway over the trees?’
14 “Finally all the trees said to the thornbush, ‘Come and be our king.’
15 “The thornbush said to the trees, ‘If you really want to anoint me king over you, come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, then let fire come out of the thornbush and consume the cedars of Lebanon!’
Just to clarify:

Trees = people of Israel

Olive tree, fig tree, and vine = Gideon and his sons (Judges of Israel at the time)

Thornbush = Abimelech (son of Gideon by a concubine)

Jotham – youngest son of Gideon who escaped being killed by Abimelech

Israel was thirsty for a king and Abimelech was hungry for the position. All the other nations had kings, so why shouldn’t they? But God didn’t want His nation to be like the others. They were to be consecrated, set apart for His glory. Gideon and his sons understood this. As seen in the parable, they each knew what job or purpose God had given them and they saw it as fruitful.

In ministry, we all want to do great things for God. We want God to be pleased with us and so we work our bottoms off to achieve that goal. The problem comes when we begin to run ahead of God. Max Lucado says in this book, “In a desire to be great, one might cease being any good.” Yeah, let that one sink in for awhile. Looking at the “oak in the acorn” illustration, it would be crazy for the acorn to try to act like the great oak tree, even though it has all the oak DNA inside of it. It takes time and maturity to reach our full potential.

Check this out:
Romans 12:3 (New International Version)

3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

God has gifted me with a passion for teaching his Word to women of all ages. When I am teaching, whether it’s with kids or adults, I am living in my sweet spot. God will grow this ministry on His timetable and in His way. My job is to stay connected to Him and not rush things, thinking I have to be more influential to please Him. I am not Beth Moore or Kay Arthur. I am so thankful for them and l Iook up to their godly influence, but I can release the pressure to minister like them. My future belongs to the One who created me. Right now I cling to 1 Peter 5:6.

1 Peter 5:6 (The Message)

6-7So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.

Lord, help me to be the Tree you created me to be.

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Acorns to Oaks

One of my favorite Bible scriptures is Isaiah 61:3. The end of it says “They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of His splendor.” It amazes me that such a great tree comes from such a tiny acorn. Max Lucado wrote a book a few years ago called The Oak Inside the Acorn. It’s a children’s book, but it’s one of my favorites of all time. This book came at a perfect time in my life. I was questioning God about the direction my life was going. I was unsure of my talents, my purpose, or what the future held for me. I knew I was His child and that my future was for Him…I just didn’t know specifically what he wanted me to do. “Just be the tree God made you to be” is the wisdom Mother Oak gives to Little Acorn. It’s funny, my sister calls me “Tree” since my name is Theresa. I guess that’s why the scripture above sticks out so much for me. I want so much to be a “Tree” of righteousness for Him. Thankfully God doesn’t expect an acorn to become a great oak overnight. It’s been 25 years since I accepted Christ as my savior and I can see the growth from acorn to tree. Now anytime my sister calls me “Tree”, I am reminded of the awesome responsibility to stay connected to Christ and His Word so that I can have the power to be the “display of His splendor.”

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About Me

Welcome! I’m Theresa Haigler. My family and close friends call me “Tree”. I’m a minister’s wife, a mom of two teenage daughters, and a leader in children’s ministry, student ministry, and women’s ministry at our church. My life’s passion is teaching God’s Word. I love teaching all ages from little kids to adults. I hope this blog will inspire others to read God’s Word. 2 Timothy 3:16 says “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” I have learned this to be true after many years of studying. The final goal of it all?…

“…They will be called oaks of righteousness,a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” Isaiah 61:3

That’s the kind of Tree I want to be.

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