Matthew 17: 1-9 is a fascinating passage of scripture to me. We read about Jesus being transfigured in front of Peter, James, and John. How would you have felt if you were one of them? I would be flabbergasted; can only watch and don’t know what to say or how to behave. Maybe too excited or scared to say a word. Jesus was having a conversation with Moses and Elijah – one who was dead and the other who was taken up to heaven in a chariot! Their “hi-fi” must be amazing. I would love to listen o what they said to each other.
Jesus was transfigured and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Imagine that scene before your eyes. The Bible did not tell us how long this took place before Peter spoke up. He just blurted out his thought. He spoke his mind: “Lord, it is good for us to be here; If you wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” Bless his heart. Peter was trying to be helpful – practical. If these three spiritual giants are going to stay here for longer, having a tabernacle each would be fair. Maybe in another blog, I might talk about what these three tabernacles would represent to Peter. Today, let’s chat about why Peter spoke his mind in such an important spiritual time for him and his friends.
Are you someone who talks to yourself or share out loud an idea or what went on for the day with someone else? You feel you need to speak out what is going on the inside of you? If you do, you are probably a “verbal processor”. We read in several places in the bible about Peter saying out loud what was on his mind. I used to wonder why did he do that? In recent years, I have learnt that some of my family members or friends often speak out loud their ideas or process with me what they feel God is saying to them.
To give you a few such examples, let me tell you about my former supervisor. At the beginning of my employment, she explained to me I would hear her speaking out loud in her room. Do not be alarmed, she told me. She talks to herself every day.
Then, there is my husband, Dave, who rumbles along with long stories of his work or his ideas about his writings, etc to me sometime. I used to get annoyed because it has nothing to do with me and I don’t even understand some of what he was saying. In Malaysia, Chinese would call this “long winded”. However, when I heard about verbal processors, I understood how important it is for Dave to process an important issue out loud. He was not looking for an answer or advice from me. He was trying to make sense of what he was thinking or feeling. Often, verbal processor will find their “light bulb” moments when they are processing out loud what is going internally. It is a good thing! If that is you, explain this to your friends or family.
The Lord Jesus understood Peter very well. He did not answer Peter’s kind offering to help. Peter was having such an unexplainable experience supernaturally with Jesus, that he had to say something to make some sense of what he was seeing and hearing. I believe that this is the reason Jesus asked Peter three times to verbalise his love (John 21). Perhaps Peter needs to hear himself confessing his love, his commitment to his Lord; the One whom he said he would lay down his own life for. Jesus was helping Peter to verbally process his turn around from running away to running back into his arms of love and acceptance.
There is a time when we need to speak up – hear ourselves confessing our trust and love to God or to a marriage or our parenting over our children. Pain will try to motivate us to walk away, find the easiest pathway. Friends, don’t walk away from what you know is right or your inheritance. Speak out loud to your soul – “I am committed to this!”
Sometimes, for verbal processor, it might be helpful to write down our processings. One of our highly prophetic friends used to say everything that she thinks was coming from the Holy Spirit to her. Until someone counselled her to write down to firstly process what she should speak out and what were messages from God for her alone. By writing these senses, visions or thoughts down, it gave her time to craft how they should be communicated out loud. Many prophetic words have been literally shot out through the media without much processing. What is for now and what is meant for later? Were they just our own opinions or truly from the Lord? Do they bring more fear to the Body of Christ? Are they warnings so the hearer can pray against and divert them from happening rather than posting them for all to read?
May I suggest that when you are not sure if certain matters are meant to be said out loud, that you will take time to write them out or do an audio recording for yourself. Read them out loud to yourself or listen to your own recording later. You might be glad that you did not tell another soul everything that was going on in your mind or heart 🙂
Knowing when and who to verbally process your thoughts, insights, experiences, ideas or findings will save you a lot of trouble. Understand that you are a verbal processor and that is ok. Ask for Wisdom to guide you. You can speak your mind to anyone of the Trinity. God is ever ready to hear you.