When my wife kisses me, I often feel warm inside and well-loved. These feelings sometimes last for hours and are re-aroused days, months or years later when I recall her kissing me.
If, I speak of my experience when Bre, “…kissed me…,” I can experience it in three different tense-related ways:
- I can view the kiss as a completed action in the past, the effect of which I no longer feel: “she kissed me and I felt full of an overwhelming sense of contentment and joy ” (notice that the focus here is on what I felt: contentment and joy; the kiss is viewed as a background event in the past).
- I can also view the kiss in such a way as to re-arouse the feelings as I speak about the glorious event: “after she has kissed me, I feel full of an overwhelming sense of contentment and joy” (notice that the focus here is turned to the experience of feeling; the experience is being re-experienced as I tell it, both how I feel and the cause of my feelings are background information in comparison to my experience of actually feeling something).
- One final time-related way that I can view the kiss is as an experience that awaits me in the future: “and then, after she has kissed me, I will be full of an overwhelming sense of contentment and joy” (notice that the focus in this wording is on my faith and hope in what I believe will be the result of kissing my beautiful wife).
In one Roman translation of the God’s Word, written around 400AD, Genesis 1:1 uses the word “create” in a form which is the present-tense of the perfective aspect: in normal English, this means that this historical event is being told with a present tense sense (see the above kissing example to understand the value of the present tense sense). It seems to me that such wording is utilized to encourage the reader to experience the event as it is being told.
It is fun and fulfilling to ponder the time-related ways in which we can experience a one-time event depicted in God’s Word. There is a-whole-nother world contained in God’s Word. A world much different than the one we perceive with the eyes of our flesh. Consider how your experience of the scriptures might be different if you allow yourself to be a part of God’s story as you read or listen to it without merely viewing it as a past event.
Try experiencing every aspect of God as if the events communicated by his Word are felt as having just happened while simultaneously being recognized as factual details and being the promise of things to come. This is what God’s Word empowers us to do, and as Christians, equipped with the armor of God, we can wield this powerful sword, God’s Word, in such a way as to ward off the attacks of the spiritual enemy of God.