Ephesians 4:7-16; Wisdom – seek out only what God reveals.
length: 69:24 - taught on Sep, 1 2021
Wednesday September 1,2021
Written by CS Lewis in 1948. Very applicable to today:
“How are we to live in an atomic age?’ I am tempted to reply: ‘Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of chronic pain, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.’
In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways.
It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.
The first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about death. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.”
Back to the disciples vs. the demon:
But while everyone was marveling at all that He was doing, He said to His disciples, 44 "Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men." 45 But they did not understand this statement, and it was concealed from them so that they might not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this statement.
Again: It is our own weakness and blindness that demands persistence in prayer, not God’s forgetfulness or stubbornness.
God knows infinitely more than the wisest believer. We must never fear seeking all we can know of Him, while humbly knowing that there are some things unknowable. We must fear God and at the same time draw very near to Him. As we will see, if you haven’t grasped this yet, that it is not a paradox.
We must not fear who we are before Him right now. He knows anyway; Who do we think we’re fooling?
After the fall, Adam and Eve hid from God out of fear. This is the natural way of the fallen, but it must not be of the born-again. At the same time, we must not in our own thinking fall into a way that is a familiar relationship with God. We are not in a casual relationship with God, nor a frivolous or happy-go-lucky one.
We fear God, but we also know why we can draw near to Him with boldness and confidence. It is the blood of Christ, the sacrifice of the One who sits at the Father’s right hand, who bears the stripes of His suffering in eternal scars on His hands, feet, and side. By knowing this, we approach near to God with confidence, but also with the utmost reverence having conscious thought of the way in which the door to intimacy was opened.
We may find ourselves with a mindset like the disciples, imagining that if we draw near to God that our exposed flaws, the scars upon our souls from a lifetime of sin, will lessen our image before Him and also before ourselves. As it says, we must not fear who we are before Him right now. He sees all anyway. Bear yourself to Him, the only healer. After crossing the Red Sea, and crying out about the waters being bitter, and witnessing God using Moses to make the bitter waters sweet, God said to them:
And He said, "If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer."
It is utmost foolishness to try and keep anything back from the Lord.
Woe to those who deeply hide their plans from the Lord,
And whose deeds are done in a dark place,
And they say, "Who sees us?" or "Who knows us?"
However, actual hiding from God is not possible.
“Can a man hide himself in hiding places,
So I do not see him?” declares the Lord.
“Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the Lord.
“For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity concealed from My eyes.”
The great English pastor and theologian, Charnock said: “According to the weakness of our knowledge is the slightness of all our acts toward God. When we do not understand His justice, we shall presume (be audacious) upon Him. When we are ignorant of His glorious majesty, we shall be rude with Him. Unless we understand His holiness, we shall leap from sin to duty; if we are ignorant of His excellency, we shall lack humility before Him. If we have not a sense of His omniscience, we shall be careless in His presence, full of roving thoughts, guilty of vain babbling as if He lacked information.” [Stephen Charnock]
It is the natural way of the fallen to hide from God out of fear. It is not the way of the born-again.
We must not approach God defensively, superficially, or resentfully; playing the hurt lover because we are afraid of emotional discomfort from exposing ourselves. This is the wrong type of fear.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 "And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil. 20 "For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 "But he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God."