The other day the ladies were having their weekly Bible study and mention was made of the need to be vocal about our faith.
The tendency in many, in varying degrees, me included, is to have a relationship with God where He is our private God we engage with privately, talk to, study, and in limited circumstances share, with others about.
And in a world that has no problem with acting out and being vocal in a contrary way to our God, it is critical that we too act out and be vocal, contending for His ways, to counter what is going on.
There is logic and truth to the words that believing comes from hearing and hearing by the spoken word. There is no revelation to others about Him without our speaking and no witness against the errancy of their contrary thoughts and actions if others do not see and hear in us different words, a different example.
So we can sometimes fall into keeping Yahweh to ourselves, a private God and religion that we set up in our homes, in our minds, and treat others pretty much…well you go your way and I’ll go mine.
In a way I could see God taking that attitude in us, a mindset in us…Am I my brother’s keeper? And in light of all that He has done to “keep” His created ones… see us as not having that same concern and effort… I can imagine that anger would be one of His reactions. Praise the Father that He is patient and merciful!
But I’m drifting.
I woke up from a dream. I was sitting in a pew in the back somewhere, of a church, a rather large congregation sitting in front of me and we began singing a song. It wasn’t one of those lofty, amazingly deeply insightful and poetically worded, spiritually moving hymns that some of the old-timers wrote and left to us, but the simple “Jesus loves me this I know…”
And I heard one of my daughters, sitting behind me say…”Dad…stand up.”
“What?” I say and look around me. Way down there in the front I see a couple of people with hands raised but no one else is standing and within I feel a little uneasiness beginning to rise and a little irritation. She repeats…”Dad…go ahead... Stand up.” And, I am turning to answer, fumbling with some explanation about not being in the Spirit or something and I realize people around me are beginning to stand up and now I’m beginning to get upset. If I stand now I it’s not out of sincere expression of worship. If I remain seated I’ll be seen as not in the Spirit and all the implications concerning what others think that go along with that.
I woke up before I found out what my decision was. Thank goodness.!
In my dream, it wasn’t that I didn’t have belief, faith, or even love concerning my God. I just shied from the idea of being too visible, a focus, an object in aloof onlooker’s minds to be condescending towards …in a church of all places.
In retrospect it was fear that I allowed to neutralize “the moment” caused it to be missed, the imagined thoughts and opinions of others, my false perceptions…"false evidence appearing real"…as one of my teachers has put it.
But false or accurate…what does it matter? It’s clear from the Word, we are our brother’s…each other’s…keeper. We are to address, in ourselves and in others, ideas, actions, ways of living that are critical to us all being in good standing with our Creator, bring us into union with Him, and keep us there. If we walk with Jehovah God what excuse do we have for allowing our fears to rule our speech and actions?
The other thing is that the problem is only in the moment. Before and after, separated by the distance of place and time, for myself, the observation is that it wasn’t that big a deal. Why did I allow it to be.
And now what do I have to show for it? What treasure did I lay up for myself in heaven? My Father is not pleased. He is disappointed. That’s disheartening.
But Oh well…I avoided discomfort, fumbling about, appearing the fool, seen as pathetically naïve. How amplified, deafening, the lies of the enemy.
The fears are not always false or inaccurate concerning our social intercourse with one another. But they are not counted by our Father as waiver in regards to speaking up and out.
So it isn’t about whether you stand or sit, raise your hands or not, words you speak or times to remain silent and listen. It’s about being attentive to the voice and prompting of God’s Spirit that abides within us, beside us… and being obedient to what He is calling on us to do. It is about setting fears and honest “unsureness” aside as non-considerations and speak up… and back at… forbid in our own lives… dispute the rightness of ways, we are confronted with… that are contrary to the words and ways and character of the God we serve, love and wish to be…just like.
“…Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full in His wonderful face.
and the things of earth will grow strangely dim.
In the light of His glory and grace…”
You have promised us Father.
You will never abandon us or forsake us.
And we will not be dishonorable or shameful… in Your eyes… when we stand up against the contrary ways of this world, as we should, in love, being our brothers keeper, speaking to and pushing back…countering, tearing down…what is not upright and glorifying to You.
May we be master over our fears.
May we not love praise from other people, more than praise from You.
May it always be Your glory we seek above all else and all others.
As You cause us to be considered righteous may we garner, as Your gracious gift to us, glory from You, in Your eyes, as well.
In Yeshua’s name, we pray.
May God’s love be in us all.
Thoughts from :
Romans 10:17 CJB
“…Trust comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through a word proclaimed about Messiah…”
John 12:43 CJB
“…for they loved praise from other people more than praise from God…”
Psalm 25:3 CJB
“…No one waiting for You will be disgraced;
disgrace awaits for those who break faith for no reason.
“…those whom He caused to be considered righteous He also glorified…:
“Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus” written by Helen Howarth Lemmel