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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hidden From Sight

Psalm 42:7-8
Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.

There isn’t anything more unpleasant than feeling like you can’t find the face of the Lord. It seems there are times when sin clouds our view. We need a better perspective. Possibly at times we are too focused on ourselves or our circumstances. Our vision of God can be clouded by many evil thoughts. The enemy is always working to get our minds on the world and off of God. In those times there is the mental knowledge of God but no real sense of his presence. We fight with faith for faith until we can discern his voice again.

There are other times though, when it seems that we cannot “see” the face of God and yet feel strangely close to him. There are times when he takes us aside to himself and holds us in a way that we cannot see him in the way we like but feel he is very near. The picture that comes to mind is as if you were sitting in God’s palm and he put his other hand over you, to cup you in. There is a closeness that is undeniable yet it is a little lonely. You feel isolated from your ministry objectives and wonder how to be close to people. You feel alone with your sins and it seems that the consuming fire of God is dangerously close. It is dark in the sense of not cheery but not evil. Perhaps you have come closer than you bargained for? If you were not sure you were in his hand, you would have great fear of judgement.

This is a place of quiet and of few distractions. Sinful thoughts are unraveled and there is the exposing of some of the depth of sin you are capable of and are loving. This is a place to be stripped of filthy rags. This is not the awareness of some simple adjustment you need to make. It is an awareness of what justice would mean were it not for the wounds and death of Jesus. God brings conviction until you are at the brink of despair, yet you are not hopeless. God knows who you are and for this time you know some of who you are also. Gratitude and godly fear abound.

What can be prayed at this time? Who can open their mouth except to say, “save me or I will not be saved!”? There doesn’t seem to be voice for any other request. God is near; lovingly near. He is saving. He is close and you are glad that you are in his hand. He will not consume his own hand and he will not deny the request through his Son. Praise God! His mercy is real. Salvation is not a yesterday necessity that you have received. It is a right this moment necessity that you have the privilege of realizing. It is the kind of realization that doesn’t come on bright cheery days when you see God smiling. It comes when he draws you close enough for you to feel the heat of his holiness and the fire of hell within yourself. It is a gracious dose of his love and beauty that can only be seen in the darkness of his hand cupped over you.

This is the kind of love from God that made the Apostle Paul declare that he was the chief of sinners. He was given the discipline of God’s mercy and was able to see some of what he was being saved from. Thank God for all his wonderful and terrifying ways. He is a God to be bowed to, a hand to be cowered under and also the only safe place anywhere. When we see what we would be without Jesus (a little like toast) we can appreciate him more. When we see what we are and what we would be stuck with if he had not brought us the light of his gospel; we are blown away by what we have received. The hand is removed and something is different. God is bigger, you are smaller.

Heb 12:6
My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.

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About Me

I met Jesus in March 1997 and soon after I began the practice of writing things down that were happening in my life with the Lord. Over the years, in the rare times that I have looked back into older journals, I have found that the things the Lord was showing me then are the same things He is showing me now. This does not make them less helpful, on the contrary, it makes them more helpful. God is exactly who He says He is and is doing all that He said He would. We need to be reminded of God and His faithfulness. The intention of this blog is to encourage God's people to continue and to grow in their confidence in Jesus Christ. The things posted here are from my journal and are meant to be an example of God's love and help as He loves and helps me. I would expect that you would have reason to trust Jesus Christ with your life (and death) if you haven't heard about Him so I invite you to go to my page "About Jesus" to see why you can and should have every confidence in Jesus and Jesus only for all things.