“For Thou hast possessed my reins: Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139:13)
So, one of my biggest struggles has been emerging from a somewhat self-imposed cocoon. A place from within I came to a deep and revelatory undercurrent of God’s character. A place that you naturally wouldn’t want to wake from or crawl out of. But again, I’m finding that a time to change (at least into something else) comes around every once in a while or so and the things to which God had one eye closed (see Acts 17:30) have been brought to light. And now you’re squinting from the light and things are uncomfortable and God is closer than you ever knew but He’s also a lot…different. Simply a fuller version of who you’ve known all along.
“Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:” (Isaiah 29:13, emphasis mine)
“This persuasion cometh not of Him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” (Galatians 5:8-9)
It’s times like these, much like your new birth in Christ (if I may) that you really have to keep the kernel of that which God is doing on your insides, hidden. “Immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood” says Paul writing to the Galatians (1:16). Simple answer because no one had the correct angle on what God was doing in his life. And when Isaiah writes regarding the fear of the Lord as “taught by the precept of men”, this means that everything God is doing in your life will be turned on its head as God is not seen by others the way He’s seen by you. If you have glimpsed by God’s grace a side of Him that has been heretofore hidden from view for whatever reason, revel in it. If you have walked with the Lord, in the shadow of His peak to where the clouds have parted revealing the sun over the mountaintop, best thing to do is sit down and soak in the view. You very well may have all the reason in the world to continue moving on, but if God is stopping for you to look, don’t turn to the right or the left. And certainly don’t look behind you.
“And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.” (Galatians 2:2)
So Paul is doing his thing in Jerusalem “fourteen years after” (2:1) and he distinguishes among certain types of individuals in preaching to them. The realms of society, secular and non, are intricate and interwoven in ways that only God sees. Paul stepped lightly around and among “them which were of reputation”. We’d do well to consider diligently the temperaments and character types with whom we give that which is only for us at least for a time.
“Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare unto thy soul.” (Proverbs 22:24-25)
Seriously. You don’t want that.