Out of Our Shell (Things That Go Without Saying part 6)

“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.” (Psalm 62:5, emphasis mine)

There comes a point in our walk with Christ where those who buoyed us in time past are not the ones the Lord would have us look to at present. This doesn’t mean they’re not the same person they’ve always been, just that you’ve crested a point from which they held a piece you needed and now …! There are other realms in which God would have you walk. Again, not that they’re not still in your circle, just that your sphere has expanded.

Avoid

“He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.” (Proverbs 13:3)

Because after a point, continuing to open up that part of your heart, repeating those things that could’ve been fully healed with silence, will actually prevent it from occurring. And moving forward, unless the Lord deliberately wants to continue referencing the wounds, wisdom says to keep quiet. You’ll know. If you listen for the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit, you’ll know when a channel is meant to stay off. Even those who are still open to hearing what’s going on may not know it’s time to stop referring to the thing in question, but God does. He wants your heart to be healed and whole so that you can continue to walk before Him in the ways that He showed you. Some people come and go, it’s just the way it is.

“But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.” (Philippians 4:10)

Ovoid

But this isn’t to say things don’t come around. After you walk a while with your newfound strength, you may also find that the wound threatens to reopen. The enemy may still try and stir up something you thought was dormant if not dead–in the best sense of the word. God sees the deep reasons why aspects of our lives again come under the microscope. And if the person(s) who helped you aforetime aren’t around for whatever reason, you’re sure to be comforted by God in ways you might not expect. God delights in surprising us and the more you walk with Him, the more He’s able to come up behind you and shore you up.

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Needless To Say (Things That Go Without Saying part 5)

“And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from Heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not. And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to Heaven.” (Revelation 10:4, emphasis mine)

I could tell you, but…

There was a point in my life where I was really curious about what was spoken by the “seven thunders”. Not, like, a season of three or four months where all I could do was seek out rare and esoteric texts (as in uncommon, and Christian, of course) and try and work them into the context starting from the beginning and then work out and into my life and… why? It was more along the lines of neglecting what had already been said. Unsealed, as it were.Take Revelation for instance. The very name implies something “revealed”. Something not known before. The mere fact that God would tell us the end from the beginning shows He has our best interests at heart and when you factor in hell and damnation and eternal judgment (assuming you believe those things are), best to have a trace of peace to keep us steady even as we walk, God’s hand in ours, shrouded in mist. Without the peace that tells us everything’s going to be okay, the easy answer of “take me home now, God” begins to formulate in our troubled mind. And God, says “I could tell you, but I… am not going to.” He asks that we trust Him. Life is not about “getting through” but “getting God”. Knowing Him.

“I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” (John 16:12)

Okay, so I still wonder about what was said by the “seven thunders” that day in Revelation. But there’s one passage from said book that is of utmost importance and that must be laid to rest in our hearts prior to even getting to the point where we could hear such privileged information from God (because I believe He’ll tell you certain things of grandiosity should you be called in a line that extends that high–and everyone is). That passage is as follows.

“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” (Revelation 2:4-5)

A place for everything

Always a hot button issue as the notion of faith versus works sidles into the argument. And just so you know, being led of the Holy Spirit throughout our day is the answer to that. But when Jesus speaks in the above passage to the “Church of Ephesus”, (2:1) that they had left their first love, it kind of goes without saying that any work beyond that wouldn’t be the right thing anyway. Fast-forwarding to the notion that there are unmentionables that we dare not listen to, think about how you’d be affected if you heard privileged information and your heart wasn’t “rooted and grounded in love” (Ephesians 3:17b)? It’s dangerous. You can understand how Christ would leave off teaching His disciples, seeing how they weren’t quite ready to hear what He had to tell them.

And everything in it’s place

Before I go any further, the idea of “removing [a] candlestick” is a scary one. A candlestick has one function. Yes, it can be ornate or simple–your choice. But it’s here to hold a flame. To herald the coming of Jesus. Focus in on Him and what He’s telling you now and any other ancillary (read: superfluous) information will come when you need it. Notice how Jesus identifies the Holy Spirit as Comforter:

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be trouble, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:26-27

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)

Behind Closed Doors (Things That Go Without Saying part 4)

“They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they mark my steps, when they wait for my soul. Shall they escape by iniquity? In thine anger cast down the people, O God. Thou tellest my wanderings: put Thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in Thy book? When I cry unto Thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me. In God will I praise His word: in the Lord will I praise His word. In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto Thee. For Thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not Thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?”  (Psalm 56:6-10)

Here, there be dragons

Implicit

“Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.” (Psalm 71:20)

There are times in our life where God brings us through a period of suffering. Things don’t have to change much geographically. But your whole world could fall apart while God reorients your life to be more in line with His Calling. One of the reasons that things got so hard is because God had to be there first. He had to be the one to take you by the hand and walk you through those regions of darkness. That road you stepped on winds its way through the hearts of certain individuals that you’ll encounter as you progress. It’s meant to be and the time is now. Clichéd as that sounds, God waits for us to get to a certain place before we affect others on whose level we now find ourselves. This isn’t something you can wrap your mind around until you find yourself in it and have submitted to the Lord for Him to show you what He wants you to know while you’re there. Because if you take the time to map out the region of hell in which you find yourself, you’ll be equipped and qualified to lead others out. Who would want to stay in hell?

The world is unraveling but not in the way you might think. Look at what Jesus says: “Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the house tops.” (Matthew 10:26-27)

He’s talking about the depths of people’s hearts being brought to the light. This isn’t to say we don’t cover others mistakes and shortcomings with love and forgiveness. It is supreme folly to bring out deep secrets and issues in a willy-nilly and voyeuristic manner to the world at large (read: gossip). Anyone who does that should be severely reprimanded. (“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2) That’s not what Jesus is talking about. He’s talking about the things that are planned and schemed and kept hidden so as to thwart and unsettle the plans of God. Plans that involve the transparent hearts of His children. The Holy Spirit is so aware and ingrained and present it’s scary. Scary, that is, if you’re heart is not right with God.

“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:31)

All over the map

Explicit

Paul is talking about prophecy in his letter to the Corinthians: “But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.” (1 Corinthians 14:24-25) What he’s saying is, God knows what is on the heart of any and everyone. And should someone happen into a church that is operating in the Holy Spirit to where a prophecy has free reign, that person, whomever they may be, will realize the above statement. God can speak something or cause a circumstance to happen that pierces your heart (this is not a bad thing). He is closer than any of us truly give Him credit for. And if we are unwilling to surrender our secrets to Him (and Him alone), He may well flush them out if that’s what it takes to draw you to Him. Again, not a bad thing.

“Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel?” (2 Kings 6:10) Through Elisha’s inward window by the Holy Spirit, the Israelites were able to escape a cleverly plotted ambush by the Syrians–not once, but twice. “And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber.” (6:11)

God takes the calm and peace and protection and prosperity (more than material) of His children very seriously. Sadly, too many of His kids don’t see the danger and as such don’t see the fire in God’s eyes that would protect them from such. It’s when we press in to God and see His supreme value for our lives, that we see our true station as His children. Don’t let anyone fool you.

“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.” (Isaiah 54:17)

Speakeasy (Things That Go Without Saying part 3)

Holding one’s tongue

Tacit

“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” (Matthew 6:6)

Thy Father which seeth in secret…

How loud is a silent prayer? So loud that only God (and you) can hear it. The thoughts and yearnings of our heart are meant to find no other sounding board than “Our Father which art in Heaven”. There are depths to our person that no one but Him understands and sees. I find that I am filling in these heretofore uncharted spaces as I live and grow. I also realize that God was already down there waiting for me to arrive. It’s like there was this doorway in the closet that led down to deeper depths than I ever knew I possessed. And now, upon returning to the surface, these territories of my person–known only to God and myself–are always there to draw upon in fellowship with Him. But only between us. No one would understand or relate to the things we share with our Father. And this is where the word “tacit” comes in. Silent agreement. It isn’t that you keep these beautiful things (whatever they may be) hidden, just that you don’t injure the relationship you and He share by giving out privileged information.

“Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.” (Psalm 94:17)

Licit

“I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.” (Psalm 39:1)

The opposite of illicit, “licit” means “lawful”–allowed. After surfacing from the deep realms you experience with God, realize that, while He would have everyone in on the beauty that you now know and live, not everyone is where you’re at. This is very important. When Jesus is asked by the Pharisees “If Thou be the Christ, tell us plainly”, to which He responds, “I told you, and ye believed not” (John 10:24-25), we see that some people can’t handle the truth, literally. I find as I go about my day, the truths of God that I see and seek to live out (and in) are altogether different than the frequencies to which other people are attuned. And it’s not my place to try and change them or reorient them to God’s broadcast. This might sound a little odd, sure, but the point I’m seeking to express is that of keeping one’s head when in and around a world that totally doesn’t understand the things of God. Paul says that “the natural man (and woman) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14) This is blunt. And it’s best to keep one’s mouth shut when, plainly, those listening have no frame of reference for what you’re talking about.

“When I said, My foot slippeth; Thy mercy, O Lord, held me up.” (Psalm 94:17)

Keeping one’s head

Elicit

“Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Incline not my heart to any evil thing. To practice wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.” (Psalm 141:3)

It can be so easy to speak out the secrets of our hearts. God is so kind and loving and tender. He remakes us into the same. And yet we still have to keep our wits about us in a world that actively seeks to tear us down little by little. That little pilot light that was ignited upon salvation that you and God sit around and fellowship is constantly bombarded. From without by careless and uncaring individuals (spiritual and otherwise) and from within by a natural tendency to let slip the beauty in light of an ever-present drain (temptation) on our enthusiasm. Out of all the fronts that vye for our attention and seek to distract us from God, the one I’m most wary of is that of any other individual who would try and ferret out anything between me and God through surreptitious means. That’s the killer. If God is doing big things in your life, things you don’t see fully as yet (He always is.), be sure and give nothing away that belies that privileged information. It’s no one’s place to elicit things out of you that you wouldn’t share with the devil.

“For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall he hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock. And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in His tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord. Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When Thou saidst, Seek my face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.” (Psalm 27:5-8)

“The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.” (Psalm 121:5)

Scire Licet (Things That Go Without Saying part 2)

“He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven…” (Matthew 13:11, emphasis mine)

The Latin term “scire licet” essentially says the same thing. “It is permitted to know” i.e. it goes without saying. In other words, it’s “common knowledge” (but important nonetheless). But notice how Jesus had to tell the disciples the reason why He spoke to others “in parables”. The things of God’s spirit are open to anyone with a humble heart. “Who hath ears to hear, let him (and her) hear.” (Matthew 13:9)

There are things in this life that are ours but we’ll never know it unless we stand up and assert ourselves. There’s a fine line, to be sure, when it comes to boastful pride versus a healthy self-confidence. It would seem that the world conspires to keep certain things from entering our realm of conscious awareness. Take, for instance, a boy who’s been bullied throughout his entire Elementary School experience only to find upon entering Middle School that he wasn’t the person many saw him to be. He was stronger. Something clicked in him and he discovered a core of strength that was there all along. The bullies saw it too and were threatened by it. Or a girl who walks by a group of peers that whisper and giggle for some reason unknown. When she sees her friend who plays both sides and asks what they were talking about, the friend always dismisses it. Leaving the girl with a hollow feeling in her heart. What she doesn’t know is that there’s something in her that threatens the clique. Oh, she’ll find out. And leave the others behind. Same thing goes for the Christian.

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:12)

A contraction or shortened form of the term scire licet would be the word “scilicet”. It means “namely”. So with reference to the things that have been “freely given to us of God”, let’s look at some of the particulars.

“Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” (1 Corinthians 2:13)

Before we go any further, it must be known when God gives us any attribute befitting one of His sons or daughters, that it’s altogether different than something that would seek to pass itself off as a merely human facsimile thereof. For example, you’ll find that the mercy and gentleness that come from the heart of Jesus are able to withstand the storms with which life at large seeks to accost them. If anything, they’ll simply grow stronger and brighter. Conversely, any vestige of mercy or attempted gentleness that simply springs from our own heart only will find itself severely tested and wanting when it encounters the inevitable deeper and harder obstacles. Without the spiritual qualities of the Holy Spirit, any attributes we innately possess will only go so far. This isn’t bad news, it’s just the natural order of things. It’s actually good to know our limitations. And if you truly desire to please God wherever He takes you, then you must prevail upon His Spirit to know and understand the “things that are freely given to us.” Because we can’t make it without them.

“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Matthew 24:12) But what about this? “Love (charity) never faileth” (1 Corinthians 13:8) We must be talking of two different types of love. The former being shallow, the latter being God’s. And ours, if only we knew it.

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)

We’ll never know what we have as “joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17) unless we ask and seek. God has spelled it out plainly through His word and through the life of His Son. Treasures waiting to be tapped that are ours for the taking. Things that go without saying. Don’t limit yourself by accepting anything less than what is rightfully yours. Mercy. Liberty. Conscience. Compassion. Healing. Love. Scire Licet.

“In whom (Jesus) are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:3)

“But when the multitudes saw it, they marveled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.” (Matthew 9:8)

Things That Go Without Saying part 1

“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37)

Our words have power. Just to hear someone say “I love you”, in whatever context (friend, familial, romantic) is supremely empowering. True love from an honest heart, expressed through simple words. It erases hurts, soothe raw nerves, calms timorous temperaments. And God is saying it all the time.

“By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them, by the breath of His mouth.” (Psalm 33:6)

Let’s follow God’s lead. Not because of an irrational fear of judgment, but because we love Him. “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children.” (Ephesians 5:1) And I’m not talking about creating galaxies and worlds and infinite space, I’m referring of course, to creating the feelings needed to sustain and build up the body of Christ. Our brothers and sisters in Him. Far, far more important.

It takes time to iron out the words we speak. And while I believe it’s within our power to do so, James (3:8) says that “the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” Ouch. Guilty! If we’re going to untwist our tongues and speak words that edify as opposed to tear down, we’ll need all the help from the Holy Spirit we can get!

“Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt…” (Colossians 4:6)

If “idle hands are the devil’s workshop”, what are “idle words”? “The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.” (Proverbs 18:8) A “talebearer” eh? Also known as a gossip. People’s secrets are precious. And if someone takes the time to not only share with you privileged information, but also to get to know you well enough to do so, realize that you’ve been given a piece of their heart. Something that needs guarding and tending. Be sure to share it with no one but God. It goes without saying.

Talk might be cheap, but it all depends on what you’re saying, right?

“Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for Thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias (Elijah): not knowing what He said.” (Luke 9:33, emphasis mine) This is Peter talking. Telling Jesus what He wants to do for Him, as well as Moses and Elijah. They two had just appeared to Jesus and were discussing the forthcoming events. Heavy stuff. And while Peter’s heart was right, it would seem that his desire to build “tabernacles” for them wasn’t quite the right response. Have you ever encountered an individual who, after you talk to them, realize that you just put your foot in your mouth? I have and it’s quite embarrassing. God the Father, however, speaks through the cloud in the verses following, saying “This is my beloved Son: hear Him.” (verse 35) Sometimes, all you really can contribute to a situation is silence. I’m not saying that Peter was a fool, he just wasn’t at the same level as Jesus or Moses or Elijah, he just thought he was. But, “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.” ( Proverbs 17:28) Some things do indeed go without saying.

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29) When we live in the light of God’s words to us, and indeed the living Word (Jesus), then everything we say will end up being the right words at the right time. “But whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost” (Mark 13:11, emphasis mine)

But don’t be harsh with yourself. Our words are important. So much so, that God says He’ll even tell us what to say. You’ll know it, because it’s just so refreshingly different that what you’re generally accustomed to saying. Idle words? Please… One of the fruits of the Spirit is “temperance” (Galatians 5:23) or self-control.

*whispering* Pray this: “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)

And don’t forget to say “please” and “thank-you”.