Monday, October 29, 2012

Clear As Water

If we were to be completely honest with ourselves, everything we live for is about appearances. Even those who intentionally rebel or are obnoxious are doing it to create the look they want.

As a society, we have gotten very good at a habit of lying. We smile to one person's face, then tear them to shreds behind their back... or in our heads. But, we want the image of looking good and polite, so we don't really think it's a problem. Ultimately, God is the One we answer to. And He really doesn't care what we look like on the outside, He's concerned with our heart. He knows what we think about.

Psalm 139 is a horrible Psalm for those who are content with their life. It invites the One who sees our innermost thoughts to bring them to light and purge them with the intent of changing one's life. I dare anyone who reads this to truly pray and apply this Psalm to their life.

Someone told me this summer that coveting is the only one of the Ten Commandments that you can break in your head. Have you ever had something that really just nagged and bothered you? Yeah, this has been that thing for me.

It's clear in Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28 (Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.... Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.) That we can sin in our minds. Proverbs 23:7 tells us that what we say in our heart is who we truly are.

So, with all that said, let me tell you how it applied to my own personal life. 

I've been taught my whole life that the only thing required of myself in my family was obedience. That's what the Bible said. I remember a bunch of messages as a kid directed toward what obedience is and what it is not, and I got really good at it. Yeah, I messed up occasionally, but I am pretty much the model daughter. 

But trouble was brewing in my heart. Though no one could tell from the outside smile, in my heart I was disobeying. 

In my head I'm standing up
I had traded true respect and submission for obedience. The thing that caught my attention was that this attitude was spreading in my life. Content to obey so long as I could complain in my head. Whether it was about teachers assigning too much homework, not getting the people I wanted on my crew at camp, not getting even the job I wanted when I wanted it. All around me are people who hold some claim to authority in my life. Some I've voluntarily allowed, like my boss, others are defaulted, like my parents. But there is One who've I've voluntarily allowed to be my defaulted authority.  (He's my authority whether I were saved or not, but I chose to live by His authority while I'm still alive). 

Sin is like blue food coloring in water. It starts out stark and noticeable, only affecting a small part of the water when first dropped in, but soon diffuses itself to the entire cup. Only a drop, you would never think it were there unless you looked for it. 

But that's what God does. He looks, not just for the rock at the bottom of the cup which can be quickly removed, but for the subtle stuff that is much harder to filter out. He wants our lives to be pure, and clear so that others can see Him through our lives, not a tainted image. 

Praise Him for continually drawing us to Himself!

Psalm 139

O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.
Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.
Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.
For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Because of Him,

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