Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Friday, August 15, 2014

Open to Heaven

The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.  … Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the LORD; how much more the hearts of the children of man! -- Proverbs 15:3, 11

When I listen to people talk, I find that a lot of our complaints and concerns seem to revolve around fairness and justice.  Sometimes we worry that our efforts are ignored and our motives misunderstood.  The other thing that bothers us is when people we think are probably acting from wrong motives are not exposed and their deeds thwarted. 

It also comes as a shock to us that instant karma doesn’t always work in our favor.  We do a favor for someone, and they either forget about it or even turn against us.  We do our best to be honest and fair, yet the world takes advantage of us.  After a few rounds of getting stabbed in the back, that whole turning the other cheek thing has a lot less appeal.    

I think we ought to make a full disclosure when asking people to follow Christ.  Jesus did it.  He said the world has hated Me, and it is going to hate you if you follow Me.  We need to tell our youth in the churches and new Christians not to expect favorable treatment or even equity in their dealings with others just because they are Christians.  Don’t expect it from the world, certainly, but don’t be surprised if those calling themselves Christians turn on you when it is to their advantage.  God is the only One you can trust absolutely. 

Our fair treatment will come from God.  He is the source of all justice, of all goodness, of all retribution, recompense, and compensation.  He will reward us not just for our successes and accomplishments but for our efforts and our faithfulness and our obedience – because He knows.

It was scary to me that God knew my thoughts – it’s probably even scarier to God.  All my evil imaginings lie open before the eyes of the Lord.  The Spirit of God knows the wickedness in the depths of my heart.  He knows the real reasons – whether cowardice, lust, laziness, or vindictiveness – behind my façade of pleasant words.  Then one day I realized that if He knows the bad side, He also knows the good side.  He knows the times that I have set aside my own preferences to help someone or given more than I could spare or pushed myself past the limit, sacrificed for another.  He knows the times that I was terrified yet kept going.  And, while, despite my best efforts, the bad would outweigh the good, Jesus has His thumb on the scale.  In the end, it is His righteousness that will deliver me and not my own. 

The beauty of it all is that we can be perfectly honest with God.  There are things about me that I cannot tell to anyone, but God knows.  My sins are forgiven and forgotten, and the burden of all has been taken away.  Still there are things that have happened that weren’t as much moral failures as they were just horribly embarrassing.  God knows about those.  He knows what I was thinking when I did something stupid.  He knows the sickness and self-loathing I felt when I took the easy way out a few times, the relief I felt when a potential challenge passed me by.  All that stuff, no matter what it is or what it was, we don’t have to pretend or forget to protect our “image”.  With God there is nothing we can hide behind, but there’s also nothing we need to hide.


julie said...

It was scary to me that God knew my thoughts – it’s probably even scarier to God. All my evil imaginings lie open before the eyes of the Lord.

Yes. Back in my smarter days, when I was sure there was no god, I let my thoughts run amok, thinking, "it doesn't matter - nobody can see." Then as I came to accept the Truth, I had a dream one night that I was hiding out in a ramshackle house, with boarded windows, and a light outside that was trying to come in. Based on all the typical alien abduction scenarios. And then I realized there was a soldier, allied with the light, who was already inside and had been there the whole time. My guardian angel, I think.

Anyway, the point being that the thought of God seeing inside was literally terrifying; I mostly got over it, but am not sure that feeling ever entirely goes away.

mushroom said...

Wow, God does know how to get a point across.

On the other hand, I'd love to see my guardian angel -- if they don't have him on suicide watch.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

That is a great point, Mushroom, that God sees not only our bad thoughts but our good thoughts.
He really does see the Good, The Bad, The Ugly, and The Beautiful.

You're also right about motivations or intent. It does bother me more when someone thinks they know mine but do not.
Not so much their presumptiousness but their attack on my character.

I got enough impugning of my character based on my own thoughts n' actions without someone adding wrong ones.
However, as you say, people will let you down, and thus we can only trust God with everything.

Guardian Angels really do have a tough job.
I can't complain about the job mine has done. Definitely deserves a chest full of medals and a long vacation after my time has passed!

mushroom said...

Yep, I'm bad enough as it, please avoid making me even worse.

On another note, I am disrupted this week. My wife has been complaining for years about the wrinkle in the carpet in my office. She's also been after me to buy a bigger safe.

So it went like this: I finally gave in, and we bought a safe "on sale". As we were hauling it home, I was thinking about how I was going to get it out of the back of the truck. She said, We can drive my car. Just leave it in the truck until you put down the new floor.

Step two was to buy a load of laminate flooring to replace the carpet. As I am getting ready to pop the baseboard and take out the carpet, she says, let's go see if we can find some paint to match the laminate.

The truth is that I painted my office in fairly saturated, masculine colors, or, as my granddaughter said -- "This is BRIGHT!" So I think the whole thing was just a ploy to neutralize the colors in my office.

At any rate, the walls are painted, the carpet is out, the moisture barrier is down, and the safe is still in the back of the truck.

I'm working off the kitchen table so posting may be sporadic to non-existent this week.

John Lien said...

Sounds like your wife is feeling a little better. Good to hear :^)