Personal Blog 3
Waiting and Understanding
2 Corinthians 5:11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord…
Personal blog 3 of over 700 posts; what does that say? I guess I cannot really analyze it at this point; too many of my thoughts now revolve around the reality that I have never personally known anyone who has died in the Lord. I know of people but know no one myself. It’s a shame really, one of but many negative byproducts of having been so many years outside of a church that preached the true Gospel, and that, without compromise. In fact, up until recently, I have never attended a church that faithfully preached the true Gospel — we are looking at almost twenty years now. What does that say? I have visited one or two that were hundreds (or more) miles away but always a drought nearby. As a result, death was always the reality when it occurred around me; always one more soul that I knew that (in all likelihood) ended up in Hell. The weight of this can be staggering when you think about it; but a certain degree of desensitization exists. Nonetheless, the reality of mortality, death, judgment is before me mightily even now and I simply cannot understand why, knowing therefore the terror, my interaction with those around me so little reflects this in comparison.
I wrote about becoming too close to the world and still struggle with this. It isn’t easy when there are people whom you genuinely like, genuinely care about, but whom you know are at extreme risk of the second death by nature. You want to witness to them, and indeed do so, but you also do not want to hit them over the head with it to the further hardening of their heart. These are people who make you laugh, make you smile, and yet, it saddens me because their state is so precarious. Yet knowing this, it is bewildering how difficult prayer can be on their behalf. It is bewildering how earthly things weaken the sense, the magnitude, of this most weighty matter. What is love that doesn’t fervently seek the highest good of those whom it is shed upon? This isn’t to say that I do not pray for them but what are my prayers? What little they are in comparison to the reality of their woeful state. How pathetic are they to even be called prayer.
I keep thinking of Ephesians 5:3 “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks;” and also Titus 2:1 “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: 2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.” To know sobriety, to know gravity, to know temperance, to know charity, to know patience — to know all these things as I ought— why is it so difficult? It’s all about wisdom and maturity. Wisdom to know how best to speak and how best not to — and maturity (in the faith) enough to speak and act in a way that will truly encourage and edify. These things come in time and God is in control of them; He is Lord of degrees and measures and will give unto all of His children what He deems fit for each of them at any given time. Nonetheless, the Christian desires to “covet earnestly the best gifts” and prays that God will shew unto them, with power, the “more excellent way.“
I got a little bit of recognition today; merriment surrounded it for a good part of the day. But it was bittersweet. It was fun, I enjoyed it; I enjoyed the laughter and even the jesting (which so plagues me thereafter) but I know, not as I ought, but I do know why the Lord declares “It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. 3 Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. 4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. 5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools. 6 For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 7:2-6).
I want to be put to good use; to build up the house of the righteous and tear down the high places of the enemy. To give a word in season and to hear one, no matter what, when it is necessary (and how often is it necessary). This world is bewildering to me; it was so before I became a Christian and is even more so now. I do not understand it. No degree of rational objectivity can make sense of it beyond what God has declared — it is wicked and cursed. Nonetheless, God has a people that He plucks out of the fire. He will save them in His time; He will grant them what they need in His time; and He will withhold from them that which is right, just, and (unto their) good to withhold. It is a waiting game (to use such a carnal term). It is a waiting on the Lord game recognizing that you have no strength outside of Him and that He alone must supply all your need. I know I want to be more sober, more grave, more diligent, more fervent but is it what is right for me in His eyes at this time? Will it puff me up; will it blind me to other things that I must learn; will it not be what is necessary at the moment for His highest glory? I trust that all Christians struggle with the worst aspects of themselves (they struggle with sin in general) — but the Lord’s grace is sufficient even when it doesn’t feel as such. Even when you think “Lord is this all that I am now; after all this time, shouldn’t I be more by now, do more by now?” But the answer really is, My grace is sufficient. Looking anywhere but up to Him will blind you to this reality; but an eye made more and more single upon Him will have revealed to it this precious Truth. The Christian will do precisely what God ordained for them to do from eternity — no more, no less.
All joy, peace, laughter, happiness… all that stems from this world and not from Christ and His salvation is but fleeting entertainment and distraction. The true and lasting comfort of the saint can be found nowhere but in the Lord. Growth and maturity, realized in godly sobriety, graveness, and the bridling of the tongue, is also completely of Him; as is a heart moved powerfully to pray for those who so desperately need it. May we have grace to wait upon Him for all such things but, from our point of view, may this grace and growth not long tarry.
To God be the glory, in Christ.