Caught in The Thought

Have you ever been caught saying something under your breath, only to be ‘called out’ by a person nearby, and your immediate response is, ‘I didn’t say that’! God is somewhat like us, only he hears our inner thoughts. In fact, I believe at times he has a ‘belly laugh’ when he is focusing on us and listens in to our thoughts.

Sarah-GettyImages-171408769-57066c8b3df78c7d9e980d24Genesis 18:1-15 is one such instance when he, to use a colloquialism of the day, ‘called someone out,’ no doubt tickled and laughing. It takes place in the Story of the Three Visitors. Three Visitors visited Abraham. One says to Abraham, Sarah will have a son by next year this time. [If she was of child-bearing age, it would be believable, but she is not, Sarah was I her 90’s.] The hilarious part begins in verse nine.

“Where is your wife, Sarah?” they asked him. “There, in the tent,” he said. Then the Lord said, “I will surely return your way about this time next year, and Sarah, your wife, will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening from the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?” Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.” But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”
Genesis 18:9-15 NIV

One visitor, the Lord, asked, where is Sarah? Abraham responded she’s in the tent. Sarah was not with the men and was listening from the tent.

Then the visitor said,  she will have a son next year this time. When she heard him, she said to herself, why now, I’m too old and so is Abraham.

The Lord asked Abraham, why did Sarah laugh and say, “will I really have a baby now that I’m too old?”

Recognizing that the Lord heard her thought, she lied and said, ‘I did not say that.’ What an internal conversation. She was most likely in a state of shock and disbelief at this time. How could someone hear her most inner thoughts? Still not fully convinced, but frightened, Sarah heard the Lord reply, “Oh, yes you did laugh.” 

Throughout the Bible, there is a reference to the fact that God hears all of our thoughts. There is nothing we voice, internal conversations, or actions we take that He does not hear or see, and yet, we think we hold secret thoughts from God.  Most of us have been put on notice by God during the course of our lives letting us know He hears and sees EVERYTHING. Like Sarah, we hear his voice say, why did you say that, or why did you do that? The Lord hears all and knows all. We, humans, are arrogant and egotistical, thinking we are smart enough to keep our thoughts to ourselves and from God.

Let’s laugh with our Lord about our immaturity and then begin to pay more attention to what we think, take control of our thoughts and shift our actions, which are given life through our self-talk. Let’s work to hold honest conversations with God. Let’s begin to pray earnestly.

In my earlier Post, The Trinity, Consecration, and Lent, we discussed the premise of Consecration and Lent. Both require we enter into prayer with God, still our minds, and have honest conversations with Him. 

Now, all humor aside, I am entering Consecration today, and the issue of dependence is weighing heavily on me. I have been in prayer about how to proceed with my Blog over the next several weeks and it seems we need further discussion about what dependence means to us spiritually. Everything we do, as Christians, rests on Jesus Christ, our cornerstone. Dependence requires radical faith.

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.’
Psalms 37:5-6 ESV

Spiritual dependency does not mean sit and wait for the Lord to take over and do our work for us, it means, ask for his direction and when you hear from Him move forward. His way may not seem logical in human context, but it will forge our path and direct us to our purpose.

radicaljesusTo unpack this, we are talking about radical change. You may ask, how does this relate to Consecration or Lent?  Keeping in mind that no one can tell you what to pray about, this is a suggestion – If you plan to take part in this time of introspection, you may consider entering into prayer to discuss your radical change in becoming an active Christian Warrior with God.

Psalm 36 and 37 focuses on Radical faith. “Godly living is radically different from the way we learned to live while in the world. It requires the supernatural assistance of the Holy Spirit” because it is not part of the logical, earthly way of doing things. Living a Godly life requires that our speech, and conduct changes; that we refuse to respond with anger; that we let God fill our thoughts and avoid wickedness; that we honor commitments even when they may be personally costly to do so; that we think and speak in a way that pleases the Lord; and that we understand that righteousness actively rejects wrongdoings.

Radical faith in the Lord requires energy, perseverance, dedication, and concentration. When we enter this process, we have to be aware that the evil one will enter into attack mode because we have become active threats to his existence. We no longer aimlessly commit sin, we stop to think about what we are preparing to say or do instead of strategizing about how to circumvent what you know in your heart to be true. The evil one lives on the plots against the ungodly and we are entering the realm of godliness. Once we have radical faith, we become radical warriors.

Radical warriors walk by faith and not by sight. Radical warriors believe in God’s Word and not what they see with their eyes and feel with their senses. God’s Word is the only true reality.

Martin Luther said, “Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for Him. ‘In Hebrew, ‘ Be silent to God and let Him mold thee’ Keep still and He will mold thee to the right shape.”

Whether you join others in Consecration or Lent or not, it is time for all of us to enter into radical, life-changing faith with our Lord and Savior and become Radical Warriors. To accomplish this, we must enter into prayer, and as Martin Luther said, ‘be silent’ until we hear God speak to us and lead us to a place of dependency where we stand on the cornerstone of our very existence.

Images – Google Images; Rembrandt – dks.thing.net, Public Domain, Link“>

Resources – Bible.com; Hayford’s Bible Handbook, Jack Hayford, General Editor, 1998, pp. 142,43; Nelson’s Quick Reference, Warren Wiersbe, 1991, pp 330,31

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The Trinity, Consecration, and Lent

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As we enter the Consecration or Lenten Season and ponder God’s Word in our lives, consider this: the Trinity was created before the Creation. This is an odd introduction to Consecration and Lent, but it explains why both exist today. Without the Crucifixion of Christ, there would be no New Testament and no Trinity. There would be no Consecration or Lenten Season.

God spoke in the plural explaining the genesis of man. He said, let us make man in our image. Key Words – us and our. Us and our are plurals, indicating more than one being. This is perhaps the revelation about the coming of the Trinity. God is masterful, this was all part of his plan. 143316F3-D84C-465C-9841-8BF7FC69DE5F

 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
Genesis 1:26 KJV

We are in the season of the Crucifixion of Christ, Easter. Upon his death, we entered the New Testament dispensation, the actualization of the birth of the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Our Father made all there is, Christ came to free us from sin, and the Holy Spirit (Spirit of Christ) came to indwell in us and guide us upon Christ’s departure. Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit.

15“If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you… 25All this I have spoken while still with you–. 26But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
John 14:15, 16, 17,25-26 NIV

As Christians, we believe in the Trinity. Annually many of us take this special time to ‘thank God’ by entering Consecration prior to Easter. It is our time to earnestly Seek the Lord, and strengthen our relationship with him through fasting, prayer, praise, and worship for a specific period.

Consecration is derived from the word, consecrate meaning ‘to dedicate’, in Romans 12:1, the scripture says, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service.

IMG_5941Consecration is not so much a ceremonial time as it is a commitment, a time of inspiration and gratitude. Lent is more sacrificial, in that Catholics and some Protestant denominations use this time to attain God’s blessing, which is antithetical because the New Testament teaches that grace cannot be earned, grace is the gift of righteousness.

“But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!…For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!”
Romans 5:15, 17 NIV

Consecration is our opportunity to search ourselves and strengthen our relationship with the Lord as we simultaneously reach toward spiritual maturity. Consecration is the basis for every spiritual experience. We are giving ourselves as a living sacrifice, we are to live out our lives as a “holy” and “royal” priesthood to the glory God, for we are God’s people.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
1 Peter 2:9 NIV

17A11A6D-6A7F-43B4-8267-0552577EEE5AIn essence, we give up our own claims on ourselves and put ourselves in Gods hands.

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Lent is not listed in the Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. According to GotQuestions.org, Lent began as a way for Catholics to remind themselves of the value of repentance. Over the centuries Lenten observations have developed as a much more “sacramental” time. Many Catholics believe that giving something up for Lent is a way to attain God’s blessing. Which, as explained above cannot be reached because we do not live by works, we live by grace. There is nothing we can do, no work we can offer that will reward us in the eyes of God. It is through His righteousness that we live by grace.

The Catholic Encyclopedia describes Lent as: “The aim of Lent is, above all else, to prepare man for the celebration of the death and resurrection of Christ. The better the preparation, the more effective the celebration will be.” The idea is to imitate the struggles Jesus faced when he was in the wilderness for 40 days and had to fast. People try to get penance and forgiveness from their sins, with some choosing to fast and others trying to give up something they enjoy for the duration of Lent.

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Scriptures – Bible.com
Images – Google Images
Research – Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary; Google.com; Blog.Bibleforamerica.org; metro.co.uk; gotQuestions.org; West Angeles, COGIC; Bible.com

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