Ecclesiastes 5:1 Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. 2 Do not be quick with your mouth do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.
“Silence is one of the deepest disciplines of the Spirit simply because it puts the stopper on all self-justification. One of the fruits of silence is the freedom to let God be our justifier. We don’t need to straighten others out.” Richard Foster Seeking the Kingdom
The effort I spend daily to sort and write my thoughts for these blog posts is my door into the “house of God.” It’s as simple as this: when I’m writing, I’m not talking…I’m listening. It’s a different kind of listening that let’s you “hear” what God is silently speaking into your heart.
God’s Words have power even when they’re unspoken. I was so certain what had been silently spoken into my heart was meant for someone else that day but God chose silence for me. The unspoken Word I’d prepared to support “my” right position and straighten “them” out, changed me instead. The obedience of silence became a repentance of tears that saved me from using the power of the Word as “the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.”
How, why and when we speak matters. “Do not be quick with your mouth do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God.” “God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.”
Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end…3:17 “God will bring into judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time to judge every deed.”….
“Eternity in the human heart”…it’s a given…but is it a choice too? I think so. The verse doesn’t say he has set eternity in “some” human hearts. It’s a bridge everyone will have to cross. This is how I imagine that bridge for the one who has chosen to recognize the promise of eternity in their own heart.
Jesus is on that bridge. He’s waiting to wrap his arms around you securely for this process of judgment, a lot like a parent calming an insecure child. This is not a judgement of punishment but of revelation. It’s the absolute reality of the absolute truth of your life…finally. There will be an Instant Replay of every detail of your life seen through Jesus’ eyes. I’m guessing there will be tears but they’ll be cleansing tears that wash away the last bits of humanity to reveal the promised perfection and complete the transition to eternity.
1 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven…
7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him…
17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting…
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…
This reminded me of Ecclesiastes “Vanity, vanity, all is vanity.” That’s probably KJV. NIV says “meaningless.” That’s what we gain from our efforts without constant Recharging. It’s like the charging station for your cell phone or iPad. If you don’t recharge your battery regularly, it just shuts down completely. If you’re a techno-geek like me this imagery makes sense to you.
Those little electronic devices have opened up a “world” filled with information to us and we have loved it but for them and for us Recharging is a critical need.
That’s true of technology and faith as well. You don’t really need anything more than Jesus and a Bible but If you’re lucky enough to also have an iPad and/or iPhone, you can be blessed by using those resources too. Surf online and learn more and faster, about the Word of God. Jesus is our charging station and even Google can be used by God. Recharging can come just by thinking the question or the word from the scripture, typing it into your browser and then reading with discernment. Search as many different Bible versions as it takes to find a glimmer of understanding. Here’s a marvelous site with many versions of the bible in many languages. https://www.biblegateway.com. Then, here’s the key, reread your own go-to Bible version. Your eyes will see new treasure there, there your heart will be also and you’ll have grown beyond knowledge to “knowing.”
It’s the Sovereign God at work in new technology and in you. God is still in charge of our world and it’s developments, even technology. Let’s redeem these resources for His Kingdom and our growth! That’s Recharging in 2015.
12 I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens. What a heavy burden God has laid on mankind! 14 I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. 15 What is crooked cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted. 16 I said to myself, “Look, I have increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind. 18 For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.
I’m a knitter and one of the fads in the last couple of years has been the mobius scarf which is knit as a continuous circle with a twist in it. It uses a particular method of knitting that actually begins with a double ring cast-on row joined as a circle in the center of the scarf. As you knit you are adding rows to each side of center without ever turning your work or doing anything other that just knitting round and round over and over.
A mobius can be made with a strip of paper with one twist and the ends taped together to form a circle. If an ant were to crawl along the edge of this strip, it would return to its starting point having traveled the entire length of both top and bottom edges of the original strip without ever crossing over the width of the paper strip and not really going anywhere at all. When I read Solomon’s words of frustration, they reminded me of that poor ant on the mobius; going round and round, over and over, without really going anywhere at all.
I have a theory about Solomon’s desire to try to figure everything out. It goes back to the Garden of Eden. I think that’s where his frustration began and ours too. The moment those first two people decided they could take access to God’s protected knowledge, everything changed for all of us. The linear journey God had planned for his creation – to walk beside him all our life into possibilities and fullness stretching out before us, got twisted into a mobius-like cycle instead.
That’s just my theory and my own quirky observation but I think there may be truth there. Here’s undisputed New Testament truth from Jesus himself though, in John 10:10 “I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness.”
Goodby mobius! Hello possibilities!