Monday, November 18, 2013

"Tell No Man"

The Special of the Day... From the Orange Moon Cafe...

"Tell No Man"

  "I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth) how that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure" (II Corinthians 12:2-7).

    Disallowed by God to reveal "the abundance of the revelations" he witnessed when caught up into Heaven, the Apostle Paul restrained himself from uttering "unspeakable words."

    Not everything we believe the Lord has done in our lives is meant to be shared.  "
There came a leper and worshiped Him, saying, Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth His hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man" (Mathew 8:2-4).  Indeed, some things only serve to draw attention and glory to ourselves rather than to the Giver of "every good gift and every perfect gift" (James 1:17).  Moreover, some things we do not and cannot understand well enough to accurately describe.  We must therefore use discretion and wisdom regarding the communication of God's doings in our lives.  Moreover, we must be careful in our own interpretation of those doings, lest we mislead ourselves at best, or at worst, be misled by our spiritual enemies.  Note that Paul confessed to less than full understanding of his heavenly visit.  In the body?  Out of the body?  "I cannot tell.  God knoweth."

    The longer I seek to walk with the Lord, the more restraint and constraint I feel in ascribing to God responsibility for this happening, or that event.  Certainly, I grow more and more convinced of His detailed involvement in our lives as He works "all things together for good" (Romans 8:28).  My understanding, interpretation, and ability to accurately describe such involvement nevertheless seems so spotty that I find myself hesitant to quickly and lightly affirm, "God did this, or that!"  Our Lord get  blamed for a lot He doesn't do by those friendly to Him, and a healthy dose of carefulness regarding His supposed doings seems frequently in order.

    Some things are meant to be openly communicated.  Some are not.  Let us seek our Lord's guidance in being bold concerning the former, and circumspect regarding the latter.  We don't want to misrepresent Him, or His doings.  Nor do we want to exalt ourselves by sharing things that, again, can only serve deflect and distract attention from the only One worthy of it...

"Not unto ourselves, o Lord, not unto ourselves, but unto Thy name give glory for Thy mercy and for Thy truth's sake!"
(Psalm 115:1)

Weekly Memory Verse
     Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savor."
(Ephesians 5:1)

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