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Private Conversations

March 10, 2016

“Be on your guard against…hypocrisy” (Luke 12:1)

Hypocrisy is called yeast. I have to ask myself: what does yeast do? It leavens, rises. What does it look like? infuse, suffuse, imbue, ingrain, inoculate, leaven means to introduce one thing into another so as to affect it throughout. What does it affect? The whole.

Hypocrisy means wearing a mask. I think we sincerely make sure we are not wearing the mask of hypocrisy and would hate to be called a hypocrit. But we should look closely at the Lord’s explanation of it (Lk 12:1-3). The same person we are smiling towards WILL one day hear loudly proclaimed what we have said about them in the secret, safe place. “Nothing will be hidden…secret” (vs 2). How devastating when people learn how we really felt about them! That alone should be a deterrent to our hypocrisy.

Then who should we vent to? Even here nothing is exempted. Listen…”What you have said in the dark WILL be heard in the daytime; and what you have whispered In the ear IN the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the housetop” (vs 3). Even the most intimate setting in our house is “bugged.”

Shouldn’t we have the freedom to express ourselves? have a confidante? at least one? If we could see this clearly, we have abused such relationships. Knowing there is a listening ear can diffuse the drive to pray. It also puts the listener in the precarious position of hearing what only God should hear.

Hypocrisy affects the whole. Our hypocrisy infects and can harm our listener (Prov 18:8, 26:22). The Ear who hears what we speak to another is telling us it will be broadcasted over the air waves some day.

Let’s resolve to change this and ask Him to help us! David wisely said, Psalms 39:1 “I said to myself, ‘I will watch what I do and not sin in what I say. I will hold my tongue when the ungodly are around me.’”

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Come into the Clearing

I just lost use of my phone! It​ fell and​ broke. And this happened while on vacation​. The insides were coming out, so it is without resuscitation via two Verizon reps. ​This might disturb a whole society similarly. For me this means the temporary loss of my watch/clock, weather/news update, ​and permanent loss of calendar of scheduled events, and ​contact list years in compiling​. But ​the most withdrawal is over the loss of momentary access ​right at my fingertips to ones near and far. (​With all this dependence, it ​seems laughable it ​was ​merely a basic phone.)

“​It used to be for awhile that the river flowed right to my door. ​Making me just a little too free, but ​now the river doesn’t seem to stop here anymore” – Carly Simon.

I am sorry, but the first day without the phone carried a morose feeling. I was crimped. Nothing in my pocket. Nothing to reach to. ​Nothing to check. ​Unavailable. Inaccessible.​ In isolation.​

Several friends ​helped me clarify this opportunity and to​​ rise to what can be a revolutionary moment.

Am I truly Present? Ever? 100% to God, to people? The ​first and ​greatest ​Commandment speaks to ALL. All my mind, all my soul, all my strength. Is “all” ever experienced while I reach, I​ check…

In this recess​ there is​​ profound speaking​, Luke ​7:3​1:​ “To what then should I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? 7:32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to one another,
‘We played the flute for you, yet you did not dance;
we wailed in mourning, yet you did not weep.’ ”

Wh​en a full dance or​ a full​ mourning​ is deserved​​, ​my inattentiveness cuts off the edge of dancing OR wailing​ and leaves me always muddled in the middle.

​Can I ever come out into the clearing with this continual distraction?​
Song of Solomon 6 describes someone who has come into the clearing. She is fully beholding and others are asking to follow her gaze.​ ​​She is fully engaged. She is dynamic. The others say: ​”​Tell us, that we may seek him with you (v 1).​”​
​We would want that.​

​By verse 5, it is full-fledged engagement. In the fully-present clearing (I believe this ​can be where we can​ stand and say straight to Him: “Jesus, You are the Son of God” [see 1 John 4:15]​)​ He says to her: “Turn away your eyes from Me, for they overwhelm Me.”

​This intensity is for being Present, fully present. Isn’t this more than a suggestion or momentary invitation to step into the clearing?

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Tap the Window

In these first months of Iranian-American Pastor Saeed’s release from prison, I am taking special note of things arising out of him as he decompresses from the ordeal. Within the body of what he shared at Liberty University convocation, these quotes emerged:

“Our Lord is above all these things,” Abedini said. “And when you just come on your knees, you can see He is there.”
“When we put ourselves in a situation to love people, God is going to open the door,” he said.
He shared that there is power in faith: “You can see Satan step back when you stand firm in your faith.”
These realizations came with a great price to him, and all beg to be explored by those of us hearing, but the third one exists for this moment.

Though I am not a bird enthusiast in the least, a bird feeder in our yard is in view at breakfast. I am starting to see patterns of bird behavior that are quite interesting. The piercing dark bluish-black of the grackle sweep down in an instant, putting all smaller variety of birds to flight. They come as bullies, swinging the bird feeder by their momentum in landing and pushing off. They take over, no compromise, no sharing. There seems no hope at this point for the smaller birds…BUT, we have made a discovery. In their heavy swarming presence while feasting, the grackle are very flighty, even timid. The slightest tap on the window or even pulling the curtain sends them away in fright as quickly as they came…almost as if they know they are guilty, not supposed to be there, not wanted, and your slightest challenge to them is enough to send them. (They do come back, or their relatives do, shortly.)

On the other hand, when the tap on the window happens, their smaller, colorful fellow varieties of birds come right in and take their place! They are not flighty. Though less robust, they appear very confident to go right where the crows were feeding. They seem to resemble the righteous. The drama seems a visual of Pro 28:28 When the wicked gain control, people hide themselves, but when they perish, the righteous increase.

I have a dearest friend who went through not only the grief of her tiny-framed mother brutally killed by a relative, but the following torment of the Tormenter. To this day, she can share her testimony of finally have a showdown with him on the beach and drew her line in the stand. She was surprised. He whimpered away. She saw cowardice that she did not expect. She came to learn something.

Jam 4:7 So submit to God. But resist the devil and he will flee from you.

1Pe 5:9 Resist him, strong in your faith, because you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are enduring the same kinds of suffering.

The evil and this present darkness are incalculable. We are not looking to take all this head-on without a call of faith from the Lord to do so. But, we can know with a confidence when the day comes that this all becomes personally toe-to-toe with the one of darkness that we have Him, Jesus the Son of God, Who is unquenchable in us and on our side.

1Jo 4:4 You are from God, little children, and have conquered them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

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