So I understand the rationale behind and the reality of holding your tongue. We are in a battle and giving free rein to your thoughts, esp. your complaints is letting your shield down to the enemy. Thoughts are natural, common to the human race. Letting the tongue, a little thing prone to evil, take over is a problem.
So my issue today folks is twofold. First is well, how do folks, especially members of the body of Christ connect without honest communication? Sign language?
Second, yes, I would rather be touting God’s attributes than my own problems, but what about in the case of desperation? Emergency even? I need a life raft. I know you’ve got one. So…do I say God is good all the time!..and expect verbalizing that to get me a life raft? Maybe..
Regrettably, if we’re being honest, this life is meant to be lived by faith. Now wake me up when you figure this one out. All I know are words like perseverance, patience, hope. None of these are walk in the park concepts to be actualized. I myself am even catapulted from such vocabulary to make statements like scripture is not as useful as I once thought.
But yes, I just reread about the character Faithful from Pilgrim’s Progress, who was martyred in the town of Vanity Fair for upsetting the usual fanfare with proclaiming truth as the only commodity he would buy. Reminds me of Jesus saying in Revelation that he “who is faithful unto death” will be given a crown of life.
Well as our protagonist Christian and Faithful are coming upon Vanity Fair, their friend Evangelist tells them that he who stands firm til death will be the better off between them because he will arrive to the Celestial City first. Well, Faithful seemingly grabs the opportunity to go home, openly defies the townspeople, is executed and is escorted out of there via fiery steed and golden chariot!
Jesus is big on longevity. A Long Obedience in the Same Direction – Eugene Peterson. The folks who get to judgment to say “Lord, Lord” are the ones to which He will say He never knew. Because He had in mind not so much flash in the pan so as everyday hand to the plow, not looking back. I mean, we’re surrounded by a “great cloud” of witnesses, not to mention our own family. Let’s put the millstone and the depths of the sea behind us, please. We don’t want anyone to get hurt. 😉
So I get faithFUL but it seems a bit different than exhibiting faith. The former to me says steadfast, tough, standing the test of time. The latter suggests more of an attitude, that may have to last a long time, but it banks on what is unseen, and lives accordingly. Also, faith seems to be about preparation. I believe Abraham had to wait in faith a while for a son in order to prepare him for the test that lay in wait. And what stakes! All those sand on the seashore descendants to come!
We also are taught faith is connected with righteousness..the Lord’s righteousness no less. Maybe Abraham’s faith was converted to righteousness in some way because of the enormity and duration of the assignment. But later on, we are taught that “the righteous must live by faith”, which is amazing to me because our righteousness is imputed, given by Jesus himself through his blood. So in essence, Abraham’s faith is turned on it’s head because of the New Covenant and establishment of God’s kingdom on earth…NOW IT’S NOT THE ONES WITH FAITH WHO ARE GIVEN RIGHTEOUSNESS, BUT IT IS THE RIGHTEOUS WHO ARE GIVEN FAITH…as a charge.
And faith is about repeating the overused phrase, “I can’t complain”. Because to complain is to doubt, and that is simply not faith. So I submit that this is the nicety that should be employed regularly. This one is real. When I say God is on His throne, when I really need to talk to someone, it is true and wise, but I think faith in this instance is having the boldness to ask for help. The tongue is dangerous, yes, but where it begins is in the heart. “The heart is deceitful above all things, who can know it.”
However…David found it profitable to ask the Lord for clean hands AND a pure heart! From a washed heart of stone made flesh, yes, the tongue can proclaim good, even wonderful things.