Saturday, March 11, 2017
It behooves us to be open to the voice of God within our souls, but we are also commanded to test the spirits to be certain that they are of God. The Scriptures also tell us that the testimony of two or three witnesses (in other words, not just one witness) will prove any case.¹ Since, as far as I know, I have only my own witness to go on, this, then, must be treated as not a proven case.
I have been told—and increasingly so in recent times—that I have a fine singing voice. It is not my place to agree or disagree, but so I have been told, and I do appreciate the votes of confidence when they come.
Some years ago (this is not the event I write about above) The Lord interrupted my drive to church one Sunday morning, telling me, “I want you to sing.” I was so stunned by it that I sat in the church parking lot for quite some time before going inside. Finally, teary eyed, I acquiesced and told Him, “Set it up!” It was then that I went in.
One might think that my following days should have been filled with lessons and singing, perhaps even concerts. But God is not restricted to doing things as we would do them. In following days, at first, nothing seemed to happen.
Then I became homeless.
Things seemed to go in exactly the opposite direction to what He had told me. Then I came here.
God does not do things as we expect. He does things in the manner that will most glorify His name.
He told me that He wanted me to sing. I told Him to set it up. He, then, proceeded in tearing my entire life limb from limb until all that could interfere with His will for my life was well and completely gone.
See, I had gotten to the point of convincing myself that God could not let me be homeless because I could not do my work for Him without somewhere to do it. I thought I could not serve Him without a home.
What a fool I was.
And what a fool are you when you treat the homeless as useless. There is such a treasure buried in those souls! It is the light of Heaven you miss when you disregard them and cast them aside as so much refuse and trash.
Jesus told us a story of a man who dug and found a treasure, and gave all he had to buy the place where he found it. What did he do, though, with the treasure he found? Did he remove it and reject everything he didn’t see as valuable? No. Instead, he bought the whole place, lock, stock, and barrel—the treasure included. He invested in what he thought was not valuable in order to gain that which he thought was valuable.
He didn’t separate the two, but took them all together, as a whole. He didn’t throw the rocks and weeds out when he found the treasure. He bought them all—all of it, as a whole—and he gave up all he had, to do it.
I would say that this was a wise man. This was a man that recognized treasure in his own eyes, yes, but also recognized that there might be treasure that he knows nothing about.
He bought the whole place.
He didn’t just dig up what he wanted and cast the rest aside as so much junk to be thrown in the garbage.
He bought the whole place.
Those who dig up the treasure and leave the rest behind are thieves, not honorable people. Those who move into someone else’s home, then demand those others leave are thieves. They are not righteous, they are not righteous at all. They are those who overbear and they are those who fall.
When you move to put people out on the street and take their home you are a thief, and you will fall.
Your character is told by the trash you allow to stand and the treasure you command to fall. When filth and debauchery is welcomed and good is cast aside you show that you will fall.
When wickedness and evil is your calf, you bow to Ba’al. You bow to Satan’s demons when you tell good to fall.
Go ahead and comfort yourself that it’s all according the “the law!” But laws written by wicked men are wicked laws, and these things, too, will fall.
You cannot see good except you first see evil because you cannot see the good in others until you first see and recognize the evil within yourself. The things you see as treasures are things God sees as filth and wickedness and evil—things that will drag you down into the very bowels of the eternal furies of Hell.
I would have you steer a different course.²
You see, Jesus taught us that the ones that wicked people see as trash and filth and worthy only of being trampled under foot are the very ones who bear the image of God.
When you see someone living on the street and don’t invite them into your home, you are doing that to God. When you see someone hungry or thirsty and refuse to give them food and water, you are refusing the same to God Himself, who died on the cross and rose again to take away your sinful rebellion and filth. You are rejecting rescue from Hell.³
As I wrote earlier, God does not do things as we expect or as we wish; He does things as they will glorify His Holy name.
When I told God to go ahead and set up what He had for me to do, I certainly did not expect my whole life to be ripped to shreds as part of the deal, but that’s OK. The deal is in God’s hands, not mine. My hand is not holy, and it is the Holy Hand to which I cling.
So many things have happened that I would not have done, but where there is no battle, the battle is not won. Without war there can be no victory, and though my feet be quaking I know I’m Heaven’s son, so, when you find me singing, my victory is won.
You have to trust God through everything, not just the easy stuff. There will be trials where you can’t imagine the answer, but those trials can be won. You might even win them just by worrying that you failed.
There was, the other evening, a man waiting in the lobby to spend the night in the men’s shelter. There is always food, of some variety or other, in the lobby, so this man was not going to go hungry. I, being a little hungry myself, went into a restricted room to get something to eat. The door had not even had time to hit me on my way out when this guy started bothering me to give him what I had retrieved for myself. This man wasn’t going hungry. He was not in need of food. There was food easily available to him, right across the lobby. He had simply decided to harass me for what I had found. In other words, he was being greedy.
As politely as I could I told him no, that this food was for me—but I worried over it much of the night, until God reminded me that all that guy had to do was get up and get some food for himself.
God does not do things the way you expect.
I said earlier that God told me that He wanted me to sing, and that I was totally and completely unprepared for how He would set that up. I became homeless. I lost everything I had—except that which would allow me to continue my work for Him. All else is gone—even those that I thought to be friends.
But you know what? I’m singing—and every time I sing, I sing for Him. I’m not singing for fame.
I sing for Him!
¹-Deuteronomy 19:15; ²-Mark 1:15; ³-Matthew 25:31-46
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