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The Hiddenness of God

P1000960If the goodness and glory of God was hidden in the cross1, and if the word picture of a “consuming fire”2 hides the love of One who urges us to love not only our neighbor—but our enemy3, then in how many other disconnected ideas, and misunderstood Job-like epics does our God hide his real and loving presence?

Who hid first? Who’s hiding and seeking now? And who will find what they are looking for, for a while… and then forever?

1 (1Corinthians 1:23-25); 2 (Hebrews 12:25-13:2); 3 (Romans 12:20-21)


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107 Responses to “The Hiddenness of God”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Who among us has not said “God where are you?”

    Why does our spiritual walk have to be such a game of hide and seek?

    Come Father, set and talk with me for I am in great distress and have need of thee.

    When you have waited a lifetime for your relief and rescue, what has been the purpose of living at all?

    1 Corinthians 1:24 speaks of those called, but what of those not called, is theirs a life to live with hell on earth then hell in eternity because they were not called?

    Just because I can only be responsible for my own choices and actions am I not to be consumed with passion and concern for others?

    If you look at the story of creation in Genesis, for the inquisitive mind, there is huge hidden questions about God and His plans right from the very beginning.

    God gave everything Adam and Eve needed to live, but hid everything else from them, they only hid out of fear and ignorance.

    Seems nothing has changed much.


  2. jeff1 says:

    It is I who went to God with pre-conceived ideas about who is right and who is wrong. I was telling God whose side He should be on. I was in for a rude awakening when God informed me that there were matters that where way out of my understanding (hidden from me for my own good and the good of others) that only He knew and understood. My pride was way beyond my capabilities and God brought me down to earth with a bang and as kept me there ever since. I find at times I want to be in control of what goes on in the world, it seems to be in my nature, I am too headstrong for my own good. Thankfully God has spoke to my heart and show me hidden depths to me that are not godly. There are virtues in me that I like about myself but there are hidden depths to me that I keep uncovering that I do not like about myself. The more I get to know the hidden depths the more I understand how right God is. It is in knowing my own failures that I grow closer to God not in finding failures in others. Praise to our father in Heaven to whom no secrets are hidden.

  3. street says:

    dear steve much has change since the Holy Spirit has been given. a new and living hope in a dead and dieing world. it doesn’t appear much has changed, but the work God is continuing in a hidden way. sometimes it breaks out into the world from time to time. whether it is darkness of war or a plentiful harvest. i think of the darkness of my old habits and wonder where i would be now if God had not intervened in my life and protected me. good chance i would have died a long time ago. even though i will physical die in the future i am quite certain i will live on to see a new body and a new world where the is no corruption and it’s light is God. no hiddenness there! faith is as wondrous and mysterious as anything you will ever come upon. God bless you in your journey in a strange land.

  4. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    It seems to me that those who have not met God through the Scriptures may “miss” God’s presence because of the vastness of God’s being. Some find God in nature and the beauty of the night sky, the oceans and the natural yearning of the human spirit toward eternity.

    But to set about to seek God is pleasing to the Creator.
    Nothing can top the Bible for learning this about God:

    “For yet in a very little while,
    He who is coming will come, and will not delay.

    But My righteous one shall live by faith;
    And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him.”
    (Heb 10:37-39)

    “By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Heb 11:5-6)

    Also Rev 22:20; Romans 1:17, Gal 3:11; Habakkuk 2:3-4 on living by faith and waiting upon God.

    How many miss seeing and hearing God because God is powerful — and is everywhere — and knows everything?

    The observant squirrel is my favorite! :o)

    Happy Mother’s Day!

  5. jeff1 says:

    You have so hit the nail on the head Steve saying seems nothing has changed much. For I do believe here on this earth we have the blind leading the blind. God however has hidden things from us for a reason. The one thing I have discovered which probably says more about me than about Him but what God reveals to me is what I am ready to see. You see God made me and knows my hidden depths as He does everyone for He did so before I was ever in my mothers womb. God was with me in the beginning, as he is now and shall be so world without end. Amen. In my lifetime I have chosen to leave God and go my own way but God will always bring me back to Himself. God does not lie when He says nothing will separate His own from Him, no power of hell, I have witnessed hell on earth when I stayed from God but I also believe that God will use my waywardness in the advancement of His Kingdom on earth as he did so in Biblical times. The forefathers of our faith have went the same journey we now go the difference being the times we live in. God knows when to reveal and when not to reveal to me and we are each individuals on individual journeys but all leading to our Father in Heaven.

    Lead me oh Lord, won’t you lead me
    I am tired and I need Thy strength and power
    To guide me over my darkest hour
    For just open my eyes that I may see
    Lead me oh Lord, won’t you lead me

    Lead me guide me along the way
    For if you lead me I cannot stray
    Or just open my eyes that I may see
    Lead me oh Lord, won’t you lead me
    I am lost if you take your hand from me
    I am blind without Thy light to see

    Lord just always let me Thy servant be
    Lead me oh Lord, won’t you lead me
    Lead me guide me along the way
    For if you lead me I cannot stray

    Lord just open my eyes that I may see
    Lead me oh Lord, won’t you lead me.

  6. poohpity says:

    Mart did you write this?

  7. poohpity says:

    It seemed to be mankind that hid from God first, it still seems to be mankind that hides and seeks, we also will find what we are searching for now to eternity? We were lost, God was never lost or hidden, everything created displays His wonder and Glory.

    If we are looking for evil we will find evil. If we are looking for good we will find good. God seemed to know what we would ask for before we asked for it and gave warnings about what would happen if we made the choice to go our own way and knew we would do it anyway even after telling us the consequences of such choices. God did not have to share what will happen in the future but told us so we would be prepared.

    God knew it would scare us to behold His Glory so took on human form to show us Himself safely. God has revealed so very much to those who seek, so much that we could go through this lifetime and never behold it all until we reach that eternal place.

    On the other hand mankind hides all kinds of things and keeps so many secrets out of embarrassment, shame and guilt but before God He sees it all and because of that His love was openly shared on the Cross.

  8. poohpity says:

    Genesis 18:17; Daniel 2:47; Amos 3:7; John 15:15

  9. joycemb says:

    Faith. That’s what I got also out of Marts post and as others have pointed out. And now abide faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these, is love.

    Faith grips our hope and hope creates love. Love it!

    Going to be thinking today about other incidents in the Bible–and in my own life–where God’s goodness, seemingly hidden, was later revealed and is waiting to be revealed by my faith.

  10. jeff1 says:

    I do not think that it is quite as simple as saying if we look for evil we find it or if we are looking for good we find good. Evil either exists or if it doesn’t then it is in my imagination. The men of WW1 & WW2 could never have imagined the evil they would be faced with when they went to war. There are victims of evil but they did not ask to be victims. Evil is still the main reason for people turning away from God, yet we are told that we are all evil or we would not need a saviour. The problem for man is that he differentiates at what is acceptable evil to him while God sees it all the same. This means that we have to live with evil and accept that God does not see it as we see it because in His eyes all wrong is evil. There does not seem to be any half measures with God which means we have to get it all right or we might as well get it all wrong. I guess that’s why I put myself in the sinner category for the story of my life is that I am more likely to get it wrong! That’s I guess why I see my security as in the Cross because when it comes to making choices I am the Queen of bad ones.

  11. street says:

    mart said,”then in how many other disconnected ideas, and misunderstood Job-like epics does our God hide his real and loving presence?”

    i think we overcome this disconnectedness/darkness by taking up a the greatest darkness we will ever face, our own cross daily. which includes our thoughts, desires, weakness, and strengths. in this we find life not death, another great paradox. all done on the word of God and by faith.

  12. street says:

    steve said,”If you look at the story of creation in Genesis, for the inquisitive mind, there is huge hidden questions about God and His plans right from the very beginning.”

    you are correct that the Bible clearly states God has planes and is carrying them out. the thing that trips us up is the gratuitousness and love of God. these were supplanted by doubt and muddied by the knowledge of good and evil. another thing that trips us up is the person of God. love comes from a person and paul talks about trying to understand the height width breath and depth of God. moses’s faith in God led him to ask to see His Glory. God gave him his request. i wonder what he would ask for now?

  13. joycemb says:

    Street I wonder if I ask enough of God–if God desires us to ask more about Him so He can reveal more of Himself to us, His beloved. I’m sure I don’t, but the more I understand love, perhaps the more I will ask. Without fear and doubt. Perhaps. Just being honest.

  14. jeff1 says:

    I fear the opposite Joyce that I seem to be questioning God too much, not questioning His love and mercy but why that love and mercy has not reached the masses. Also what happens to those who are falling away from the faith because of persecution. When I read about Paul, he is a difficult act to follow because his story is that he went from sinner to Saint, that is a much better change but I see so many who during persecution do the opposite to Paul, it is more painful to watch people turn away from God for they are then the people who need God most but no longer realize it! I have turned away from God myself when I was hurting but I have always come back so I understand people who stray, when you are hurting you can doubt that God loves you and see it as punishment for something you have done or something you have not done! It is in the hidden times of God that I struggle because I am wondering what wrong I have done and if I can see what I did wrong then I know why God is angry with me but it is when I cannot see what I did wrong that I doubt God’s love.

  15. SFDBWV says:

    I usually put out three hummingbird feeders each summer. Two are on my back porch out of the weather one outside my kitchen window so I can watch the little birds while in the house.

    At the beginning of spring I only put up two feeders, the one outside my window and one on the porch as there are fewer birds to begin with.

    Yesterday evening Glenna and I were setting in the swing on the porch when a little humming bird flew over to where the missing feeder was flew around a bit then took off.

    I realized that this little fellow remembered where his favorite feeder usually hangs.

    This tiny little creature flies thousands of miles from the northern climate to the southern and back again yet comes right back to where he remembers having food on my back porch eight feet from another feeder.

    I mowed my grass two days ago, and almost overnight little yellow and white flowers popped up all over the yard. As I sat there looking at the pattern and colors of the little flowers it reminded me of the pictures of deep space the best telescopes provide us with. With the view of spiral galaxies strewn all about in different positions.

    The God of creation is in plain view of us all the time if we only open up our eyes,

    Yet the hidden plans of God stay hidden until He is ready to share them.

    Even then some will accept them and see clearly while others will and cannot.

    Whether we see or understand God’s plans or not, God will still accomplish His will and His plans come to be. We can either be encouraged by witnessing them or discouraged because we don’t recognize them; neither will prevent nor speed up God’s plans they will still come to be.


  16. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… your missing feeder story I can relate to as I daily watch my birdbath and its activity.
    Lately, there has been a change of visitors.
    Some very vocal crows have been using it and when I go out to fill it now, I’m finding the remains of their fresh kills with tiny bones and feathers and rancid bits of meat floating around which is polluting it for any others who prefer a different diet.
    My little seed and bug eaters are having to contend with taking second place in the chain of life.
    I make my best effort every day to fully flush all the bits out and refresh the water to purity, but then I look out and see another crow picking apart his well earned meal and making a mess of the old balance of things we used to have.
    Of course God is in control of all things, but do my Doves understand why they are finding putrid smelling water in there old favorite drinking spot?
    Like all things, This too shall pass, and the old things will return to their order again.
    For now, I wait for that change, and change the water more often.

  17. street says:

    do you remember the bet God made with satin in job?
    satin bet God that job did not serve/believe for nothing. in other words he served and believed for blessing or benefit. satin also asserted he would curse God if He took away his protection. jobs friends asserted that job was suffering from sin in which he violently denied. his friends believed in temporal retribution along with satin. this is not the case as we see the story played out. i use the word “played” loosely in the fact it was a long and difficult time for job. when job comes to his end God shows up and has a conversation with him. in this dialog job see God face to face and retracts some of the things he said in ignorance. job is reassured in the benevolent love and mercy of God and willing wants to return to the ash heep. his view of God change everything.

  18. remarutho says:

    Dear All —

    Your question, Mart, in my opinion calls each of us to witness to what we understand about God:

    “Who hid first?
    Who’s hiding and seeking now?
    And who will find what they are looking for,
    for a while… and then forever?”

    We are called to learn about Eden — and about Noah, Abraham & Sarah, Job — and as many fathers and mothers of the faith as we can.

    Beyond learning about and seeking the face of God — these questions become personal as well as universal. We may drill down into our own experience, or we may look for the big picture. Either way, these questions are the bones of presenting the Good News, more and more important as hearts grown cold as Jesus prophesied. (Matt 24:12, 13, 14)

    In these last days, it seems to me, we are called out by the Holy Spirit to bear witness to our Creator God, His only Son — and their mighty works of destroying sin and death.

    Joy all day —

  19. remarutho says:

    Of course, many choose to hide out in the permissive will of God — rather than pressing into God’s perfect will. God is not hiding. Rather, God in Jesus is calling…

  20. foreverblessed says:

    There is a Psalm: to the shrewd God shows Himself shrewd, to the righteous He shows Himself righteous,
    but I cannot find the Psalm
    The more we obey what Jesus commanded the more He will show Himself, I guess He does it little by little, see if we change, and then shows some more.
    The commandment to love our enemies, is a hard one, and we as christians are slow in obeying that command. Bless the people that are irritant, not because they deserve it, but because they need it.
    It has taken me some time to get to this point, and I have been a christian for a long time.
    So as long as I do not show love to the unlovable, God does not show more of Himself to me.

    Pat, thanks for your dad, helping our country! And Chris, God bless you, may He give you more and more of His wisdom and His Words for the inmates!

  21. foreverblessed says:

    Found it!
    Psalm 18:25-28

  22. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Gary, you and I certainly share in that soothing commune with God in observing nature.

    Interesting how even there exists the violence and struggle for life exhibited all throughout the earth, even in our cosmos and certainly with mankind.

    I too see the Goshawk and on a rarer occasion the Peregrine falcon feast off of the other creatures that come to feed at my feeders.

    Last evening while setting on the swing Glenna noticed a ‘cat bird” following around behind a robin and said “watch out little robin.” For those who aren’t familiar with the cat bird they will lay their eggs in other bird’s nests. Even kicking out the others eggs so that the surrogate bird will hatch and feed their young.

    While life here can be cruel and sometimes seem meaningless, we are told of a time when the lion will lay down with the lamb and little children will play with the poisonous snake. A promise of a future time while we live in a more dangerous one.

    I hope Gary you get to see your dolphins today while out and about on your boat.


  23. SFDBWV says:

    Thank you Foreverblessed for Psalms 18 as it among many are favored by me and quite appropriate for this subject.

    Sad and interesting that General Robert E. Lee is credited with quoting Psalms 18:31-40 the morning before the Battle of Gettysburg. With special attention to Psalms 18:34.

    I had a friend in my life that came from the Netherlands and was a young teen when the Nazi’s were defeated and the Netherlands and Belgium both liberated. Peter was a good friend and had some very interesting stories to tell.


  24. poohpity says:

    Gary, I understand what your analogy represented felt the same way this morning myself.

  25. jeff1 says:

    Thank you Foreverblessed for pointing out that those who are irritant do not deserve it for it is what I am struggling with at the moment, it is could to know what other Christians think of someone who is trying to overcome their lack of love for others who have been persecuting them. I certainly thank God that it is He who forgives and not any other human being or I would be damned would’t I!

  26. foreverblessed says:

    In Psalm 18:31-45 I have written in my bible: battle in the heavenly realm.

    I was thinking about Psalm 18:26,
    that verse might have been used by Job’s friends, to show Job that he must have done something wrong.
    So if we are just and upright and humble, we still might have as it feels: God against me, where is God..
    Like Job.
    But Job didn’t know that God was showing Satan, through Job that we love God, and not just only for His blessings.
    Job was going to show that his love was unconditional.

    And Refump, thank God for answering our prayers in this way!
    Good you asked us to pray!

    We had a day in our country with Joyce Meyer! almost 11.000 christians met together in Rotterdam. I went by train, and even on the train stations and in the train all christians, it felt so good!

    Joyce is a person who brings many denominations together.
    She said many things, but one thing was: I encourage you to be more bold in your prayers!
    Like we were praying for the son of Refump…

  27. foreverblessed says:

    Street was also writing about Job this morning 7.57 am, the bet he didn’t know that was going on.

  28. foreverblessed says:

    Jeff1, ask God to help you! Joyce was saying that she could forgive, because God worked it out in her. She said, the little girl that had been hurt had died with Christ on the cross.
    In God calling May 3,on the twolisteners site there is also something on forgiveness:
    We cannot forgive, the old self will come up again and make turmoil as soon as we remember the hurt that was inflicted upon us:
    so kill the old man.
    And even the killing of the old man, I do not know how that is done, must also be done in Christ, a mystery.
    God forgives! And He lives in us!

  29. poohpity says:

    Holding tight to the promises of God that are not hidden gives us hope to stop looking backward but forward to all that we are to God and how much He cares for us. For instance; Matt 6:26; Numbers 23:19; Deut 7:9. The but comes when we do not believe. The one major proof for us was, even though it was foretold, the love shown to us by the Cross for ALL mankind. (John 3:16; John 15:13; Romans 5:6-8; 8:39; 1 John 4:10) I often feel for myself it is hard to believe I mean that much to someone but I do, so it goes from feelings to knowing and that is how God thinks about every human being but they hide or run away from Him and kill those who are sent to tell people of God’s great love (Matt 23:37 NLT).

  30. poohpity says:

    I think sometimes God tests us by hiding His goodness in our hearts for us until we give it out. The more we give out the more we are filled up.(Luke 6:38 NIV)

  31. joycemb says:

    Pooh I so agree :-)

  32. jeff1 says:

    God has already forgiven me Foreverblessed, it is people who don’t forgive or forget. I live in a Country where the evidence of that is all around me. It is religions that are unforgiven if we don’t meet their standards and it is God who has shown me that. God knows I struggle, but unlike people He does not tell me that I deserve it because that is what differentiates God from human nature His love and mercy surpasses any love and mercy that man offers.

  33. foreverblessed says:

    O, yes, now I see what you meant! Sorry, God blesses you much and even more then that!

    The picture of the little animal, that can’t see through the telescopes, too high for him, and besides, he doesn’t know what these things can do for him. It is way beyond his scope of things.
    A very good picture of what we are like, compared to the vastness of God’s ways of looking

  34. jeff1 says:

    Yes exactly what I am trying to say, the world can be a frightening place when I take my eyes of Him which is what I have done so many times but I keep running back to Him and He never sends me a way but accepts me the way I am and I find this so hard to grasp God himself accepts me the little sparrow with my inadequacies yet man rejects me as she is someone with a mental disorder, there is a stigma with having mental illness in my country and I lost a good job because of it. The heart that has gratitude for God is the one furtherest down the pecking order. To man I am the lowest form on earth but God says “I LOVE YOU, I THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE LOVES YOU, do not worry about man’s ignorance for I will not forsake you!

  35. poohpity says:

    Sometimes it is not the mental illness that pushes people away but our own behavior. If someone is angry, bitter, filled with pessimism, grumbling and complaining others avoid contact. I learned that the hard way that my behavior was pushing people away and frankly I think deep down inside I was acting like that to push people away. When I realized, with the help of a friend which was the same friend that spoke kindly to me about my ugly behavior, how much I had to be grateful for and especially God’s acceptance my attitude changed which in turn effected my behavior. I had more to be thankful for than I had to complain about when I took a step back and really looked around.

  36. remarutho says:

    Dear All —

    One of the “Job-like epics” you mention, Mart, in which God hid — because the Prophet Jonah hid out from Him to avoid obeying the command God had given him — contains the prayer Jonah prayed from the belly of the fish. We have taken up this saga before at BTA, but it bears repeating in the context of The Hiddenness of God:

    “So I (Jonah) said, ‘I have been expelled from Your sight.
    Nevertheless I will look again toward Your holy temple.’

    “Water encompassed me to the point of death.
    The great deep engulfed me,
    Weeds were wrapped around my head.

    “I descended to the roots of the mountains.
    The earth with its bars was around me forever,
    But You have brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God.”
    (Jonah 2:4, 5, 6)

    I have been “buried alive” in the debris of my own disobedience and rebellion more than once in my life. Like Adam and Eve, Jonah, Peter and Paul, God gives wayward children a taste of His absence — a divine “time out” that serves to put to death the old person and give birth to the newly created in Christ.

    Faithful followers of Jesus are looking for fellowship with Him and His people now — and afterward an eternity in His unveiled presence.

    Jesus says, “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and him with me.” (Rev 3:19-20)


  37. jeff1 says:

    I am a very quiet person by nature as a matter of fact my friend said that her colleagues said they had never met anyone as quiet. It is not in my nature to be angry, crumbling or complaining. What I did try to do was explain to the employer who was trying to put extra work on me that I felt I could only cope with the work I was already doing. The woman in question was not listening to what I was saying and I did get angry and upset with her for good reason. I eventually explained to her that I suffered from a mental disorder and was taking medication and had been told by doctors that it was stress related and I felt putting extra responsibility could be detrimental to my health. A few weeks later I was told they would not be renewing my contract. Yet up until that I had been there for six months and had been told by the five members of staff that I was working with that I was an asset to the team. They disagreed with the management’s decision to let me go. I am not the only person with mental illness that would tell you employer’s have discriminated against them and I am sure I won’t be the last man being ignorant of things he does not understand. I am not complaining about it I am simply stating a fact, I am contented now doing charity work and believe it is God’s guidance for I volunteer now for what I feel I can cope with and do not have to work for demanding employers who have no understanding of mental health.

  38. joycemb says:

    I think it is so great when in the hidden places of our lives God reaches down to heal us, whether through circumstances or the touch of a kind friend. We often are not able to see through the darkness without the help of friends and others in the Body of Christ. Yes, even the darkness is light to Him.

  39. street says:

    thinking the pure in heart will see God.
    see Him better with the plank removed.

  40. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Joyce it is amazing how many times God has been there for me and provided for me and I have seen God in it. So what do I do with the darkness, the times when God seems so far away, the times He is telling my heart I will never forsake you but I am convinced it my head that He already has! Am I expecting too much to want to feel God’s presence every minute of every day?

  41. poohpity says:

    By faith!

  42. poohpity says:

    2 Cor 5:7; Hebrews 11:1

  43. refump says:

    Mari, really liked what you wrote, “like Adam and Eve, Jonah, Peter and Paul, God gives wayward children a taste of His absence — a divine “time out” that serves to put to death the old person and give birth to the newly created in Christ.”
    As is said “absence makes the heart grow fonder”. I too often take my relationship with God for granted & that “first love” wans & my relationship with Him suffers.
    Thanks for sharing that. It gave me some good perspective & something to chew on.

  44. refump says:

    Sorry, Maru not Mari. Typing on my tiny phone keyboard & the u & I so close together!

  45. poohpity says:

    What purpose would God have for being absent from our lives when He has said, “Never will I leave you nor forsake you.”? I do agree we can take His presence for granted but I would have no hope at all if I ever felt/knew for any reason God would pull away from me. He drew near to me even as a sinner so how much more could I trust in His word now being His child.

    Being as I am not very trusting I asked God what it would be like to not have Him close to me. For a brief moment God did exactly that for that second I was horrified and that is all it took for me to see that He is near all the time. It is me who takes times out but even in that He does not, I know what the experience is not having Him close.

  46. poohpity says:

    We can run but we can not hide from our God who knows how much we need Him every moment of our lives. That is why I think we are to share about that faithful love to others. That even though they can not see or feel Him does not mean He is not there.

    Adam and Eve hid from God not the other way around. Job felt God had left Him but would he have been able to go through those storms in His life without God being there saying that is enough to Satan.

    Where would God go to hide from us? (Psalm 139:7-9)

  47. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    To respond, Refump, this topic comes in and out of focus it seems to me because God is so immense and we humans are so small. Have found in life that I can get all out of perspective (like the photo of the squirrel who looks bigger than the viewing scopes) compared to what God is doing.

    Keeping our great God and his Christ in their true place is not easy — too often feel bigger than I am. God loves each one as a faithful Creator, Savior and Comforter. It is not a sentimental emotion. It is an act of will.


  48. poohpity says:

    It seems the whole purpose of God was to have mankind draw near to Him, to come to Him then why would we even give thought to Him hiding or taking a time out from us?

  49. jeff1 says:

    I would say from my own perspective that it is what I was taught from a child that it was God who separated me from Himself due to my sinfulness. It is not a case of God hiding or me hiding, I know God is a Holy God and I am a fallen human being. It is what Christ did on the Cross makes me right with God for eternity, it is the here and now the accepting of how God deals with my waywardness, and if I believe that God says it is forgotten because what Christ did then I should be at peace. It is living in a world that no longer sees God as the supreme being that is the difficulty. I have become an alien in a world which I grew up in but the world is changing and the difficulty for me is that I am not!
    The more the world gets lawless the more I long for Christ’s second coming for I need Him as much in the end as I did in the beginning!

  50. joycemb says:

    Viv I think I understand what you are saying. As I change more and more as a Christ follower I am drawn away from the world I am so familiar with. Everything around me says look at me, I have the answer to your life. I will give you what you want, need, and desire. It’s following Christ that makes us different; strangers and aliens because the broken world is so broken in ways that don’t make any sense at all.

    Then along with that some of us, myself included, are broken in mind/emotion so must walk beside Christ with a limp. A limp that seems antithetical to what Christ would want for us. He knows us and our limps, yet asks us to follow anyway. All the while the world goes on as it does in it’s own brokenness. Change does not make our lives here easier, I think, just makes our present/future more sure as we above anything in the world know where we are headed. Ours is the privilege and responsibility to show the world there is a Way out of this mess. The way of Jesus. So glad you and all here in the Journey. We need each other as we fall and follow, fall and follow, fall-get up-follow. blessings, Joyce

  51. jeff1 says:

    Yes Joyce I agree we do need each other and the thorn in my side is there for a reason for I know I am a difficult person at times. I can be stubborn when I think I am right so I know God has to use whatever it takes to make me see things His way and not mine. I am beginning to understand this more and more so that has to be progress. I believe I care enough to want God to change me to be less critical of authorities and my son is correcting me when I speak out of turn. He is so wise like my Dad it is as if God made him like that so that he will look out for me as my Dad used to. God does work in mysterious ways but I think I sometimes take my eye of the ball and miss seeing him working. It is getting into the habit of seeing God for it is so easy to miss him for all the noise around me. God help me to focus on you?

  52. oneg2dblu says:

    Am wondering… If we start to think, that any or al, of our sins” could not ever possibly effect the closeness or our relationship with God, then how do we explain the 400 hundred years of silence toward Israel recorded in the scriptures? How do we ignore that Hell is described in the scriptures as, separation from God for Eternity?
    “Sin always separates.”
    In fact, the lesson I got from God when personally asking Him, “Why does the Evil in this world today seem to go unpunished?”
    His answer in my spirit was, “My Separation is My Punishment for them, for those who do Evil, Do Not Walk with Me, at the same time.”

    So, this is how it works for me,
    They first separate themselves, both knowingly like shown in their apparent lame forms of hiding, as shown in the scriptures, or unknowingly through deception, but they are still separating themselves.

    That alone meant to me, that they were not receiving blessings that would have been received at that time, for in their Evil practices, they were actually Silencing MY Inner Voice, by separating themselves, and preventing My Closeness and My Blessing.

    No one who “Follows Me,” could possibly say to himself, “I and my God are now practicing this evil together.”
    Unless, their god, is Evil.

    Today’s 5-14 God at Eventide, talks about a “warning,” which should help us all to recognize the link between our actions and our responsibility.

    “The Devil made me do it,” is not a place where we can effectively hide or escape to, from this separation we have made for ourselves in our living in wrong choices.

    Repeated wrongs, or a thousand wrongs, should never equal a right.

    Be Blessed, Gary

  53. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    Your question about God working ultimately in ways and with means we do not recognize or understand is good food for thought, Mart. You ask:

    If the Lord, in the cross of Christ and the consuming fire of Sinai, “urges us to love not only our neighbor—but our enemy, then in how many other disconnected ideas, and misunderstood Job-like epics does our God hide his real and loving

    I think of the long cycle of persecution from Nero to Constantine in which Christians endured torture and death. The final outcome in about 313 AD was the very transformation of the culture and religion of Rome into a more just society.

    What is now occurring after the demise of Eastern Germany and the Soviet Union? Are the transformations in Eastern Europe so subtle that we are missing them?

    What about China? What about North Korea? What about the Middle East? What about the United States? How will Christ’s Kingdom be manifested when these cycles of change roll out to their full completion?

    Not sure anybody knows — but our outreach and prayers and faith in God working are part of the outcome, it seems to me.

    Yours in Christ,

  54. SFDBWV says:

    Gary is 100% correct in that sin separates us from a right fellowship with God.

    Yet it never separates us from God totally.

    Before the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, His passion, death and resurrection Psalms 139:8 tells us there is nowhere God isn’t. As well as psalms 51:11 asks God *not* to cast David away from God’s presence and not to take the Holy Spirit from him.

    Clearly in David’s sin God did not abandon him.

    I dare to say that God will not abandon any of us either no matter the sin. We certainly will suffer the consequences of sin, but God is going to be with us.

    The gap in the right fellowship with God is bridged by the sacrifice of Jesus of Nazareth and allows us to return to a proper fellowship with God. The bridge across the gap is for our benefit.

    I have been giving this and several of our topics some thought as I have been very busy lately and had little or no time to post, but what I want to say is that our relationship with God is very personal, between me/you and God.

    I/we need to concern ourselves with our conduct and relationship with Him, not center on everyone else and where they may or may not be.

    It seems to me we can tell people of God’s offer of salvation through Jesus, but not our responsibility to convince them of it.

    36 degrees this morning with the fragrant aroma of lilacs in the air.


  55. SFDBWV says:

    Psalms 51:11


  56. refump says:

    We were at a large shopping mall with our kids. One of kids kept wandering off despite our repeated warnings to stay close. I decide to let that kid wander off. I kept him in sight but out of his sight. All of a sudden he looked around & realized he was separated from his family. I could see & sense the panic that came over him. He looked desperately for his family. I quickly stepped out into his sight. He ran to me & threw himself into my arms crying tears of relief & joy that I had found him. Although he was never out of my sight, I was out of his sight which occurred because of his disobedience. No, God never lets us out of his sight but does allow us to wander off in our disobedience. Yes, God never leaves us forsakes us but we often leave Him & wander off. Thank God He welcomes us back with open arms of love when we realize He is out of sight & we begin searching for Him. That time apart grows our love & appreciation for God & our relationship grows stronger.

  57. jeff1 says:

    Personally I believe if all religions focused on the Cross and Christ there would be less division. The Cross makes us equal but when we look to God we get into difficulty. The one thing I have found in life that everyone sees God differently which leaves us with a complex God while focusing on Christ dying for mankind makes us all equal. I guess its a choice how we see ourselves, because I have wandered and make bad choices I find my peace in the Cross but perhaps those with a closer walk and less wandering will see it differently. The world today has changed in so many way yet in some ways it hasn’t changed at all. There are many different Churches but from dwindling numbers we can see that people are not been drawn to their Church meaning that congregations are older and the younger generation is looking to Science and technology for answers. While it is difficult for our generation to see this happen I am not so sure that it makes much difference to God. People go to Church to belong to a community of believers, to learn and to conduct ceremonies.
    I see that as the Church’s main purpose but what benefit does God get from them! Do we not over rate ourselves about what we are doing for God for is it not more for ourselves if we are honest about it! I guess what I am trying to say is that God is happy that we find fellowship with each other but is God not more concerned about how He will draw the next generation back to Him and He may see as Churches not working for Him when it comes to the future generations!

  58. joycemb says:

    Refump I love your story. Great picture of our heavenly Father watching over us.

  59. poohpity says:

    I guess I see so much good the body of Christ does for the poor, those who are going through natural disasters, man made disasters, people who are grieving, for those who are experiencing oppression, promoting education in places where there are no schools, building wells where is no water close, teaching farming techniques, providing blankets and meals, doctors going into place where there is no medical help or dental, taking in children who have been deserted or have been abused, going into prisons, visiting in nursing homes, sharing smiles and hugs when someone is feeling under the whether etc.. Many people that are not hiding what they believe by doing good and none of them ever have the thoughts about trying to be perfect but are doing their best to live out what they believe by treating others as they want to be treated.

    People will find what they are looking for. If one is looking for divisions in the church that is what they will find. If one is looking for all the Christians that do not measure up to others expectations they will find that. If one is looking for God they will find Him and if they look for the good things being done by Christians they will find that too.(Romans 14:19; Phil 4:8) If one renews their minds to think on those things pretty soon our minds get changed to the new creation we are now in Christ Jesus the old garbage passes away(Rom 12:2) behold all things become new (2 Cor 5:17).

  60. poohpity says:

    I share Joyce’s Amen to what you wrote refump.

  61. narrowpathseeker says:

    Refrump. That was a beautiful analogy you gave of the shopping mall… thank you.

  62. jeff1 says:

    I have not went looking for to find divisions but I am involved in Church activities and find there are divisions.
    Of course as you say everyone finds or sees want they want to see but God tells us to look for the truth in a world were truth is no longer easy to find. That to me requires not only searching my own soul but searching for what might be wrong in established Churches. It maybe that future generations will worship God in a different way to how we do, in their homes or in smaller groups. The world is changing and peoples ideas on how to worship are changing, I am not saying that everyone has to do the same but if others find they want to worship God differently then I do not have a problem with that for God is still being worshipped. Individuals choose now their own ways to worship, it is what’s happening in a modern world and I believe in ones freedom to do that. It is not God who demands people worship a certain way it is people who believe they know God best.

  63. poohpity says:

    I guess I missed where it says anywhere to go looking for what is wrong in churches or in other peoples lives. If one is looking for truth then the truth says to look for good. When one looks for the sin in churches or other people then one neglects admitting to it in their own lives. Each person is responsible for their selves before God and the truth says that one day GOD will separate the wheat from the tares and if we try doing it, not really knowing a person’s heart, we may cause damage to those who God is working within since we realize that none are perfect. That is exactly what is pushing this generation away from the church those who judge, criticize and condemn blatantly and not showing the grace we have received. The difference in being part of the problem or part of the solution. The solution is grace and mercy.

  64. oneg2dblu says:

    I do not know that people go out intentionally looking to find sin in churches, people, or places, but if you have any discernment about what is increasing today, any vision, or ability to to see what is actually happening to this world, or what the scriptures say will be increasing, then you will see more darkness, more sin, and even more natural tragedy.
    Or, you can ignore everything and pretend you are above seeing this ever-darkening reality.
    I know we all see more of God’s Hand at Work, then the rest of the unbelieving world sees, but, should we not see with more discerning eyes, awakened souls, and our renewed minds, or do we still possess the same sin ignoring vision we had as unbelievers?
    I know I do not look at the world through the same old man prism I used to.

    To me, Once you have tasted the goodness of seeing God’s Hand in your life, it changes your perspective forever.

    But, we are all at different points in our walk with the Lord, and our calling is also being more defined as we continue to grow and walk, as our strength grows or recedes,
    our ability or mission may also change accordingly.

    But, regardless of where we are, aren’t we all used for His purposes?

  65. bubbles says:

    I don’t know. . . shouldn’t we look at our own lives and make sure they are what they should be rather than looking about an pointing out the wrongs in others?

    We need to take a stand for what is right but I’m not sure our sole purpose is to be pointing out the wrong everywhere else.

  66. poohpity says:

    Those who have faith and trust in God know that it is His Spirit that convicts people of sin. It also says plainly and overtly several times that we are to pay attention to the sin in our very own lives so that when we sin we can admit to it NOT in others. If we are thinking logically looking at it in others then we fail to pay attention to our own faults and failures(Pslams 139:23-24) because we are to busy comparing our self to others(pride) rather than to Christ. (Luke 18:9-14 NLT) Looking at others will never makes us right with God quite the opposite is true.(Gal 5:15 NLT)

  67. poohpity says:

    Psalms 139:23-24

  68. street says:

    thinking about what gary said. i think as you get closer to God there is a deeper awareness of sin in self and others. even grief over it. should lead to repentance or intercession. might be a little more unsure of yourself too thrown in. it’s good to be sure of God. not in a testing way.

  69. jeff1 says:

    I believe I am grieving over my country for you are right Street the nearer I get to God the more aware I am of the wrongs of myself and my people. Having made many mistakes leaves you unsure of what to do next because if you could get it so badly wrong in the first place then you are apprenhensive about where to go now!
    I think that is why I am glad to leave decisions for the future to the next generation because when you have failed to do what’s right you have failed your own children. God offers me peace from my own failings by pointing me to the Cross and hope that He will use my children to accompolish His purposes. My experience being that as a wayward child God has shown me that through bad choices I suffered loss of joy now, but assurance that He does not hold it against me in the future. I am guilty of the same sin I seen in others and that is what God is showing me! The difficulty for me now is forgiving myself/others (God is much more forgiven than I can ever be) and having accepted my own weaknesses now extending that to accepting others weaknesses. Then there is the difficulty of trust, I can trust God but God works through people and if I were misguided by people in the past and my friend tells me I am a very naive person there is every chance I will be deceived again! This is why I have chosen to live an isolated life with only long time friends and family as my greatest fear is trusting in myself or others.

  70. oneg2dblu says:

    jeff1… we are no more misguided by others than we are by following our own self seeking, inward looking, selfish desires.
    The battle which we fight daily is always fought first within our mind.
    Precisely why the Renewing of the Mind is not left to us alone, but is given over to that spirit in us which then yields to the Holy Spirit within every believer.

    Will we still be misled, misguided, taken advantage of and deceived?
    Of course,that is how we learn through every wrong, that the right path is one of turning to the other way, or repenting from where we were heading.

    A lifelong learning process, while we still inhabit these earthly tents.

    We are never found sinless, but, as we learn, we sin less.

    We are misguided less, deceived less, and walking in the wrong direction less also.
    Be Blessed, Gary

  71. poohpity says:

    As I grow closer to God I become more aware of just how amazing God’s grace truly is and how undeserving I am to receive it but so very, very grateful. In that gratefulness it helps me to look at others through the eyes of Jesus who came to save us all from the consequences of that sin and to treat others with the same grace and mercy I have received.

  72. poohpity says:

    Also the desires that once were in me to sin are slowly disappearing and new desires of serving, acting justly showing mercy and walking humbly with Him are taking over.

  73. oneg2dblu says:

    Goon men did not Stand Up for Prayer in the schools, and we no longer have prayer in the schools.

    Good men did not Stand Up against removing The Ten Commandments and we no longer have the Ten Commandments being placed in our court rooms.

    Good men who refuse to see sin in others, and fail to Stand Up against it, will see it growing more and more in every aspect of this Darkening World.

    But, If we are only searching within, and saying to ourselves, we need not look at the sins of others, that may work for you, but, how is it working for the rest of the world?

    How does that premise, effect the rest of the inward looking world?

    I believe that Christ saw, through Divine Vision, the unlimited extent of sin and the suffering it brings upon all mankind, and He Stood Up against it, and Walked both to the Cross, and while carrying His Cross as well.

    I thank God we didn’t have to follow an “inward only” looking Christ!

    His path, was filled with His encountering of sin everywhere in this world, it is where He walked, and where we follow.

    How can we then pretend we do not see the sins of the world, or another’s sin?

    Which is harder to say or present to others, “I do not see your sins, for I am only looking at my own?”

    Or, could there be another possibility?

    “Because, by the Faith that God has deposited/given me, and the power that comes with that Gift, I can see your sins as well, and I can also say, through the Power Given by the very name of Jesus Christ, “Your sins can be forgiven, and you can take up your mat and walk?”

    Or, has my faith so blinded my vision, that now I see only myself and my sin alone?

  74. poohpity says:

    Satan does a fine job of accusing people, he does not need my help but many feel it is their job to speak on his behalf. I would rather speak on the behalf of Jesus who did not come to condemn the world but to save it. Jesus said, “the one without sin cast the first stone” and since He was the only One without sin but even He would not cast a stone but gave up His life for those who do sin, to pay their debt.

    Gary, I am so sorry but I do not believe that it is a gift from God to see sins, any person on the street in the flesh can see sin and normally those are the very ones who look for it in others, it is a gift from God to show mercy to those who do sin.

  75. cbrown says:

    The Great Commission
    Mathew16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

    New International Version (NIV)

  76. poohpity says:

    It seems “The Hiddenness of God” may be that still small voice within mankind we call conscience. When we listen to it we are guided and instructed then it becomes louder and more frequent but once one stops listening to it and begins to act on their own that conscience fades away. Lines get blurred and humans seem to disregard compassion, empathy, kindness and respect.

  77. poohpity says:

    Gary, good men would pray with their children before they go to school and not leave it up to the educational system to do it.

    Good men would not have to stand up for the “Ten Commandments” being on a building if they lived by them and had them engraved in their hearts.

    Good men would not point out the sin in others without sharing the Good News of what Christ has done for all mankind. Only self righteous men look at the sin in others while denying it in their own lives.

    Christ did not see through a divine vision He was the Divine Deity incarnated in human flesh that gives divine visions and taught what sin is but also gave the sacrifice to cover it.

    Faith that does not recognize the condition of one’s own heart is not faith at all but blindness and denial.

  78. jeff1 says:

    I would agree Gary that it has been a learning process for me but surely I have to recognise where I went so badly wrong. I followed a leader whom my father warned me that he was not following godly counsel although he wore a collar and his popularity was huge. I was too young to listen to my father but as I wised up I started to realize what my father said was true. The more I look back I can see my father who was a God fearing man give me very sound advice all through my life. It was my own bad choices that got me into difficulty and affected my children. What I am saying is at that time in my life I was not listening for God but like most youngsters thought I knew it all when in fact I knew very little. History repeats itself and now my children do not listen to my advice which I really do believe has got better since I am now listening for God’s small voice. Having been there myself I also know how futile it is to try and tell young people anything for they believe they know it all as I did. Surely it has to be God that prompts us and until that person is ready to trust God he will continue in his own way. If you try to tell a non-believer they will just tell you that if that is your belief then keep it to yourself. I always was told that God does not want us to force people into submission and that they must want it or it is best left to Him to intervene. I don’t think you can stop anyone from sinning until they make the choice not to and pointing out sin to others who are not ready to hear God’s word only leads to confrontation which I can assure you from experience makes a bad siuation ten times worse. I agree with you Pooh that the more I act in a godly manner the more I will develope that behaviour, I personnally find that the easier but it is the enemy within me when I see injustice is my biggest battle for my behaviour can then take a nose dive. It is walking humbly is the difficult part for me. I can get too big for my boots until God sends someone to bring me down to size. I think one has to very honest with oneself and my son tells me I am always in denial and those closest usually see your faults quicker than you see them yourself. I think I am learning more about myself than I ever knew and I wish I could say it was all good but the truth is I only though I was good because I compared my self to those who were the same or worse than me. When I am trying to live to Jesus’s standard then I am going to struggle for He is a hard act to follow and it has taken me a lifetime to learn that.

  79. street says:

    poo said,”It seems “The Hiddenness of God” may be that still small voice within mankind we call conscience.

    makes me think of the Old Testament where it says everyone did what was right in their own eyes. there was a devotional that addressed conscience recently. we know that did not work out well. too many standards and points of view. Christians have a distinct advantage over their predecessors. they have the Holy Spirit and for the most part God’s Word and can read it. where much is given much is expected. thank you Dad for grace and mercy.
    in regard for the most part God’s Word, some do not have a Bible and some can not read.

  80. street says:

    may 13, 2015 from. “my utmost for His Highest” was the devotional i was referring too.

  81. poohpity says:

    street, I will go on what the Bible teaches when God said after the Holy Spirit was given that God’s law will be written in our heart and on our minds thus conscience to know the difference in what is right or wrong. (Hebrews 10:16-17 NLT)

  82. poohpity says:

    Ooops should have also included Hebrews 10:15 NLT

  83. poohpity says:

    Mankind was given conscience awareness of good and evil from the first bite of fruit from the “Tree of Knowledge” now whether man follows that path of conscience awareness for good or evil is up to that person.

  84. poohpity says:

    Had their conscience not been made aware they would have never hid from God out of guilt and shame.

  85. joycemb says:

    I found Ephesians 1:17-19 so encouraging as Paul prayed and as we can pray for each other as we seek out the hidden things of God. The phrase “eyes of your heart” is also translated “the perception of your mind” by Holmans.

  86. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh… I’m sorry too, sorry we are locked in another battle here, this time about what Good Men would do, or not do.

    I say Stand Up against sin at every turn you see it, you say, Stand Down and don’t judge others.

    So, in holding this Stand Down position, was it Good Men who asked that the schools not continue to pray?

    Of course not!

    Were Good Men saying, they have already covered our children in prayer, and they do not need anyone else to further attended to that issue, meaning any educational authority, because they’ve done for their children all they will ever need in the prayer department?

    Of course not!

    Wasn’t it actually “Good Men” who first instituted that there be prayer in the schools?

    Certainly it was!

    Let’s be intellectually honest here, and really see where we are heading today, just because a few others who opposed prayer, have stood up, and stood up in the way of prayer to God, preventing the way that was so Good For Us growing up, but as you say, Is now better taken care of at home?

    How’s that working out for our children today?

    Talk about hiding…I think we are hiding the truth here, because, where we used to pray openly and publicly without fear of offending anyone, today we now cower, or hide, from making a small few feel uncomfortable, and who do you think we then serve and have actually benefited?

    God or Satan?

    Why you do (not see) the “Silencing of the Lambs” that is taking place everywhere in society today?

    I’m sure you may think the posting of the Ten Commandments today, is offensive to your higher held faith position of showing compassion, grace and mercy, on those poor folks who also find it uncomfortable for them.

    It seems to me, that we today prefer to let the blind lead the blind, and the one’s who see any Silencing of the Lambs in this world, we should label them as the real enemy of the Way.

    It seems you are saying, we’ve cured everything wrong in this world, just by ignoring the sins of the world, Praying at home, or hiding from public view, looking only within, and finding only our own sin that needs to be corrected.

    That to me, is not the prescription I see when looking at the Great Commission, but, if that works better for you…

    If we can’t see others sins without being labeled as judgmental, and without adding to the equation, we are not seeing our own sin, how can we, being sin blind, then help others?

    “Talk about Hidden issues, how can we see their need for salvation from their sins, if we never see sin?

    I thought when Paul saw a particular person living in sin, or particular sin problem in the church, he actually called it out, he labeled it properly as sin, and the mercy and grace shown by him, was through having it cast out and giving it back to Satan.

    Please correct my thinking on how Paul took a Stand against sin, and dealt with the sin issue he apparently had the vision to actually see.

    Was his action judgmentally right or wrong?


  87. poohpity says:

    Gary, my position now and since I have become a believer is the “Gospel of Grace” period and prayers are that one day you will grow to understand it. (Acts 20:24)

  88. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    The Hiddenness of God is huge — God being so immense and present everywhere that we probably are unaware of His working most of the time!

    Humanity hid out first — way back in Eden — ending the era when people walked in innocence with our Creator. With the understanding that God is, that He sent His only Son to be the bridge back to His presence and that He has gifted us with the blessed Holy Spirit to guide and comfort us — comes the covenant call to be His “witnesses in Jerusalem, in Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

    I can only add one more famous testimony from a witness who bore many trials for the sake of God’s kingdom:

    “Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
    And naked I shall return there.
    The Lord gave and the Lord has take away.
    Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

    What are we called to bring to the world? Condemnation on account of sins — which we all have committed? Or, a steady and joyous witness of God’s goodness? As so many here have said, both in long and short form, each one answers God’s calling as best (s)he can.

    Yours in Christ,

  89. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh… that was wonderful reply, actually blessed.

    I’m sure we can both agree that the Apostle Paul was considered an amazing Grace teacher.

    Not teaching us the song those words bring to mind, but the Way of Grace, the amazing way he taught us all through his letters to the Churches, about how they acted, and by seeing how others acted he knew they were either serving God properly, or wrongly serving, as serving something, or someone else.
    Can we also agree that Paul took us the right position with how we should deal with some of the impropriety found in the church and its people, and how he warned us all about what that looked like, for it seemed to him, that the “anything goes mentality,” we think of as showing love/grace/mercy today, is really just a form of political correctness for serving the world, by telling them exactly what they want to hear.
    Be Blessed, Gary

  90. street says:

    freedom of religion is not freedom from religion. the law of man is a poor substitute for the law of God. even then the law of God is perverted by men trying to figure out how to interpret and apply the law. apart from God you can do nothing.

    today i linked up the thought repent the Kingdom is near and take up your cross and follow Jesus. i am thinking they mean the same thing except you have something to do afterwards. thinking Jesus carried His cross out of love, obedience, and a joy set before Him.
    oh to delight myself in this love. thank you for the grace mercy and strength to continue.

  91. poohpity says:

    Gary, I do not know who you hang around with but I do not know anyone that follows Christ that has an “anything goes mentality” but they do exhibit love/grace/mercy that is the proof/evidence of what they say they believe.

  92. poohpity says:

    I also do not know anyone who follows Christ that is so consumed with looking at sin, whether in themselves or others, rather than looking at who Christ is, what was accomplished at the Cross and the resurrection- in other words trampling on the Gospel of Grace.

  93. jeff1 says:

    I must say I find it difficult myself not to look at my sins and that of others. To me that is why the world is messed up and the only good news is that God has His reasons for allowing it to get like this. I do not see that world changing until Israel, who is chosen, is in control of leading the nations back to God’s way. I see Gary has being correct the blind is leading the blind at the moment and no one is getting it right. In Britain political correctness has gone mad, people are afraid to open their mouth to anyone they don’t know in case they say something which could be seen as harrasment and end up in trouble with the law. Organisations that young people are involved in are becoming very difficult to organise due to legislation on what and what not to do to make sure abuse is avoided. Everyone now is seen as a perpetrator and everyone has to have someone to witness that they are not an abuser. I know for I talk to people who are involved in the organizing and they said it is becoming a nightmare, they are already giving up their free time to help young people and now they are not trusted and are having to fill out more and more paperwork which requires more of their time which is valuable to them as they nearly all have families of their own to spend time with as well. There is sinister happenings going on in this world today or maybe not, for not understanding the why these things are happening may just make it seem sinister!

    Known only to Him are the great hidden secrets
    I’ll fear not the darkness when my flame shall dim
    I know not what the future holds
    But I know who holds the future
    It’s a secret known only to Him

    In this world of fear and doubt
    On my knees I ask the question
    Why a lonely, heavey cross I must bear
    Then He tells me in my prayer
    It’s because I am trustworthy
    He gives me strenght far more than my share

  94. street says:

    surrender dorthy comes to mind. from the movie the wizard of oz. Jesus is the true vine. Israel has always been considered a vine. a vine and the true vine. makes one think a little harder. none of the promises of God will be forgotten or unfulfilled by Him. the wheat and tars or sheep and goats continue to live side by side till the harvest. what a violent and joyous occasion that will be.

  95. jeff1 says:


    We read the headlines daily
    and listen to the news,
    We shake our heads despairingly
    and glumly sing the blues,
    We are restless and dissatisfied
    and we do not feel secure,
    We are vaguely discontented
    With the things we must endure…
    This violent age we live in
    is filled with nameless fears
    As we listen to the newscasts
    that come daily to our ears,
    And we view the threatening future
    with sad sobriety
    As we’re surrounded daily
    by increased anxiety…
    How can we find security
    or stand on solid ground
    When there’s violence and dissension
    and confusion all around;
    Where can we go for refuge
    from the rising tides of hate,
    Where can we find a haven
    to escape this shameful fate…
    Instead of reading headlines
    that disturb the heart and mind,
    Let us open up the Bible
    and in doing so we’ll find
    That this age is no different
    from the millions gone before,
    But in every hour of crisis
    God has opened up a door
    For all who seek His guidance
    and trust His all-wise plan,
    For God provides protection
    beyond that devised by man…
    And we learn that each tomorrow
    is not ours to understand,
    But lies safely in the keeping
    of the great Creator’s Hand,
    And to have the steadfast knowledgte
    that we never walk alone
    And to rest in the assurance
    that our every need is known
    Will help dispel our worries,
    our anxieties and care,
    For doubt and fear are vanquished
    in the peacefulness of prayer.

  96. joycemb says:

    I needed to hear this, it was posted on Bible Gateway’s fb page:

    “Be content to live unknown for a little while, and to walk your weary way through the fields of poverty, or up the hills of affliction; for by-and-by you shall reign with Christ, for he has ‘made us kings and priests unto God, and we shall reign forever and ever.'” – Charles Spurgeon

    A different perspective covers a multitude of misunderstanding and disagreement.

  97. poohpity says:

    I know it is beneficial for each person to admit to God first and to others our sins, faults and failures. That seems to keep us close to God and others by keeping our slates clean, seeking forgiveness and keeps us humble. It hurts our relationship with God to always dwell or be consumed with them because that could be seen as self abasement or abuse. When we pay attention to those areas in our own lives that alone keeps us from picking those things out in others since we know we are not perfect ourselves. We can then be filled with joy knowing that we are open, honest and real- we do not need to hide behind masks if God has forgiven us and He is God then what can mere mankind do to us.

    However if we are looking around at all the ugliness, faults and failure then our eyes, trust and dependence are on worldly/fleshy things and not on God. When one looks around all the time it brings on resentment, bitterness, depression then joy and peace slips away. God has not hidden His grace from us but we have to seek it and trust all that is written in His word, told by the Word planted in our hearts by His Spirit who guides us to all His truths- that can be ours and what more could anyone want.

    O soul, are you weary and troubled?
    No light in the darkness you see?
    There’s light for a look at the Savior,
    And life more abundant and free!
    Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
    Look full in His wonderful face,
    And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
    In the light of His glory and grace.
    Through death into life everlasting
    He passed, and we follow Him there;
    O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
    For more than conqu’rors we are!
    His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
    Believe Him, and all will be well:
    Then go to a world that is dying,
    His perfect salvation to tell!

  98. poohpity says:

    Gary, and jeff1, Isn’t our goal to grow closer to God? We can grow closer by admitting it when we sin but we do not grow closer to God by looking at the sins of others.

    What Paul did in the early church by holding accountable the one who was openly committing a sexual sin so that maybe he would admit his wrong and be restored to fellowship. It is fine when we humbly confront a sexual sin in a brother or sister so they may turn from it and return to God(repentance) but we are not by what the scripture say to treat unbelievers in the same manner, that is God’s job.(1 Cor 5:12-13 NLT)

  99. jeff1 says:

    As I see it Pooh I do not know how I can not see the sins of others as I see them in myself. When my heart was not convicted I did not see my own neglect nor the neglect of others but being aware of my own sins also brings to light the sins of others. I do not see that it is my place to point out to unbelievers who will only dismiss me anyway and whether or not I choose to point it out to fellow believers I think I need to assess the situation and then decide whether it is best to say anything or just pray for them as you should unbelievers. I do not think the answer is black and white and each situation has to be addressed seperately. I think it is a fine line in allowing God to work through us and in trying to do God’s job. I say that because I believe God has rebuked me more than once for crossing the line in that I was deciding which sin I believed to be the greatest, it is a stumbling block for me but God will not let us dictate and do whatever He has to to remove my judgemental spirit. I think it is ok to give your opinion but a person has to recognise that they are wrong doing before they will recognise that your intentions are God given and not just interference unless you know them particularly well. I know from experience how much in denial I am in when I have justified myself into believing I am not doing wrong. That is how I know you hear a busy body and not a God given caring person when you are held in your sin. Sometimes you have to get back into the sinners spirit to remember how difficult it is for them to see it the God given way!

  100. poohpity says:

    jeff1, I think you may have misunderstood what I was saying and the heart behind it.

  101. jeff1 says:

    That would not suprise me Pooh for my children say that I always miss the point and so do others, and always did badly at comprehension at school.
    To recap, Isn’t our goal to grow closer to God? Yes, and I believe I am closer to God or I would not be aware that God has rebuked me for I would not have recognised God’s rebuke if I was not close to Him. We can grow closer by admitting it when we sin but we do not grow closer to God by looking at the sins of others. I would disagree that looking at the sins of others harms our growth in God, what damages my growth is not seeing others sins but judging others sins. A convicted heart is more aware of sin no matter who sins, it is how I deal with others is what distances me from God. This is where my biggest struggle will come and where I take one step forward and two steps back. I have preconceived beliefs and experiences which get in the way of God’s truth, doing things “my way” is still what comes between God and I. Habits are hard to break whether they are good or bad and I have both, God knows me better than I know myself for He was with me from the beginning and He will be with me always whether in this life or the next, this is God’s promise that nothing I do or don’t do will come between us, for I am His and His alone. God is telling me to listen to Him and not what man says for religions have done things in His name that were never meant to pass but in is in Him and Him alone we have our being.

  102. narrowpathseeker says:

    Jeff1, I think you understand things just fine…When I have time to come on here and read some of the comments I have never come away from one of yours thinking you “missed the point”. I am inspired and moved by your very honest posts. AND I agree that being aware of our own sins makes us aware of the sins of others, but I think that no matter what the sin, when people are TRULY honest, humble, and remorseful and not just talking a load of dung to sound like they are honest, humble, and remorseful, I love and look up to them. AND I think believers as well as unbelievers recognize a deceiver.

  103. jeff1 says:

    That is good to know narrowpathseeker for I do no that it takes me a while to understand what someone is getting at. My son often has to explain what he meant for he will say I often take the wrong meaning. I do read comments more than once so that I grasp what I believe the person is saying. If I misunderstand then I would rather they tell me so I can look again at what was said. I do agree with you that believers and unbelievers will be drawn to those who are honest about their failings and also that is why God wants us to be honest, humble and remorseful for then people are drawn to the Kingdom and not running away because they see a bunch of rightcheous people who they feel is looking down at them for their sins. Pride is my biggest failing and I know many who are like it. It is when I judge the sins of others to be worse than mine I justify my own actions as being right. No person can judge anothers sin for he does not know that persons motives or their heart, they see what that person wants them to see but God sees the heart and the motives of men and only he can judge. I believe what God is telling me is that we are equal in His eyes, in my lifetime I have been wise and I have been foolish and God was with me in all of these times. I have laughed with others (to my shame I must add) looking at how foolish some people can be unaware that this is how God sees me when I get it wrong but has forgiven me anyway. So let me not judge anothers foolishness but pray they will see God’s grace and mercy as being extened to them so that we can all rejoice in His Glory.

  104. narrowpathseeker says:

    Again, I agree with you Jeff1, but I think there are a lot of fine lines and small print in the judging code…..and as far as not knowing someone’s heart…I think sometimes it is quite evident by their collective words and actions…we are told NOT to be deceived…I think that if we are not going to be deceived that we need to make some sound judgements. In doing so I would think that adhering to the adage, “if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck..then it most likely IS a duck” ;-) Now of course I could be wrong, but that is pretty much where I stand firmly at this time. When a person is caught in lie after lie after lie and then denies them….I judge them to be a liar….it’s the duck thing.. :-)
    I am a major sinner and I TOO get caught up in false pride, jealousy, anger, and all the other uglies, ….BUT I confess them, resist them and hate it when I fall into them….and it is an ongoing cycle of asking forgiveness….not denying them and pointing them out in others.

  105. poohpity says:

    narrow, name just one lie the duck as told. The duck does not seem to point people to the duck but to Christ and if that is wrong that duck does not need to be right. Pointing out sin in oneself or in others is a curse and the focus is not on Christ but on fallen humanity. I could be mistaken but the duck has never once said anything about being self righteous but guides people to God, His Word and His Works.

    I have yet to see you resist being mean, hateful or ugly even when admitting it is wrong but still going ahead and doing it willfully and then on top of it wanting others to follow behind you rather than leading them to show grace and mercy is beyond anything I have ever seen for one who claims to know Christ.

  106. poohpity says:

    narrow, I forgive you for all the ugly because I know that inside of you is a miserable, lonely, bitter person that is in despite need of God’s love, grace and mercy. I do not know what caused that in your heart but the solution can be found in the Lord when the blame comes to a stop.

  107. jeff1 says:

    I am not sure narrowpathseeker about knowing anothers hearts by their actions I find people can react differently with different people. If someone is pleasant to me it is a human reaction to be pleasant back. Likewise if someone is rude it is a human reaction to be rude back. I used to work at a helpdesk where I dealt with the public and got to see very different personalities. I used to discover that when people were rude to me it was usually for a reason which had nothing to do with me but I was the place of contact so I was in the firing line. This job learned me patience for I soon began to see what was going on in others lives affected their actions and words. Some of them when given a satisfactory answer would apologise for their rudeness while others left with the same attitude. I guess we have to look at people differently and you are right if you know someone is never truthful then you will not trust that person’a word. People are so very different I find. I know some who would promise the the sun, the moon and the stars but ask them to do some deed and they are gone in a flash. Others would not think to offer in case they were seen as pushy but if you ask they would kindly oblige. It takes all sorts really and getting to know people properly can take a long time and that is probably why I just have a few long time trusted friends but I have to say that those friends are as precious to me as family and I could trust them as I would family so thank God for friendships which are such a blessing. I realize that not everyone can say they have had as good of friendships but never give up hope of meeting a new friend and if you don’t you still have a very special friend in Jesus.

    Everybody needs a little help sometime
    No one stands alone
    Makes no difference if you’re just a child like me
    Or a king upon a throne
    For there are no exceptions
    We all stand in the line
    Everybody needs a friend
    Let me tell you of mine

    He’s my forever friend
    My leave-me-never friend
    From darkest nights to rainblow’s end
    He’s my forever friend

    Even when I turn away He cares for me
    His love no one can shake
    Even as I walk away He’s by my side
    With evey breath I take
    And sometimes I forget Him
    My halo fails to shine
    Sometimes I’m not His friend
    But He is always mine

    Repeat Chorus:
    If you still don’t know the one I’m talking of
    I think it’s time you knew
    Long ago and far away upon a cross
    My friend died for you
    So if you’d like to meet Him
    And don’t know what to do
    Ask my friend into your heart
    And He’ll be your friend too

    Repeat Chorus

    He’s My Forever Friend

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