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Hiding in Plain Sight

IMG_0054 (1)Sometimes the best place to hide is in plain sight.

That’s the smile behind a series of urban legends about shrewd rip offs. One is a rumor about an army post that had experienced a series of thefts. When a covered truck with a nervous-looking civilian driver pulled up to the exit gate, guards were suspicious. A senior Military Police officer standing nearby saw what was happening and stepped forward to give his young deputies a lesson in how to search a departing vehicle. Determined to show that no mischief would get past him, he looked in the back of the truck, under the canopy, in the tire well, under the hood, behind the seat. Satisfied that he had missed nothing, and proud of the lesson he had just given his young MPs, the officer waved the truck through. It was only later that he learned why the driver had looked so nervous — he was stealing the truck.

The shepherd-soldier-musician-king David alludes to such cleverness—used for good— when he sings of his God, “To the pure you show yourself pure, but to the devious, you show yourself shrewd (2Sam 22:27 NIV).

Let’s play the allusion out. Who would God consider devious enough to act shrewdly with them? And what if it was the Lord himself who wanted to hide in plain sight? Who would be the pure to whom he would show himself pure, and the devious to whom he would show himself shrewd?

Run the flag of the kingdom of God to the top of the pole. Who did God hiding in Jesus seem to regard as “pure”? Who did he seem to consider “devious”? Could this really be said about self-admitting sinners… and self-described defenders of moral and spiritual rightness?

Or is that pushing the idea way too far?  Hang with me…  :-)

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101 Responses to “Hiding in Plain Sight”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Mart it feels as though we are taking a test, but via of your deviousness.

    Quick thinking tells me that John the Baptist was the only person whom Jesus honored or regarded so highly as to come close to being “pure”. But He stopped short of saying that and said among men there is not risen a greater than John, but that he that is least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater. Matthew 11:11

    Only God is good. Matthew 19:17, and only the “pure” in heart shall see God, Matthew 5:8

    As for being devious, of course Satan comes to mind, but Jesus had little nice to say about the religious leaders of Israel.

    A pseudo-Christian will be shrewd and devious only so as to look good to others, while trying to hide their true intentions, but they do not fool the Holy Spirit nor those who have the Holy Spirit in them as the Holy Spirit gives discernment as well as exposing sin for what it is.

    Just a nice clean 0 degrees this morning with flurries. Not as cold as they predicted.


  2. Mart DeHaan says:

    Thanks, Steve, for wading in…What I’m wondering is whether the self-disclosing sinners who came to Jesus for mercy (seeing God in him) were in God’s eyes (and by his grace) “pure of heart” (i.e. honest)… while the self-professed defenders and teachers of the law (who didn’t see the Father in the Son) were devious enough to be hiding the self-centeredness and evil— that they tried to project onto Jesus.

  3. bubbles says:

    “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”

  4. poohpity says:

    Yes the devious were always trying to prove deviousness in others like the religious leaders. They tried to trap Jesus by things like not paying taxes(Jesus provided the coin the the fishes mouth); saying that Jesus was working for the devil(but Jesus told them a house divided can not stand); accusations of working on the Sabbath by picking grain to eat(Jesus told about David when he ate the bread of presence); when they asked trick questions(Jesus would ask them questions) to show that their heart was bend on everything but for God, Jesus was very shrewd cause He knew their hearts.

    However for those who came humbly to Him with the pure heart of their need He responded with healing, salvation, mercy and grace. They found what they were seeking, a loving kind God.

  5. poohpity says:

    Like the above story the religious leaders looked everywhere except to ask for the registration and insurance which is one of the first things required to show ownership.

  6. poohpity says:

    Also true for the Christian our love and care for others shows who we belong to, that is like our registration and insurance.

  7. SFDBWV says:

    Ever wonder why the religious leaders couldn’t see God in Jesus?

    The honest sinner *heard* the message of hope and forgiveness from Jesus and it came with such an authoritarian voice that they did see something very special about Him.

    John the Baptist heralded His coming and anyone at the baptism of Jesus had to have heard John tell Jesus that it was he who needed baptism of Him.

    John in essence proclaimed Jesus to be the promised Messiah, yet later on needed to be encouraged by hearing Jesus give some acknowledgement of it.

    The religious leaders who could not deny that Lazarus had been dead four days and yet rose again to life at Jesus’ command still refused to accept Jesus for who He was; why? Romans 11:7 states that Israel was blinded.

    Who could blind Israel but God and why would God blind them? Because Jesus had to be sacrificed as the Lamb, just as God came to earth to accomplish.

    Who seen God in Jesus? The elect.

    Who else hides in plain sight? A wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    Do not be deceived…


  8. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Agreeing over here that the ones missing Messiah in plain sight were the “defenders” of the faith, or defenders of self. Jealousy and fear filled them — no faith came of it.

    The ones seeing Jesus as He really is are the ones who really heard His message of hope and salvation. They believed with joy, humbly confessing their sinfulness. They knelt before their Messiah.

    Weep for those deceived by their own arrogance!


  9. pegramsdell says:

    Matthew 10:16

    “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.

  10. pegramsdell says:

    1 Corinthians 9:22

    To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.

  11. SFDBWV says:

    Hello Peg, I am glad to see you in the mix again. I know it grieves you to know it is only 07 degrees here right now at 12:56 in the afternoon.

    And they are predicting a good old fashioned “Nor-easter” this weekend.

    I am glad you’re safe and warm there in Florida.


  12. street says:

    so many things running through my mind on this one and the comments so far.

    Who did God hiding in Jesus seem to regard as “pure”?

  13. street says:

    Who did he seem to consider “devious”?

  14. street says:

    thinking the sinners were entering the Kingdom and the self-righteous thought they were already in it.

  15. street says:

    Who did God hiding in Jesus seem to regard as “pure”?

    after looking back. YES! we are made pure by His cross!

    already there but not yet, waiting for a completed harvest. Glory to God!

  16. street says:

    how much more shall we be saved by His Life.

  17. street says:

    Genesis 15:6 Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.

  18. Regina says:

    Good Evening, All
    Off topic… Thank you all for the good and godly advice you gave me regarding my situation. Thank you Maru, Steve and phpatato for the Bible passages to meditate on and use in prayer. I did, indeed, anoint my area of the house with blessed oil, pleaded the blood of Jesus and commanded all unclean spirits to go in Jesus’ name! I also asked the Holy Spirit to make Himself welcome in my room, bathroom and all areas of the house! I play WORSHIP/praise songs on my computer for all to hear too. Would write more, but I’m on my way out of the house.

    I watched that video (Bob Newhart), Mart. I think Bob N. has a dry sense of humor.

    61 degrees and partly cloudy in my neck of the woods…

    LOVE to all,

  19. street says:

    20 And turning His gaze toward His disciples, He began to say, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21 Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. 22 Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. 23 Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven.

    “Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when Jesus heard this, He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

    36 Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.

    18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, 3 and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

    Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.

  20. poohpity says:

    It seems there is a vast difference in speaking as one with authority(with wisdom beyond their reasoning)Matt 7:28-29 and in an authoritarian voice(power through coercion and exerting control) similar to the religious leaders. Jesus had all the powers of God but hide them in plain sight. God never seems to use authoritarian mannerisms, forcing His will on anyone.

    Jesus was gentle and humble(Matt 11:29)

  21. SFDBWV says:

    Romans 1:20 came to mind this morning as I contemplated our subject; “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”

    Also John 10:4 “: for they know His voice”. John 10: 16 “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold and one Shepard.”

    Our Lord is everywhere His creation is, we just have to open to see Him as well as recognizing His voice when we hear it.

    There are a lot of distractions in the world and a lot of noise, but we His elect are given “pure” sight and senses so that we cannot be deceived, but rather follow along willingly behind our Shepard.

    -5 degrees this morning and clear (minus five)


  22. jeff1 says:

    The Fruit of the Spirit is Love and Peace

    There is no thinking person
    Who can stand untouched today
    And view the world around us
    Slowly drifting to decay
    Without feeling deep within him
    A silent,unnamed dread
    As he contemplates the future
    That lies frighteningly ahead….
    For, like watching storm clouds gather
    In a dark and threatening sky,
    Man knows that there is nothing
    He can formulate or try
    That will stop the storm from breaking
    In its fury and its force,
    Nor can he change or alter
    The storm’s destructive course,
    But his anxious fears are lessened
    When he calls on God above,
    For he knows above the storm clouds
    Is the brightness of God’s love…
    So as the “clouds of chaos”
    Gather in man’s muddled mind,
    And he searches for the answer
    He alone can never find,
    Let us recognize we’re facing
    Problems man has never solved,
    And with all our daily efforts
    Life grows more and more involved,
    But our future will seem brighter
    And we’ll meet with less resistance
    If we call upon our Father
    And seek Divine Assistance…
    For the spirit can unravel
    Many tangled, knotted threads
    That defy the skill and power
    Of the world’s best hands and heads,
    And our plans for growth and progress,
    Of which we all have dreamed,
    Cannot survive materially
    Unless our spirits are redeemed….
    And only through a living faith
    Can man achieve this goal,
    For safety and security
    Are born within the soul.


    When I Must Leave You

    When I must leave you
    For a little while,
    Please do not grieve
    and shed wild tears
    And hug your sorrow
    to you through the years,
    But start out bravely
    with a gallant smile;
    And for my sake
    and in my name
    Live on and do
    all things the same,
    Feed not your loneliness
    on empty days,
    But fill each waking hour
    in useful ways,
    Reach out your hand
    in comfort and in cheer
    And I in turn will comfort you
    and hold you near;
    And never, never
    be afraid to die,
    For I am waiting
    for you in the sky!

    There are more and more distraction’s in the modern world which makes it more difficult to see God and which means we have to focus much more on Him.

    We are seen by worldly people as backward people, and we must except that they do not understand God,as we do, because they are not chosen for that purpose.

    I must continue by walk of faith until Christ’s return or He calls me home.

    The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on Him in thy heart by faith with thanksgiving.

  23. poohpity says:

    Yes the devious ones are the “self-described defenders of moral and spiritual rightness” which is what the religious leaders in Jesus’ day as well as today seem to think(Matt 23:4-5 NLT; Jeremiah 17:9-10 NLT). The ones who are are pure in heart admit their brokenness and need for someone greater than themselves to restore and bring healing to their lives.(Matt 23:11-12 NLT; Mark 2:17)

  24. pegramsdell says:

    Hello Steve, yes….lol, it grieves me that it’s soooooo cold there in Beckley. It’s kinda freezing here actually, 29°…..HELLO?!? Brrr!

  25. poohpity says:

    We have been having colder than normal temps here too. Right now it is 44 but it has been down in the 30’s with highs in the 50’s. It is like a global shift in temps but I see that in the east they have some snow coming today after seasonally warm temps.

  26. SFDBWV says:

    Yes Peg, after I commented to you I seen the weather report for Florida and seen you folks are in a freeze as well. Bundle up.

    Matt’s friend Mere took her children to Disney World for Christmas break and said it had been 88, of course that was back in our warmest ever December, looks like January is trying to make up for it.

    Our high yesterday was 09 and even as I write this it is only up to 05. Depending on the most current weather forecast we are in for somewhere between 18 inches and 3 feet of snow Friday through Saturday.

    I’ve seen lots of winter days worse, so we will just give thanks and deal with whatever we get.

    Moving on to our subject;

    Since I am a nature observer the idea of hiding in plain sight is seen frequently in the camouflage of the animals that come into my sight. Sometimes deer are almost invisible until they move. At the same time some birds are quite the contrast against the white snow.

    I couldn’t bypass the times I have looked for things around my house, becoming frustrated as to where it may be, only to discover it laying right out there in plain view, I had just been overlooking it and the more agitated I got in not seeing it the more invisible it became…A lesson there I am sure.


  27. joycemb says:

    Steve maybe the lesson is Joy hidden?!!

  28. street says:

    most holy faith….
    Jude 19-21

    19 These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.

    this verse came to mind. posted in context.

    so much to think about and understand in this verse.
    be holy for I Am Holy comes to mind too.

    waiting anxiously seems to be a kill joy, but doable because it is His will.
    thinking His commands destroy sin in are lives and His blood cleanses us from all unrighteousness.
    thinking the law is love.
    unless a seed is planet in the ground it remains by it’s self. John 12:24

    25 He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.

  29. joycemb says:

    Yes street the hiddenness of a seed planted. But Jesus said there would be fruit. Surely the fruit is important also. Yes, the fruit comes from the Spirit if the branch is divinely attached to the Vine. So good to be a part of the True Vine while we wait for the final unveiling. Joy, surprise, and ecstasy to come makes the wait worthwhile.

    Winter days get long sometimes:-)

  30. street says:

    like Christmas?

  31. joycemb says:

    Like Christmas:-)

  32. poohpity says:

    What does that mean to be holy as Jesus is Holy?

  33. street says:

    i think it is part of what mart is alluding too.
    walking in the truth or light. i think 1John deals with this. remembering a verse were one of the disciples was called in whom there was no guile. i took it as a compliment.

  34. street says:

    mart i wonder if walking is suppose to be in tension between opposing ideals. such as being a sinner and a Son?
    thinking peace when we….surrender or come to the end of ourselves. chambers mentioned a white funeral. the thing that bothers me is all these beachheads or inroads that seek to over run me. i know they will not. had a conversation with my son and the conclusion i came up with was not to confront darkness but to shed light. in other words innocent as a dove and shrewd as a snake.

  35. joycemb says:

    Street I’ve been thinking about that a lot today; when or even if it’s our job to confront darkness. Surely the Light reveals what’s in the dark, and even better than anything we could say or do even.

    If we do what Jesus said, to go and tell, it sounds much more positive than what often comes from the flesh, doesn’t it. Well, this is my late-night confession and hopefully the beginning of my personal reformation. Good night.

  36. jeff1 says:

    The spirit will come upon you and you will know if it is a time to confront darkness. You must discern when you are outside your depth or you will do yourself and others damage and serve no good.

    My friend once intervened in a situation where a woman with too much alcohol was being abusive towards her family and admitted to me that she was well outside her depth and made a bad situation worse.

    We have to learn from our bad choices and try not to repeat them.

    Social workers and health workers have spent years training on how to handle those with addictions and I am sure God does not want us intervening unless we know we can deal with the situation. If in doubt do nought.

  37. Mart DeHaan says:

    Over the years I’ve also walked into many situations that I didn’t realize at the time were way over my head. Looking back, may have been more often than not that I’ve made matters worse rather than better by not understanding what I was dealing with in myself and others.

    Some of that, Jeff1, is behind the issues I’m alluding to in this post. I’m doing a lot of wondering with you. Am wondering, for instance, about the many things Jesus said about the world and evil that are not obvious to the eye, and that end up being “in here” rather than “out there”.

    In John 7 Jesus talks about a “world” that hates him. His “brothers”, not understanding such a “world” and “evil” urge him not to hide in Galilee, but to go to Jerusalem to show in plain sight his ability to do miracles. The Lord, however, knew that his “brothers” didn’t even know who he was, let alone what they were asking him to do.

  38. foreverblessed says:

    Mart, now that you talk about the brothers of Jesus, giving him advice, they may well have been much older than Jesus, as they were so sure in their advice, like talking to a younger brother.
    It is maybe off topic. But I have heard it say that Joseph was an older man, a widower, who had children of his first wife.
    Then Jesus lived in a situation as Joseph the son of Jacob, who was born when his brothers were older. They mocked Joseph, the little boy who was specially called to do a task, saving his family. Joseph was a Godfearing boy from the start.
    This little boy must have been way out from the rest, and so it must have been the case with Jesus.

    Jesus did not show Himself to those mocking him, but as all the scriptures say that Street brought up:
    to the humble, the ones who know they have failed and need God’s mercy.

    I was like those who did not need Grace, as I lived my life according to God’s laws, the 10, and all the sabbaths. That was in my old legalistic church, the church of my childhood. I know what it is to be proud of heart. But yet, I always was trying to please God. And in due time God showed me His way of Grace:
    I can do nothing that lasts materially (thanks Jeff for these words) without the Grace of God, or as Jeff wrote: “unless my soul is redeemed”.

  39. poohpity says:

    I think what Mart was speaking of brothers he was alluding to Jesus’ followers; like we are His brothers/sisters.

    Right now a group of us are doing a study on “The Armor of God” and in it through the names that are given in scripture revealing the character and ways the evil one attacks us and that the world is essentially his playground with us as the pawns. I had not given much thought the works of the enemy until now and so much I do not understand but a lot of it sounds familiar by just experiencing it though the awareness being brought to our attention.

    It seems there are many things that happen out of sight and our awareness. I guess the bottom line is trusting God when we do not see. That fills me with doubt and confusion. I don’t know if sometimes if it isn’t better not seeing.

  40. poohpity says:

    Just having blind faith like a child which is somewhat hard to do for me through all the scars of life.

  41. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Just thinking of the times some (like Elisha, or the priest in the days of Jehoshaphat) saw the angelic army of the Lord aligning to defend God’s people.

    Looking back at failures (and I have many), I suppose we might have conscience that we did not give the glory to God — more than we have conscience over thinking we were acting “in the right.” All glory belongs to God.

    The purest confession could well be, “Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” (2 Chr 20:15)

    So, how does the sword of the Word of God actually operate in the world? Pretty sure I have never effectively wielded that great sword. The priest, Jahaziel, told the troops, “You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not fear or be dismayed…”

    Lord, please increase our faith.


  42. SFDBWV says:

    Winter has definitely reinstated itself as once again it was up this morning to shovel and plow. Of course after getting the truck all gassed up yesterday and putting a new battery in it last week it would not start this morning. Thankfully I knew why and after crawling under the truck and doing some rewiring I was able to get back on the road.

    4 inches this morning and a steady flow of snow coming down way ahead of the “big” storm tomorrow and Saturday.

    That explains why I wasn’t here earlier.

    After reading Mart’s comment this morning I was trying to get a sense of how hiding in plain sight is connected to making errors in judgement.

    I suppose one could say that another’s place and full situation when not completely understood by another is hiding in full sight. However like Viv alluded to the Holy Spirit knows and if we are to be of service to another in God’s purpose and will, He will speak through us for that persons need.

    A favorite bit of advice I read from a Greek philosopher goes as follows; “A wise man speaks when he has something to say, a fool when he *has* to say something.”

    We are all guilty of being foolish at various times in our lives. Especially when giving advice or making a rash judgment call on another.

    Looking backward always shows either wisdom or foolishness, success or failure, but there are a great many factors in play also in us at those crossroads.

    Best to remain silent, unless the Holy Spirit takes over and before you have time to think about it you have already said it.

    Another good piece of advice is Biblical wisdom is that we are to “be quick to listen and slow to speak”.

    Life doesn’t always give us the full picture when it gives us the task of dealing with things that is what hindsight provides for us in the process of learning.

    I have come to know only too well also that God operates on a need to know basis. He gives us just enough information for what He wants us to know now for His use and our safety. Too much information can be dangerous.

    Would you really like to know the date and hour of your death? Look how differently you would act and behave as that hour approached.

    11 degrees and still snowing.


  43. street says:

    jeff said,” The spirit will come upon you and you will know if it is a time to confront darkness. You must discern when you are outside your depth or you will do yourself and others damage and serve no good.”

    the parable of the wheat and the tares comes to mind and i think it fits with this. you can’t pull out the tares without damaging the wheat. the seed, God’s Word, must grow, He must increase i must decrease. i have noticed that Jesus confronted with honest questions. some times He quoted Scriptures and sometimes He broke new ground.

  44. bubbles says:

    Steve, please be safe with plowing and shoveling the dump of snow you will receive. It looks like it’s going to be a heavy wet snowfall.

  45. street says:

    poo said,”I think what Mart was speaking of brothers he was alluding to Jesus’ followers; like we are His brothers/sisters.”

    i think this is incorrect. John 1:11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.

    His own were people the funny thing happen though, some did and the gentiles too!

  46. street says:

    thinking this tension helps us in the long run.
    remembering God bringing trials and testing into our lives for His Glory and our growth and understanding Him. it really is about Him! Master comes to mind.

    this is ok but the temptations drive me mad crazy nuts chaos. think cain must master them.

  47. pegramsdell says:

    wOW Steve! My co-workers who have family still in Beckley have been saying the same thing. They thought the storm would already hit, but now they have a chance to get home from traveling. (They are salesman for Townley) It’s warming up today here in Ocala, but Saturday or Sunday it’s supposed to get freezing again. ARGHH!!!

    More than ever we need to be sensitive to The Holy Spirit even in Church. They’re are wolves everywhere, especially where we’re vulnerable. We let our guard down, and BAM they sneak right in and give us trouble. Even brothers and sisters in The Lord may slip backwards and be more wordly than they should and that may hold us back or cause us to doubt….just thinking!

  48. poohpity says:

    Maru, as you mentioned not being able to see the unseen like the vast army that the Lord has. I know I do not have the ability to fight those unseen forces of darkness and it seems even in the life of believers they seem to win but if we are continually fighting each other they are left to continue some in your face and some very subtly. The more I learn, as I have said so many times in the past, the more I understand that I do not have a clue maybe just a glimpse but nothing compared to knowing our infinite God especially with our finite minds. I know now that I do not know.

    What I am continuing to learn is that there is a whole other world in the unseen and heavenly realms that is waging a war against God and us. I guess that is were the shrewdness comes in being aware and realizing that the battle belongs to the Lord so we can be gentle as a dove. For me I think of myself as a warrior but over the last many years it is in my weakness that I rely the most on God.

  49. street says:

    steve said,”Life doesn’t always give us the full picture when it gives us the task of dealing with things that is what hindsight provides for us in the process of learning.”

    thinking of the full spectrum of light and sound. we can only see visible light and hear-able sound. these are gifts from God and they vary from individuals. and we know there are wavelength of sound and light God chose to with hold from us. thinking God wants us to live by faith. now the table turns as to what is this faith we are to live by? trusting the One Who made light and sound. our view is incomplete, His is not. some day we will see Him as He is!

  50. poohpity says:

    street, you are right I was incorrect, you and forever were right it was talking about His fleshly brothers(Matt 13:55) that of Mary and Joseph after the birth of Jesus. They followed along with Jesus but did not yet seem to recognize who He was. Thanks for calling that to my attention.

  51. street says:

    hiding in plane site…
    16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

    17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!

    Matthew 14:16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

    seems to me we need to long for something else.

  52. poohpity says:

    I guess that is why Mart put the quotation marks around the word brothers, duh!! lol

  53. joycemb says:

    Mart thinking about how Jesus was a bit cautious about ministering before the advent of the Holy Spirits’ coming and how Paul was even so bold as to go where the Spirit advised against going in order to proclaim Jesus Messiah. Though many did hear him before His ascension the disciples received the power from the Spirit to preach afterward. Even in dangerous places. Even to those who he knew were trying to kill him, and who did eventually, as did all the disciples end up being killed for the gospel.

    I’ve heard that there is more persecution of Christians happening now than in any other century. Or am I getting away from your topic here? Is it just about knowing when to speak and when not to? Kind of like the “time to’s” of Ecclesiastes?

  54. poohpity says:

    Acts 20:22-24; “And now I am bound by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. I don’t know what awaits me, 23 except that the Holy Spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead. 24 But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.

    But then in the next chapter 21:4; We went ashore, found the local believers,[a] and stayed with them a week. These believers prophesied through the Holy Spirit that Paul should not go on to Jerusalem. verses 11-12 He came over, took Paul’s belt, and bound his own feet and hands with it. Then he said, “The Holy Spirit declares, ‘So shall the owner of this belt be bound by the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem and turned over to the Gentiles.’” 12 When we heard this, we and the local believers all begged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem.

    But clearly the Lord had told Paul earlier what troubles were ahead and although the believers had concern he received their prophecy, so did he follow the prophecy the Lord gave him or the concerns and warnings of the brothers and sisters?

  55. remarutho says:

    Dear All —

    What was seen by Elisha and prophetically revealed to Jehoshaphat’s priest was the army of the Lord, Pooh. These helpers were invisible to others. What was coming toward the “good guys” was an army bent on destruction (of Israel/Judah).

    Though we may not engage in actual armed combat, the warfare in spiritual things is very real, as many here have said.

    Point is, God’s help is very near — and sometimes we are slow to praise Him for what He is doing. We simply do not perceive the help that is right in front of us.

    Joy all day,

  56. joycemb says:

    Paul’s folly was in doing what he wanted to do in his own flesh out of his own zeal. Did God still prevail? Yes He did. :-) I wonder how any hardships we put on ourselves instead of listening to the Holy Spirit? And as Maru pointed out, allowing the unseen warriors in the Spirit realm fight for us? Maybe it’s time to put down our earthly weapons of the flesh? Just thinking.

  57. poohpity says:

    Joyce how do you read Acts 20:22-24 NLT? Does that say was lead by the Spirit or by Paul’s own desire, flesh or wants?

  58. joycemb says:

    It says he was bound by his own spirit, not the Spirit.

  59. joycemb says:

    20:22 Or by my spirit, or by an inner compulsion; Greek reads by the spirit. from Faithlife

  60. street says:

    i think paul was fulfilling some naseright vows that where freely taken buy himself and some other men. this came up in his first trial.

    i think of Jesus telling peter in John 21:18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”

    i think of a sacrifice and the way it is dressed out. ya i can see why he would not want to go there.

  61. street says:

    these episodes remind me that God works through man no mater what they do. yet we are rewarded by doing what we should have done, not what we did.

    everlasting comes to mind. there is no other.

  62. joycemb says:

    perfect synopsis street!

  63. joycemb says:

    thank you pooh for helping with my question today!

  64. poohpity says:

    The Spirit does not seem to lead us into smooth sailing but does warn us of the troubles we may face doing His Will which most often is so against the safety of living like the world but unless one has experienced it they will never understand the tiny glimpse of what it means to let go of our will (dying to self as Paul puts it) to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading.

    Paul did not seem to be afraid to face persecution, trials or troubles in any of the journeys across his many travels just as long as He was fulfilling the mission that God had given him to do because he knew God was with him, to take the Good News to the gentiles. I guess I have not read one place where Paul was doing what he wanted to do, to live his own will, except when he was persecuting Christians as Saul.

    I was wondering what you mean street, by “we are rewarded by doing what we should have done, not what we did.” If we did what we should have done didn’t we do what we should have done? Isn’t that what we did?

  65. joycemb says:

    Maybe this will help:
    1. Acts 21:4 through the Spirit they (disciples) told him not to go to Jerusalem.

    2. Acts 21:11 prophet Agabus tells him he will be delivered into the hands of the Gentiles by the Jews.

    3. 21:12 they begged him not to go.

    4. 21:14 being unable to persuade him they gave it to God.

    Paul clearly went against what he was told by the Spirit through several witnesses, yet in spite of Paul’s disobedience to the Spirit God got done what He wanted to be done.

  66. joycemb says:

    I think that just because things may seem like the right thing to do, doesn’t always mean there isn’t a better way, but we all must deal with our flesh at times. But Gods will does get done. Even if we are an anointed prophet of a God doesn’t mean the flesh doesnt overrule at times. See David’s life also. Did Paul sin in going against Gods direction? No! It’s so good to know as street says God’s will will be done no matter what! Isn’t that great to know!!!

  67. street says:

    weren’t we just discussing jonah?

    on another thought… in plain sight.
    people are made in the image of God.
    whatever you do to the least of your brothers, you did it to me. for he is my bother
    thinking further….standing in the gap, risking your life for an innocent man? how about a convicted homicidal terrorist? Jesus died for the later not the innocent or the good.

  68. street says:

    poo asked,”I was wondering what you mean street, by “we are rewarded by doing what we should have done, not what we did.” If we did what we should have done didn’t we do what we should have done? Isn’t that what we did?”

    when standing before God we were instructed to say as in,”Luke 17:9-11 9 He does not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he? 10 So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’”

    another thought that goes with this is the transfer of Christ righteousness for our sins at the cross. we never earned this exalted gift, but freely given! i think this is the holiness you were asking about. we all need this so desperately. we jonah and job all struggle before God for holiness because we know sin is so destructive. if the Son makes you free, you are free indeed. guard your heart and set up watch over it. i am crucified with Christ comes to mind. seem to me the sooner my heart dies the better. it has been evil since the day i was born. even after understanding the gospel it still tempts and leads astray. i know His Spirit is in me but how to “stop it!” if not for grace i would have no hope at all. what a Savior!

    i think we get the Savior part, it’s the Father, King, Shepard, Master, Lord part we struggle with.

  69. foreverblessed says:

    This subject about Paul going to Jerusalem has intrigued me for a long time. I have been asking God about it, “How come that the Holy Spirit seemed to say two different things?”

    Paul had decided to go to Jerusalem, that was first mentioned in Acts 19:21, I have read several commentaries about it, and the common theme is: Paul was following the guidance of the Holy Spirit, “I have died, the life I now live I live in Christ”, so it is seen as that Paul was compelled by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem Acts 20:22, as he was prepared to die for Christ.
    But as you say Joyce, maybe you are right, I leave it open.

    This topic is about hiding in plain sight:
    could it be that some truth the Holy Spirit wants to tell us goes into hiding, when our mind is not set on it?
    In this case it could very well be so, Agabus gets a vision from the Holy Spirit Acts 21:10-11,
    and the conclusion the christians made: do not go.
    That conclusion was their own, their minds were not set on the suffering that was included in preaching the Gospel, so that truth was hidden to them.

    But Paul was different, Acts 21:13
    From the beginning of his calling Paul knew that he would suffer, Acts 9:15-16,

    Street gave the message of Jesus, the sermon on the mount, where He tells us that we are blessed when we are persecuted for the sake of the kingdom, Matt 5:10-11

    But this message is not very popular among us, at least, I have not heard many sermons on this topic. It is hard for us. And I guess it was also hard for the christians in Paul’s vicinity, as they could not get the message that that was precisely what God had ordained for Paul, while suffering, he would proclaim the Gospel, it was all arranged by the Lord: Acts 23:11

  70. poohpity says:

    forever, maybe coming from you it will be better received but thank you for going to the Lord and asking first. That seems to always help the most when it comes to His word and the Acts 23 passage puts the icing on the cake. I so love it that the Lord seems to warn everyone before anything happens, one finds that throughout scripture. Just like Jesus let the disciples know of the terrible things that were about to happen to Him and that they would scatter and deny but to take courage.

    I am so glad that many things are hidden especially when my trust fails and falters. If our hearts are set on getting the praise of man doing things for the Lord may not be top priority since it will result in persecution, slander and hatred. Not caused from behavior problems which more often than not happen but from truly sharing the Gospel. The invisible forces are were the war is which seems to penetrate into flesh and blood issues.

  71. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Thanks for the reminders of Paul’s faith and strong action — all came out as God desired! Think of all the churches Paul planted — the lives touched by his letters and his presence. Perhaps his prime mover was to follow Jesus to Jerusalem — drinking the cup he had been given as the Lord did.

    My son-in-law is in Nashville in a terrible ice storm. He is attending a conference and has a flight home tomorrow. Looks like he may have to wait. Prayers for his safety first of all would be so welcome, BTA. We want him home safe!

    Small things are easily hidden in plain sight — like glasses or car keys. But, I am wondering this morning whether the biggest things of all — our Creator God — our Savior Jesus — the mysterious working of the Holy Spirit — are so big that I miss them because I am sheltered in the midst of their immensity.

    Lord, Thy will be done on earth as in heaven. Amen.


  72. remarutho says:

    My heart aches for the Christian community around the bombed out Elijah Monastery in Iraq. May the Lord bring great goodness out of such a hateful act.

    49F and cloudy here this a.m. Maru

  73. poohpity says:

    Looking at Jesus’ time one earth there were many things that He did that were not hidden(John 5:36-38) but it made no difference to the devious those who had their own praise and righteousness in mind(Matt 11:25; Luke 10:21-22). Those are the ones who often asked for further miracles for proof. So it does seem that staying hidden was part of the will of the Father. Maybe because they would have used Jesus to further themselves and not His kingdom. That seems to happen often today as well using Jesus’ name for personal benefits.

    Maru will be praying for the safe return of your loved one.

  74. joycemb says:

    I too feel great sadness over the bombings of these great historical buildings in Iraq. How sad Christians over there must be feeling. Maybe God will cause a revival in all of their hearts. I pray so. Prayers going up for all here who are dealing with storm Jonas, for safe traveling, shoveling, or just having to hunker down until the storm passes.

  75. joycemb says:

    As for Paul’s story I was just reading the text as written. No need to defend Paul’s actions his credentials are good. I think it’s good to see our humanity played out also in the scriptures. Makes me feel more a part of the Bigger Picture, more included in Gods sovereign plan no longer hidden.

  76. street says:

    thinking of paul going to jerusalem. thinking the Spirit is preparing the people and paul for what they where about to go through, just like passover.

    Deuteronomy 29:29

    Job 12:22

    1 Chronicles 17:25

    God reveals things to His children

    i remember jonah getting some good news and he did not like it. good news bad news, we are the Lord’s.

    just keep me faithful, satisfy me with a true hope, and let me abide in Your love.

  77. joycemb says:

    Yes thank you again Street. God is love and He IS enough!

  78. joycemb says:

    Spurgeon talks about how the old covenant is about prosperity while the new covenant is about adversity. I wonder why we cringe about adversity knowing full well that Gods sovereign will is to conform us to the Image of Christ. Paul ran to adversity. Why do we run away from it? Why do I run away from it? Why do we hate to see our loved ones suffer adversity and our enemies’ suffer for it?

    Sounds like pure deviousness to me :o)

  79. joycemb says:

    But God is greater than all our deviousness!

  80. poohpity says:

    Adversity is just part of the human experience but God gives us a place of shelter, strength to overcome and His mercy for rest during it.

    Jesus saw through the devious actions since He is all knowing. He knows those we truly seek, search and desire to know Him, can’t fool Him even though many can fool others but not our God.

  81. street says:

    thinking of adversity trials and testing…
    thinking of living by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
    thinking i never learned or retained much from prosperity other than it is better than without it, but wow! how much did i learn from hard times? what did i learn from failure? God works in human flesh better than the master worked in stone and paint. His work is for eternity.
    His words take on greater depth and clarity. not only that, He is working the infinite into the finite. adam and eve started out innocent, it will be interesting to see how they finish.

    ‘Set up road signs;
    put up guideposts.
    Take note of the highway,
    the road that you take.
    Return, Virgin Israel,
    return to your towns.
    How long will you wander,
    unfaithful Daughter Israel?
    The Lord will create a new thing on earth –
    the woman will return to the man.’

  82. cbrown says:

    Street, Thank you for the above post!

  83. SFDBWV says:

    Thought I would pop in and get all up to date on the snow storm.

    Over 2 feet of snow yesterday and overnight, and still snowing, 12 degrees.

    Been very busy.

    I am also sure that Bubbles and Pearl are getting hit hard as well.

    Thank you all for your concerns and prayers.


  84. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks you Steve, for giving an update.
    May God give you strength and perrseverance.

    Thanks Street!
    And Regina, you are in my prayers too!
    I pray that you will not be afraid. No fear, when you abide in Jesus. It is something I have struggled with for a long time.
    A vriend from my youth happened to turn into a spirit medium.
    I was in great fear. It has been a good experience to abide in Christ, to always seek being in His Love. Where He is there is no evil.

  85. foreverblessed says:

    Vriend=friend in Dutch.
    And perseverance not perrseverance

  86. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Yes, prayers continue for your safety and comfort, Steve, along with all who must cope with this wild storm — those with shelter and those without.

    So far, this morning, flights are on time in Nashville, where my son-in-law is making his way to the airport. Hoping for safety for all. The hotels are doing much business, I hear, as folks must stay put in New England and the Mid-Atlantic coasts.

    Wondering today whether adversity produces purity of heart — while ease and comfort produce deviousness? Guess it depends upon the heart where the seed of the Word is sown.

    If the soil has not been dug up — rocks and thorns removed — the seed has no way to grow. Just musing on Mark 4:1-34. Jesus tells the parable and then gives us the Cliff Notes on it. Good soil has been greatly disturbed, stirred up and prepared to receive Good Seed — the Son of God.

    1 Sam 6:7 — the Lord knows everybody’s heart. And the pure in heart must have some sense of their Creator’s presence…

    Blessings all day,

  87. remarutho says:

    Oops! Typo — my Scripture reference is 1 Sam 16:7! What a hoot! Apologies, BTA. Maru

  88. foreverblessed says:

    The fear the appearance of the evil spirit world working in this friend of mine, I had to deal with it, the positive side of it was that I sought to be close to Jesus.

    But, I read in a devotion, God calling, that a temptation where you shudder with fear is no temptation at all.

    It is where the enemy comes in as a dear friend, and so must the Temptations of Jesus have been in the desert, the adversary coming as a nice guy.

    Why would I bring this up? Too far from the topic?
    Just to say, stay close to Jesus with your whole heart and soul, no matter what

  89. street says:

    thinking of the old monastery and jonah tomb that were blown up. the same thing happen to the serpent that moses put on a staff. the people started worshiping it. conduct of ignorance and wickedness. it was destroyed too.
    some times instead of hitting the delete button, which is necessary sometimes, we should be clicking on the refresh key of love, Jesus. refresh daily

  90. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Maru, for this soil dug up. Just to add:
    The soil that is hard must be made soft through love, the love of God working in our lives.
    It is the word -love- that Bill always used

  91. remarutho says:

    Yes, Forever, agreeing over here that God’s love is the great thing hiding in plain sight. Somebody here already referenced Paul’s statement to the church at Rome (Romans 1:20-21).

    Seems to me the creation was breathed into being by God’s love — and certainly the New Creation has come to us because God so loved the world (John 3:16)…Is it safe to say that the soul who thanks God for every good gift — even troubles and testing — finds favor on account of his/her faith and trust in Him?

    Can it be that the kingdom banner at the top of the pole is love?

    Just asking.

  92. joycemb says:

    I was just thinking of a song “His Banner Over Me Is Love” we sang many years ago. God is Love says John. Paul says love is kind. That’s enough to contemplate at one time, especially if trapped in a storm of any kind. Even if the storm is of our own making I’m thinking.

  93. street says:

    maru said,”Can it be that the kingdom banner at the top of the pole is love?”

    in the book of Job, God ask job what the foundation of the earth rest on? i am thinking it is His love, yet we see creation flee away at the Great White Thrown. i think this is because of the presents of the Father Who is Greater than all and can not look on things stained by sin. we know He has entrusted all judgment to the Son. i would think the Father is there with His Son at this time. just thinking

  94. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning. An additional 13 inches of snow yesterday as the storm quieted down around 8pm, bringing the storm total here at 34.5 inches of snow from 11:45 am Friday through 8pm Saturday.

    Will continue to clean things up today.

    Heard from Pearl she and Frank made out well with no incidents. She also said her granddaughter Brianna has had a tough time with pain recovering from her heart surgery, but that the heart valve is working properly. She thanks all of us for our prayers.

    It sure looked good to see a big full moon peeking through the clouds last night.

    “Joy comes in the morning”.


  95. Mart DeHaan says:

    If there is any truth in idea that we see things not only as they are—but as we are, maybe it is only in the honesty of coming clean about our wrongs that we can begin to see the goodness of the God who seems to have been “hiding in plain sight”. Could that partially explain how Jesus could become “one in heart” with self-reporting sinners while remaining hated by those who regarded him as a devil?

  96. Mart DeHaan says:

    Can’t even imagine having to handle that much snow.Take care.

  97. street says:

    mart said,”we see things not only as they are—but as we are, ”

    hiding in plain sight.

    “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).

    two can not walk together unless they are in agreement.

    thinking that’s a lot of dying. still struggling

    Acts 26:16 ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me.

    i kinda noticed that paul walked blinded for a little while after the vision. ouch!

  98. poohpity says:

    Oh Mart it seems that just from experiencing life so many look at almost everything in life from inside their own world and base what they see, think and feel from inside that perspective. So with that in mind those who accused Jesus of being an advocate of the devil were actually the one’s who were being used by the enemy and went against the things from God that may have been the reason they were unable to recognize who Jesus is. I think that is why Paul said, “So do you think that you can judge those other people? You are wrong. You too are guilty of sin. You judge them, but you do the same things they do. So when you judge them, you are really condemning yourself.”.

    Before I say anything about someone else now but not at first I ask myself do I do those very same things and most often upon real examination I find I do so then I go back to self-reporting sinner part. As Steve Urkel used to say but a little different instead of saying “Did I do that?” I say “Do I do that?” and the answer more times than not is yes.

  99. joycemb says:

    Sinners in Jesus’ time knew they didn’t have a leg to stand on so to speak when it came to being right with God. Jesus sure turned the status quo upside down by circumventing the law by adding grace for all sinners and law abiding citizens alike if they could only accept it. It’s hard I think for those caught up in the constraints of legalities to understand the heavy burden placed upon them. Lord help us to shed our shackles and live and move and have our being in You alone.

    My thoughts and prayers for all under the heavy weight of snow/ice/water from the storms this weekend.

  100. jeff1 says:

    That is what God convicted my heart for, condemning others for hating me when I was hating them as much. I was not taught to examine or confess my sins because I was told it was Roman Catholics that practiced this.

    I was taught thankfulness to God who saved me from my sins through Jesus Christ our Lord. Through a grateful heart I was to love my enemies but failed and so I am just like my enemies in that it is God’s mercy that saves me.

    It seems there is many different teachings that people follow but in the end it is God who is faithul for He knew that many would stray through false teaching.

    What you learn as a child stays with you, and it was guilt because I failed to obey the commandments that led to my heart’s conviction, but each person has been taught differently, and sometimes through mixed religions/denominations causing confusion to some.

    I believe God has to have chosen, predestined and annointed those whom will bring the Kingdom to earth. I, depending on my own teachings, will either discern or not those leaders.

    God has given us the keys to the Kingdom, through our Lord, but He does expect us to run the race and keep the faith, for it is our heritage.

  101. joycemb says:

    Thinking more about the banner of love. I just read an article in Christianity Today called “The Scandalous Gift of Grace” and thought of this blog and the differing views of grace and our varying expectations. We are not all that unusual as the Body of Christ. I can understand better your reflections and questions Mart as you guide us through the minefields toward unity in Love. Bravo! Thank you for what you are doing and good luck with it as you know how strongly opinionated I am along with others here!

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