My next installment of quotes from and thoughts on the book Secrets of the Secret Place are from the chapter The Secret of Inviting His Gaze. Words in red bold italics are from the scriptures, and words in italics only are from the book. Words printed this way, in regular font, are my own words and thoughts. The song above was contributed by Anna to go along with this. If you'd like, listen to and enjoy the song while reading this post.
"The LORD is in His holy temple, the LORD's throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. The LORD tests the righteous, but the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates. Upon the wicked He will rain coals; fire and brimstone and a burning wind shall be the portion of their cup. For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright. (Psalm 11:4-7)
"God scrutinizes mankind with focused intensity. He cares intensely for us and about us. He studies our responses and weighs our attitudes. He is vitally concerned over our welfare and is committed to judging us justly for every word and deed."
Personally, I am very concerned about my own words. My hearts desire is that of David when he expressed "Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer." (Psalm 19:14) I have been "accused" of being to sensitive, stuffy, or too concerned about the use of certain words. The truth is I am very concerned, very sensitive, call me stuffy - I really don't care. When I read scriptures like "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. 'But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.'" (Matthew 12:35-37) I find myself especially concerned. So, yea, I'm very defensive when it comes to my own words, and the words of those the Lord has entrusted to my care (my children). And I wonder why others do not take it as seriously. The Word would seem to indicate that it IS serious to God!
Before I was born again, there was no word off limits of crossing my lips. I used them all then, prior to my spiritual rebirth, and I used them frequently. I remember when I was first converted that I immediately could not use those words. I did not even want to refer to them, and when someone else used them the Holy Spirit within me would cringe, I would be embarrassed. I couldn't stand it then, and I can not stand it now almost 20 years later. Does this make me odd? Strange? Too sensitive? Holy? Do those who would speak this way, and condemn me for being "judgemental" of their speech actually stand in judgment of me?
"The Lord has said to us, 'But on this one will I look; on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word!' (Isaiah 66:2) When I read those words my heart moves within me. 'That's me, Lord, I'm poor and contrite, and I tremble at Your word. Oh that You would look upon me in this way!'
"God is on a holy search, 'for the eyes of the LORD run to and from throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.' (2 Chronicles 16:9)"
... He is testing you to see if your heart will remain loyal to Him through the scrutiny. If you persevere, He designs to show Himself strong on your behalf.
....The Lord is patient with us, however, and He gives us time to process and adjust. Over time, the saint slowly begins to realize that the alternative is far worse.
Oh the horror of God turning His eyes away from us! It was an awful declaration of judgment when God said, "I will hide My face from them" (Deuteronomy 32:20)...
... When my mind wanders from a conscious focus upon the Lord, and I am distracted by the affairs of everyday life, upon returning to Christ in my thoughts comes this awesome realization: He was there all along, waiting for my thoughts to return to Him! He is never disconnected or distracted away from me, not even for a split second. ... THANK YOU LORD!!
What can I say to such kindness, Lord? Here is my simple prayer: "Look upon me and be merciful to me, as Your custom is toward those who love Your name." (Psalm 119:132)." I pray that as I use words that are hurtful, unholy, angry or impatient that the Lord will indeed show mercy and grace towards me. And, I pray that I too will be merciful to others when they do the same.
Abiding in that amazing grace,