fruitage of the spirit's journal

Expressions from the Heart

Can You Keep A Secret?

Can You Keep A Secret? by Julie McAllen

Years ago I overheard my little niece ask my aunt Carrie, “how old are you?” My aunt leaned in to Sarah’s ear and asked her, “can you keep a secret?” Sarah confirmed with a nod of her head waiting for the answer, but instead Carrie simply replied, “so can I.”

The truth of Carrie’s age was thus hidden from Sarah at that time. It remained a mystery because Carrie made a choice not to tell Sarah her age.

As we go through life, isn’t it true that some “mysteries” are left waiting in the hands of others to reveal them to us. If Carrie wanted to tell Sarah her age that day she could have. But now that Sarah’s an adult, she can certainly look up the information herself and find out the year my aunt Carrie was born. Some mysteries are easily solved with a little investigation. Finding out someone’s birthday, for example, but what if that day Sarah had asked Carrie, “what are you thinking?” Again Carrie could’ve chose to tell Sarah what was on her mind or kept it a secret. However, years later no matter how hard Sarah searched for answers, she would never find out what Carrie was thinking on that summer day back in 1993, for who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?” (1 Cor 2:11) But let’s suppose Carrie had wrote down her thoughts in a diary or journal, then perhaps Sarah could dig in those pages for the answer to her question of what Carrie was thinking that day. What if it’s that way with our Creator? Are there some things we can discover by simply taking the time to dig up information but other things hidden from us and at His mercy to reveal or not reveal?

The prophet Isaiah asked, “who has known the mind of the LORD?” (Is 40:13) And the apostle Paul later agreed that “the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.” (1 Cor 2:11)

If we look at the old testament as “God’s journal,” it is possible to conceive that the  Jews knew some of God’s secrets. They were entrusted with God’s thoughts because the Spirit of Christ within their prophets predicted what would take place.

10 As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, 11 seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look. (1 Pe 1:10-12)

The prophet Isaiah was among those given the Spirit of Christ to make predictions concerning His sufferings and glories to follow. And Isaiah admits, God’s thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). Though the thoughts of God were written down, Paul said if the rulers of that age had discerned it properly they “would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Cor 2:8). Obviously, more than the words in “God’s journal” were needed at the time of Christ’s coming. So is it even possible to know God? Is God like my aunt Carrie who when asked her age replied, “can you keep a secret?” or is He willing to reveal mysteries?

My son, if you will receive my words
And treasure my commandments within you,
2 Make your ear attentive to wisdom,
Incline your heart to understanding;
3 For if you cry for discernment,
Lift your voice for understanding;
4 If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
5 Then you will discern the fear of the Lord
And discover the knowledge of God. (Pro 2:1-5)

Isn’t that a wonderful invitation? The knowledge of God can be discovered, but it is our part to search for it as for hidden treasure.

When King Nebuchadnezzar inquired about the meaning of a dream God had given him, he sought out learned men in his kingdom, but none could offer any wisdom. When a captive young Hebrew named Daniel was sought for interpretation, Daniel requested something from the king first: time. And what did Daniel do with that time?

17 Then Daniel went to his house and informed his friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, about the matter, 18 so that they might request compassion from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his friends would not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. (Dan 2:17)

Daniel invited his friends to pray with him. Together they sought the Lord concerning the mystery set before them. However, nothing was revealed within that group setting. Instead, the answer came later to Daniel alone in a night vision for which he blessed the God of heaven (Dan 2:19)

“It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
And the light dwells with Him. (Daniel 2:22)

Daniel proclaimed “there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries” rather than promote himself or his prayer posse (Dan 2:28).

Can you keep a secret? So can I. But the God of heaven who reveals mysteries doesn’t give us secrets to keep. He trusts us with stewarship of them. And the secret is nothing new, it’s been known since the birth of the church in the first century.

25 Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, 26 that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, 27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. 29 For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me. (Col 1:25-29)

What is the secret? CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY.

Until the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, it was a mystery kept hidden from the past generations. However, the Jews had been entrusted with the raw material of it. They had the prophecies preserved in their scrolls but God kept it veiled until the coming of Christ.

12 Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech, 13 and are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading away. 14 But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. 15 But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; 16 but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. (2 Cor 3:12-18)

The veil over things hidden was lifted in Christ. Therefore, the apostles went forward boldly proclaiming their salvation of Christ being revealed in them.

2 but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Cor 4:2-4)

Apparently, they weren’t very good at keeping secrets, because the good news has spread to even me here in 21st century North America. They had “the prophetic word made more sure” (2 Pe 1:19) And so, beginning with the Jews, the church was born and entrusted as good stewards for the purpose of unveiling the mystery to others.

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— 2 if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace which was given to me for you; 3 that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. 4 By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; 6 to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, 7 of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power. 8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; 10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. (Eph 3:1-12)

7 but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; (1 Cor 2:7)

CHRIST IN YOU is the hidden mystery, for Christ,  “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” is our hope of glory (Col 2:3)

Prophets and saints wrote it all down in “God’s journal” and it remains for us today. Therefore, did God intend to keep any of it a secret forever or can we know God’s thoughts?

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. 14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Cor 2:12-16)

By receiving the Spirit of God, we are created in the likeness of God in righteousness and holiness and therefore can have the mind of Christ. (2 Cor 5:17; Eph 4:24)

For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; (Col 2:9-10)

Now, can you keep a secret?

Keep yourself in God’s love, Julie

November 26, 2012 Posted by | According to Scripture, Expressions | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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