We are all creatures of our thoughts. Whether we like it or not. Our thoughts spill into our actions. Our thoughts, private though they are, are part of who we are. The human person is a strange mixture of seen and unseen. Spoken and hidden. Public and private.
Our outward actions are often merely the facade we choose to present to the outer world. Just as our brain controls our body’s functions, so our mind, our inner person controls the personality and the actions of the seen person. So often what appears to the world as the “real” person is actually only what we desire the world to understand us to be. Inwardly we are governed by emotions, by fears, by doubts, by passions, and by loves and hopes and dreams. The invisible person guides the visible. Each of us know of this constant, familiar deception within ourselves and so we understand that the people we relate to may indeed be quite different people in their thoughts. We know that a person can appear loving and giving and inwardly be motivated by selfish interests. Likewise, though less often, a person can appear callous and cold and inwardly be a person of great love and compassion.
Pastor Jon recently taught about Ananias and Sapphira of Acts chapter 5. Their sin was private, or so they thought. Their greed was hidden from human eyes. They desired to appear as something other than what they were. They desired the approval of man above the approval of God. And so they forsook the approval of God to win the approval of men—but God sees all.
Our Lord understands this inconsistency about those He created. Hebrews 4:12-13 says, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
The author of Hebrews is purposefully inspired here to present the idea of exposure and vulnerability. Nothing in our hearts and minds is able to be hidden from God or sheltered from His knowledge.
Jesus spoke to this pointedly during the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. He taught that not only are our actions judged, but also our intentions, our motivations, our emotions and our thoughts.
Our God is concerned with all of us. Even the parts we keep hidden for ourselves. He wants Lordship over thoughts, words and deeds. He desires obedience that comes from love and reverence. Psalm 51:17 says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” Already he knows the innermost thoughts. Already He knows our desire and motivations, our insecurities and fears. Already he knows the reason we do what we do. He understands us to a degree far beyond our capacity even for understanding ourselves. He sees exactly who we are. Our Father loves us as we are and wants all of who we are.
Here is the hope and the joy of being known so deeply. He has a plan for every part of us. Every hidden thought. Every motivation. He understands it all and wants to conform it all to His likeness. The question is, are we willing that He would have His will and His way in our innermost being?
Are we willing to surrender even our thoughts, even those most personal and private parts of ourselves? Are we willing to allow Christ to conform not just our outward facade but the real inner reality? Are we willing that the one who has bought us by His blood should have His way in every dusty corner, every hidden closet of our mind? Our Lord will have it no other way. He will never be satisfied with a public religion. He desires a personal relationship. Let us no longer hold back from God what He has already purchased. He has the ownership rights on all of who we are. He has bought us with a price beyond compare, and we are not our own.
Pastor Brian TorresMay 1, 2020