What God Hasn’t Said

I was getting into bed a few minutes ago, and picked up a favorite book to read a little bit before going to sleep.  Have I mentioned before that I’m a fan of Charles Spurgeon?  You might not know who that is; let me save you the Google search by giving you a few sentences about him.

Spurgeon was a preacher in England in the mid 1800’s.  He was very popular because he spoke in the common language of the people.  His writings were published in newspapers and later in books.  One of those books is the one I had picked up to read tonight, called “Morning & Evening”.  It’s a collection of his thoughts about different Bible verses, one for each day of the year.  They’re short, a few paragraphs.  Easy to read in about 5 minutes.

So the one for today’s date was based on a verse from the Old Testament of the Bible.  The verse reads,

“I have not spoken in secret,
from somewhere in a land of darkness;
I have not said to Jacob’s descendants,
‘Seek me in vain.’ ”

This verse is from Isaiah 45:19 , for anyone who wants to look it up.  (If you don’t own a Bible, you can use biblegateway.com and type the verse into the search box.)  If you don’t want to look it up, no biggie.

Spurgeon is talking about the last part of that quote, what God didn’t say.  I’d love to quote for you everything Spurgeon wrote about this verse; he was a man who had a rich grasp of human language and could state things with such eloquence.  But there’s a legal limit to what someone is allowed to quote from an author, so I’m going to only quote a small bit of it.  Besides… I’m used to reading his writing, and so it’s easy for me to grasp what he’s saying.  For you, it might be like reading Shakespeare for the first time – confusing, and with a lot of thees and thous in it.  There is a modernized version of this book, though, if you are interested.

Alright, getting to the point:

What God didn’t say is just as comforting as what He did say.  He gives assurance to believers that their prayers will be answered, because He promises that our searching for Him won’t be in vain.  Spurgeon writes:

“You who write bitter things against yourselves should remember that, let your doubts and fears say what they will, if God has not cut you off from mercy, there is no room for despair:  even the voice of conscience is of little weight if it be not seconded by the voice of God.  What God has said, tremble at!  But suffer not your vain imaginings to overwhelm you with despondency and sinful despair.  Many timid persons have been vexed by the suspicion that there may be something in God’s decree which shuts them out from hope, but here is a complete refutation to that troublesome fear, for no true seeker can be decreed to wrath.”

Did you hear that part?  No true seeker.  That means me, and perhaps that means you too.  I can confirm this from my own life’s story, the countless number of times I felt I’d messed up so badly that God would hide His mercy from me.  How humbling it was, to see a generosity poured out on me, which both God and I knew I didn’t deserve.  He did it because He loves me, in a pointed, passionate, and focused way.  Nothing I could do or not do can change that, because He has committed Himself to loving me no matter what.  He won’t change His mind on that.

Here’s the thing on the seeker part:  He appreciates that I am determined to look for Him, for His activity in and around me, to find out what He thinks about things, and to try to live my life according to His principles.  He wants me to do those things, because He wants the best for me.  I also have a part to play, because He really desires to work together on things.  So He invites seeking, asking questions, getting His opinion, waiting on His timing for things.  He won’t let those questions fall on deaf ears, because He sees that I really, truly want to know what He thinks.  That’s what it means to be a seeker.

I want to challenge you, to try and be a seeker after God this week.  For me, it’s a fairly simple thing that doesn’t take up a whole lot of my time.  I have a little notebook that I write prayers down in.  Well, not whole prayers; more like shorthand notes.  Like “taxes”.  Or “votive candles”.  Just something short and quick that will be a reminder.  And I just pray about these things, really more of an inaudible talking at God about them, whatever comes to mind.  I also read some short passages from the Bible, and just kindof watch for anything that jumps out at me, kinda like what jumped out at me tonight.  When it happens, you know.  If it ain’t jumping off the page at you, well chances are it’s not critical at the moment.  I could go into that quite a bit but for now I’ll leave it there.

But just watch for anything related to the subjects you were praying about.  Encouragement could come in the form of a phone call from a friend.  Or a challenge from something you heard on TV.  Or a song on the radio, echoing the words you had been reading (wow, that one happens to me a lot….).  When you feel like you’ve got an answer to your prayer, jot it down in your little notebook, and just add a little thanks with it.  See, in that moment, God is saying to you that He loves you.  He is confirming to you that your seeking after him will never be in vain.

 

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. myartefacts
    Aug 22, 2011 @ 00:46:19

    Love this post, Charlene. The summing up is succinct and totally comforting: “…your seeking after Him will never be in vain.” Or, as put in the New Testament, “He who seeks, finds.” Thanks for the reminder 🙂

    Reply

    • Charlene
      Aug 23, 2011 @ 11:22:07

      I love that verse too, “He who seeks, finds.” It is indeed a good reminder! I’ve started reading Job in the mornings (I use this One Year Bible so I don’t have to think about what to read.) It’s interesting how that principle of seeking and finding – even if there’s a long valley between the two – is echoed in the statements Job and his friends make. (We will exclude his wife… apparently, she didn’t get the memo?)

      Reply

  2. myartefacts
    Aug 22, 2011 @ 00:49:46

    P.S. I have a link to your blog on mine at http://www.allchainedup.wordpress.com. Just so you know!

    Reply

  3. Elsie Smith
    Aug 23, 2011 @ 23:39:58

    I love this part:

    ” But suffer not your vain imaginings to overwhelm you with despondency and sinful despair” ….

    Must be written for me – because my imagination certainly can get terribly carried away thinking the worst of a possible situation. Talk about not trusting God — how can I be so silly when He has shown me over and over again that He is FOR me and not against me. I’m so thankful He’s a patient God!!!! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

    Hug,
    Elsie

    Reply

    • Charlene
      Aug 24, 2011 @ 18:25:03

      Thank you, Elsie. Your comment means more to me than I can say. I am finding it terribly ironic that I had no internet all day today, and so I couldn’t read your comment until nearly 7 pm. Today I have been hearing scary news from my doctor. Lots of questions unanswered, and lots of thought heading toward the worst possible scenario (cancer). Thank you for your response, I’m holding tightly to what you said tonight, and using it as a reminder where my anchor should be.

      Reply

  4. myartefacts
    Aug 24, 2011 @ 20:12:56

    Praying for you, Charlene, that His peace that passes all understanding envelope you and hold you tight.

    Reply

    • Charlene
      Aug 25, 2011 @ 06:59:48

      Thanks, Melody! I’m determining myself to keep still today. (In my head, I mean. No wigging out like a crazy woman. Not that I’d do that. No. Of course not….)

      Reply

  5. Elsie Smith
    Aug 24, 2011 @ 20:17:39

    I’m praying for you too Charlene!

    I’m going for my 2nd mammogram this Friday. Had the first one last Saturday and now they want to do a follow up mammogram plus ultrasound on one breast.

    You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers. Trusting God is the only option we have and it’s the best one in the universe!!

    Hug,
    Elsie

    Reply

    • Charlene
      Aug 25, 2011 @ 07:03:02

      Thanks for letting me know that we’re in the same boat, Elsie! That’s comforting to know. And I’ll be praying for you too, that this is “nothing”. Keep me updated, will you?

      And by the way… I went to your flickr photostream. Oh your pieces are DELICIOUS. Absolutely yummy. I love your Nouveau styles!

      Reply

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