February 21, 2015

Luke 1:51 “He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.”

The Bible deals with our activities a good bit, both good and bad, but it also speaks of our thought life. With rare exceptions, we don’t do something unless we think it first. That’s why Jesus so famously said that looking at a woman lustfully is equivalent to adultery, because without the thought, the action isn’t going to happen. (Matthew 5:28) He also cautioned us that all of our sins originate in our hearts. (Matthew 15:19) There have been various dystopian novels and movies that have involved “thought police.” They qualify as dystopian because people trying to control other people’s thoughts is indeed horrible, but the flip side of that is that God is indeed aware of all our thoughts. He knows our motives, and He knows what we dwell on in private. When our desire is to please Him, that’s a blessed thing, but if we are rebellious, it’s a nightmare. However you look at it, the Bible makes it clear that it is reality. The “perfect crime” doesn’t exist, because even if we can completely hide things from other people, we can never hide anything from God. In Psalm 139 David explored this theme at some length, and concluded with a prayer that it would be wise for everyone to pray individually: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

This is a thought, and Psalm 139 is a Scripture, that I have known from childhood, yet my understanding and appreciation of it continues to grow. In a slight twist on what Mary said, I don’t want God to scatter me, but I do want Him to scatter my thoughts when they become proud. I understand the importance of my thought life and I choose to submit it to Him, but I can’t do it without His help, His strength. It is my choice to be humble before Him, but thinking I can accomplish that on my own would be proud! It is truly a “catch 22” world without Him. However, with Him is life and health and peace.

Father, thank You for knowing every detail about me, from the number of hairs on my head (Matthew 10:30) to everything else. Thank You for being Love (1 John 4:8) so that Your knowledge of me is not terror but peace and joy. Thank You for continuing to work on and in me to transform me into the likeness of Christ. May I rejoice in that and cooperate fully, to be and do all that You desire, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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