April 12, 2015

Psalm 40:10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and salvation.
I do not conceal your love and your truth
from the great assembly.

We are not supposed to be quiet about the good stuff God does for us. That said, we do need to be careful we aren’t bragging, as though we had earned God’s blessing. Rather, we need to be keeping the focus on God, just as David says here. In Japanese culture in particular bragging is seen as very poor form, and I think that is a real factor in the very low rate of personal evangelism. However, I read that the vast majority of American Christians have likewise never shared the Gospel with anyone, so this is hardly just a Japanese problem. The children of God need to remember that they are adopted, and God’s house is big enough to adopt as many more as would choose to come. We are not to to be concealing God’s righteousness and faithfulness, we are to be declaring it to those around us. English has a problem here, because we confuse different meanings of “hide.” We are indeed to “hide God’s Word in our hearts,” (Psalm 119:11) but that is, as the Japanese translates that verse, “store up,” not conceal. I recall a story I read by someone who reported that he was delighted at the salvation of someone in his company, but when he expressed his joy to that person, they came back with, “You are a Christian? I thought for years that if someone as nice as you were not a Christian I had no need to become one myself. I never knew you were a Christian.” The person writing the testimony expressed his deep repentance at having been a silent Christian. Society today, with the encouragement of the devil, seeks to make Christians as silent as possible. We need to recognize that and stand against it, proclaiming God’s faithfulness and salvation just as David says here.

I will never forget how God made it very clear to me that He had indeed baptized me in His Holy Spirit just as He had promised. I was sitting on a train waiting to pull out of the station and struck up a conversation with the person beside me. It suddenly hit me that for the first time in my life I was telling a total stranger about Jesus, and God brought Acts 1:8 to my mind. “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses.” Various spiritual gifts came later, but I knew that was the key. That makes me wonder how many Christians are indeed baptized in the Holy Spirit, as God clearly wants for all His children. As a pastor I want everyone in this church, certainly, to be baptized in the Holy Spirit and have Him flowing through them on a regular basis, but I can no more make it happen in my own strength than I could have baptized myself all those years ago. I am to speak God’s truth in love and back it up with unceasing prayer, because only God can bring that to pass, yet I am completely convinced that He desires to do exactly that.

Father, I honestly don’t know why Your children don’t declare your goodness more. I ask You to pour Your Spirit out on all the Body of Christ, that we may wake up and be cleansed, healed, and delivered, to stand up as a mighty army for You, tearing down the strongholds of the devil as Your agents, for Your kingdom to come as Your will is done, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

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