Countenance Reveals

Monday, February 10, 2014, Midnight – the Lord Jesus woke me with the song “WAIT!” playing in my mind. Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 3 (quoting vv. 8-10 in the NIV).

Jerusalem staggers,
Judah is falling;
their words and deeds are against the Lord,
defying his glorious presence.
The look on their faces testifies against them;
they parade their sin like Sodom;
they do not hide it.
Woe to them!
They have brought disaster upon themselves.
Tell the righteous it will be well with them,
for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds.

Words and Deeds

Their words and deeds are against the Lord

The people of God today are those who have believed in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives via their submission to God’s work of grace and the Spirit’s transformation of their hearts away from sin and toward God (See Ac. 26:16-18; Eph. 4:17-24; Gal. 2:20). Yet, it is possible for the genuinely saved to defy (disobey; resist; rebel against and/or disregard) their Lord and his teachings at some point in time in their relationships with him.

Although positionally we become righteous in God’s eyes via Jesus’ shed blood on the cross for our sins, by God’s grace, through our faith, that does not mean that we daily walk in his righteousness, though we should, and it does not mean we become sinless in word and deed from that point on. The Christian life is a daily walk of faith – of submission to the cross, death to sin, and a walk in Christ’s righteousness in the Spirit of God. If we walk (in lifestyle) by the Spirit of God, we will thus not gratify the desires of the flesh (See Gal. 5:16; Eph. 5:1-3; Col. 3:1-10; 1 John 1:6-7; 2 John 1:6; 3 John 1:3; Rev. 3:4).

Yet, many genuinely saved individuals, and even numerous congregations of saints are not walking in Christ’s righteousness (in lifestyle), but have fallen back into some or all of their old ways of sin and sinful lifestyles, and they are thus grieving the Spirit of God (Eph. 4:30). They actively engage in setting up barriers against (resisting) the Spirit’s voice, and/or else they have extinguished the Spirit (1 Thess. 5:19), thus showing contempt for his grace (See Rom. 2:3-5). Or, they may even change the grace of God into a license to sin (See Jude 1:4) in order to justify or to excuse away their sinful behavior. They lie to and deceive themselves and others, proclaiming that there are no irregularities or obstructions in their relationships with God, and possibly with others, too, and perhaps they even put on an appearance of righteous living while they know they are giving way to sin.

Or, some may not even try to hide their sin but may be blatantly open with regard to their rebellion against God. Either way, they have no shame, but continue in what they know is wrong, willfully putting a barrier between them and their fellowship with God and perhaps even between their relationships with those closest to them. They choose to follow after the ways of the flesh rather than follow after the ways of the Spirit. They have brought disaster upon themselves, i.e. they are not able to enjoy the fruit of Christ’s righteousness in their daily lives, but they are asking for God to bring divine discipline upon them (See Rev. 2-3).

Testifies Against

The look on their faces testifies against them

You have probably heard it said that a person’s eyes are like windows into the soul. There is a lot that can be said about the look in one’s eyes and/or the countenance on one’s face. Our eyes and/or our countenance can reveal our true character even when our lips are proclaiming something else. We must be careful not to judge people falsely, though, because we do not really know what is in another person’s heart. Yet, it is possible to get to know a person’s facial expressions, eye movements (or looks), countenance and body language over a period of time, especially if we live with people, such as if they are family members and/or we are married to someone over a long extent of time. Married people and family members can often communicate to each other without a word spoken, just by a look in the face or eyes, body language and/or eye contact (or lack thereof).

Thus, it is possible for someone to lie with their lips, yet their face, countenance, eyes and body language may speak just the opposite. They may be able to fool some or many people, but they can’t fool God, and they should not be able to fool (trick; deceive) those closest to them, if those closest to them are paying attention. They should be able to tell.

The Righteous

Tell the righteous it will be well with them…

The righteous here are those who are both positionally righteous through the blood of Christ, by God’s grace, through faith, and are those who are walking in the Spirit in Christ’s righteousness. They are bearing spiritual fruit for the kingdom of heaven via their walks of faith, their commitments to the Lord, and their sharing of the gospel of Jesus Christ with the world about them, by God’s grace. I believe the righteous are also grieved over the sins of their brothers and sisters in the Lord, and they are calling upon God in prayer for God to move in the hearts of those they love within the body of Christ in a work of revival in bringing them back to walks of faith, purity and holiness. Yet, that time has not yet come.

Sometimes in life we face situations that are difficult to handle or even to comprehend. We get hurt, sad, frustrated, impatient, and/or confused, etc., longing for the day when God will intervene on our behalf or on the behalf of those we love, and/or when our circumstances will begin to make sense, and/or when our complicated state of affairs will change for the better. It is hard to understand, at times, why it seems that God chooses to take so long to act. The prophets of old, and the psalmists, too, often lamented God’s seeming slowness to move in a way that seemed right to them.

Yet, we know that God’s timing is always perfect. He is never late. He is always right on time. We know, as well, that he is absolutely sovereign over all things, and that all things are under his control (rule; authority), so we can rest secure in knowing that he has a purpose, and that he will work all things out for good for those of us who love God and who are called according to his purpose (See Eph. 1:20-23; Col. 1:15-18; and Rom. 8:28).

The Bible also says that God is not slow in keeping his promise, as some consider slowness, but he is patient, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (See 2 Pet. 3:9). So, we believe in his promises, we rest in his love, and we wait for his perfect timing. We keep on loving, forgiving, and serving in His power and strength within us, and we never, ever give up! He will supply us with all we need to endure.

Wait! / An Original Work / February 8, 2014

Wait for your Lord. Be of courage.
Be strong, and take heart today.
God is always watching o’er you.
Trust Him with your life always.

Sing of your Lord. Praise His blessings.
Believe in His sovereignty.
He delivered you from your sin;
Gave you life eternally.

Rest in your Lord. Know His promise.
Beneath His wings rest secure.
Your God has a plan and purpose.
Let your faith in Him endure.

Trust in your Lord. He’ll not leave you,
Because He is faithfulness.
He will lead and guide; protect you.
In His love you can find rest.