February 25, 2008
My Secret Life
Greetings and welcome to a new day.
MCCAIN PLEADS WITH NY TIMES TO SPIKE STORY ON FEMALE LOBBYIST...
McCain forced to deny romantic link with lobbyist...
...hits back hard
These are the headlines that broke last night from the New York Times, and all over network news.
Before we pick up our stones, consider this: how do you think your lifestyle or conduct would change if you knew that everything you did was being recorded on a video camera and would be shown on the nightly newscast with Charlie Gibson, or Brian Williams? Think about what you have done in the last twenty-four hours or the last few days. Is there anything that might cause you embarrassment? Anything that wouldn’t exactly be family fare if we all settled down to watch your life go by for our viewing pleasure?
My Secret Life
By Scott Ross
All of us have ghosts in our closet. Those secret things that we hope and pray no one ever finds out about. Things that were done in the dark outside the purview of prying eyes. What were once major or minor indiscretions become looming specters of our past, peeking over our shoulder. This characteristic seems to reveal itself at important junctures in our lives, sometimes when a promotion or a new job opportunity arises, or a new relationship develops that is about to bloom into a serious commitment.
In the public arena, the scrutiny of the press and investigatory agencies dig into every crevice of our lives uncovering artifacts that are then displayed before a watching world. The graves have been opened and out crawl the phantoms of seasons gone by.
One of my jobs is being on camera for television. Every small or great thing I do is under scrutiny. If I make a mistake, I hear about it very quickly, from my bosses, from the audience, from my detractors and my admirers. The whole world is watching. One day just prior to going out on a “shoot” for a story, I got in an argument with my wife Nedra. I was right, of course. She just didn’t see it that way at the time! However, later when I was talking to people on camera, the thought came into my subconscious, “What if my argument with Nedra was now being broadcast live before the whole TV audience?” The thought made me very nervous. That is not a “show” I would want people to see.
Let me ask you, how you think your lifestyle or conduct would change if you knew that everything you did was being recorded on a video camera and would be shown on the nightly newscast with Charlie Gibson, or Brian Williams? Think about what you have done in the last twenty-four hours or the last few days. Is there anything that might cause you embarrassment? Anything that wouldn’t exactly be family fare if we all settled down to watch your life go by for our viewing pleasure?
The Not So Great Cover Up
The actual fact is that everything we are doing is being observed and recorded. We might think that far-fetched. You wouldn’t be the first to think that. From the times of antiquity, back to our original parents, people have had similar thoughts.
After their original act of sin and disobedience, Adam and Eve hid and covered themselves with the first clothing made of fig leaves, because they didn’t want to be exposed. But the Lord found them and asked Adam why he was hiding and how he knew he was naked. Adam’s response was a lie and the placing of blame on Eve. It was the beginning of the cover up that future generations would perpetuate.
Shortly thereafter, Adam and Eve’s son Cain killed Abel, becoming the first murderer, and he then attempted to sidestep God’s confrontation with an evasive, Am I supposed to keep track of him wherever he goes? (Genesis 4)
It was in the genes of the family of man.
Future generations followed suit:
How proudly the ungodly speak! They boast against the very heavens, and their words strut through the earth. And asking how will God find out? Does the Most High know everything? (Psalm 73.11)
Actually, yes He does. And when one begins to realize that the Most High’s Skycam sees those things that people think they are doing in secret, it would tend to cause one to take stock. Especially if you are associated with one of the following:
The murderer rises in the dark, that he may kill the poor and needy; at night they are thieves and adulterers, waiting for the dark ‘when no one will see me,’ they say. They mask their faces so no one will know them. (Job 24.14-15)
Why delight yourself with prostitutes, or a loose woman, embracing what isn’t yours? For God is closely watching you, and He weighs carefully everything you do. (Proverbs 5.20-21)
The Old Testament prophets thundered against the sins of the people with a litany of specific violations that God saw spread before Him.
Liars, thieves, leaders who laughed about lies, adulterers burning up with lust, drunkenness, political intrigue and murder, the taking of bribes and refusing justice to the poor. God’s people mingling with the heathen and picking up their evil ways, and as a result the whole nation is weakened.
None of it is hidden, for God says,
The people never seem to recognize that I am watching them. I see them all. (Amos 5; Hosea 6)
And no nation is exempt:
He watches every movement of the nations. (Psalm 66.7)
A nation “under God” in this context takes on a whole other meaning.
Neither was the religious crowd exempt from the all Seeing Eye.
God took Ezekiel the prophet on a tour of His temple in Jerusalem and asked him, "Do you see what they are doing, to push Me from My Temple?"
And then God took Ezekiel into what the priest’s thought were hidden rooms, and showed him the wickedness that was going on in secret. The prophet saw all sorts of hideous creatures and idols portrayed there, and the priests and the people were burning incense and worshipping the false gods. As Ezekiel watched all this in secret the Lord said to him:
Have you seen what the elders of Israel are doing in their minds? For they are thumbing their noses at Me and saying, ‘The Lord doesn’t see us; He has gone away.’ (Ezekiel 8)
Today, in some churches, religious institutions and organizations, there are those who are praying for the Lord to come “visit” them for a so-called “revival.” I wonder what He would find if He did show up. For one thing, God does answer prayer and He says, if there is anything hidden, it will come to light for all to see and will be revealed before the whole congregation. (Proverbs 26.26)
Would you want your secret life revealed before all the people?
Actually this should be a common occurrence in a really vibrant spiritual church. Paul the Apostle told the Corinthian church that if an outsider came into the gathering, the prophetic spirit in and among the people would prick his conscience. As a result, as he listens, his secret thoughts will be laid bare and he will fall down on his knees and worship God, declaring that God is really there among you. (1 Corinthians 14. 24-25)
I wonder what that would do in some of our staid Sunday morning church services. People will either run away from, or run to, those kind of churches.
The phrase recited above, that God saw what the people were doing in their minds, is, to use a term from the Sixties, mind blowing!
Think about it. At this moment God knows what you are thinking in your response to what you are reading!
It’s not only the overt, unacceptable deeds; it’s often the so-called socially acceptable conduct that many of us just wink at. The things we whisper, and say behind closed doors about one another. Gossip is like the hors d’ouvres we nibble on. The tidbits of information and hearsay that are, oh so tasty. Almost always at
someone else’s expense. But we just can’t help ourselves.
Pretty words may hide a wicked heart.
For instance, for some of you, who didn’t like President Clinton, knew that Whitewater was a whitewash, or don’t like George Bush, and know he is a warmonger, didn’t vote for either of them, and don’t trust them, be careful what you say about the men:
Never curse the king, (read that President) not even in your thoughts…for a little bird will tell them what you said. (Ecclesiastes 10.20)
David, who was a king, prayed, May my spoken words and unspoken thoughts be pleasing even to you, O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19.14)
Paul the Apostle stated that even if we attempt the great cover up now, the day is surely coming when at God’s command Jesus Christ will judge the secret lives of everyone, their inmost thoughts and motives.
The Other Secret Life
FACT: There is a God in heaven who reveals secrets.
It has been my developed custom over the years, to arise early in the morning with the sunrise and spend time with the Lord. It is my favorite time of day and is possibly the most enjoyable activity of my life. In the quietness of these early morning hours, with occasional classical music of the masters playing softly in the background, I speak and listen to God through prayer and the Scriptures. My entire life is built upon this practice to the degree I have enjoyed the Words of His mouth more than my daily food. (Job 23.12)
This was a regular practice of the Lord Jesus, as He often went off into the hills early in the morning, before sunrise, to spend time with His Father.
It was intimate.
The Lord in turn tells us to do likewise: When you pray, go away by yourself, all alone, and shut the door behind you and pray to your Father secretly, and your Father, who knows your secrets, will reward you. (Matthew 6.6)
Part of that reward is hearing the God of the universe speak to me in a very personal way. It is a common occurrence for me that, morning by morning He wakens me and opens my understanding to His will. (Isaiah 50.4)
Throughout Scripture God states repeatedly that He has deep and secret things, mysteries of His will, mind, heart and purposes that is His good pleasure to reveal by His Spirit. But they are reserved not just for any people but for those He particularly calls His friends. Jesus said that He would confide in those who followed Him and obeyed Him and would tell them everything the Father told Him. (John 15.15)
However, within that relationship, there are things the Lord reveals and speaks to us on a personal basis He does not want broadcast all over town. It is neither like the intimacies that husbands and wives share together that is nor for public consumption.
There were frequent occasions during the time the Lord Jesus walked this earth that He told His disciples, not to talk about what they had seen or heard. He also said the time would come when they could talk. For the most part the disciples obeyed Him. It’s interesting to note however, that when Jesus told some of those who had been healed not to tell anyone, they did just the opposite. From a natural point of view that was understandable. The point is if God reveals something to you, can you keep a secret?
Paul the Apostle was a good example of this. He talked about the fact that he had been taken up to heaven and had visions and revelations from the Lord. But he referred to that experience in the third person as “that man,” who heard things so astounding that they were beyond a man’s power to describe or put in words, and anyway I am not allowed to tell them to others. (2 Corinthians 12)
If most of us had that kind of experience, we would immediately be requesting to be booked on “Larry King Live,” be fielding offers from book publishers, negotiating with Hollywood for a TV movie and go out on the lecture circuit at $25,000 a pop for the “The Secrets I Can’t Tell Tour!”
Perhaps that’s why the Lord doesn’t reveal His secrets to us.
The trustworthy person can keep a secret.
The Lord is still looking for a few trustworthy people. It is a remarkable statement that God wants to have us share His secrets with Him and He underscores it by urging us to:
Call to Me and ask Me and I will answer you, and will tell you some remarkable secrets you have not known.
Now if you want a secret life, this is the secret life to have.
Behind the Secret Doors.
One of the reasons we don’t want to pursue this adventure, is that we are afraid of the locked doors of our lives being opened to the hidden chambers of our hearts. Behind these bastions lie the concealed thoughts, aims, motives, purposes, and suppressed memories, that we have built over a lifetime. It is just a little scary to have them exposed:
He will turn on the light, so everyone can see exactly what each one of us is really like, deep down in our hearts. (1Corinthians 4.5)
A number of years ago, in one of those secret times I mentioned a moment ago, I thought I heard that still small voice say to me, through the Scriptures, “you are like King David!”
“Wow!” I thought to myself, “even if that isn’t the voice of God, I like the idea.” And my fantasies went off into visions of personal grandeur. Charging off to the battle, slaying Goliath, being the hero etc. And then after settling down to reality a bit, I prayerfully thought I’d ask the Lord what He meant by equating me with King David.
“Son,” He said, “you are like David because you have a murderous and adulteress heart!”
Bam! My personal throne collapsed in a heap of ruins. I felt much like one of the prophets of old, who said when God confronted him, Woe to me, I am undone!
We are all carrying secrets around. We have all built walls. Many of us live in fear we will be found out. But, as we have discussed, the Lord knows all about it already:
There is nothing concealed that won’t be disclosed. Whatever is said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms shall be broadcast from the housetops for all to hear!
One of the realities of opening up the secret doors is that light comes in, and shines in all the dark corners, revealing everything hidden in the crevices of our inner rooms.
Your secrets can be dealt with in secret with the Lord now or broadcast everywhere later. One way or the other it is going to be exposed. However, it is important to know that God doesn’t do this so that He might beat you to death with a big stick or embarrass you; His purpose is to heal you and set you free from the secret corpse you have been carrying through life.
Dialogue Through the Door
Jesus often spoke in parables, short stories, about the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven. He may be speaking to you now about opening up:
One night as I was sleeping, my heart awakened in a dream. I heard the voice of my beloved; he was knocking at my bedroom door.
“Open to me, my darling, my lover, my lovely dove” he said, “for I have been out in the night and am covered with dew.”
My beloved tried to unlatch the door and my heart was excited for him. I jumped up to open it, desiring and expectant as I pulled back the bolt. But when I opened the door he was gone. My heart stopped. My loved one had tired of waiting and left. I searched for him but couldn’t find him anywhere. I called to him, but there was no reply. (Song of Solomon 5)
Oh, that I knew where to find God…that I should go to His throne and talk with Him there. I would lay my case before Him and listen to His reply, and understand what He wants. Would He merely overpower me with His greatness? No, He would listen with sympathy. Fair and honest men could reason with Him, and be acquitted by My judge.
But I search in vain. I seek Him here, and I seek Him there, and cannot find Him…. He hides Himself. But He knows every detail of what is happening to me; and when He has examined me, He will pronounce me completely innocent…as pure as solid gold! (Job 23)
So today, if you hear His voice, don’t harden your heart.
Look! I have been standing at the door and I am constantly knocking. If anyone hears Me calling him and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with Me. (Revelation 3.20)
Come; let’s talk this over! No matter how deep the stains, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. (Isaiah 1.18)
I am the door! (Matthew 10.9)
It was only a little while afterwards that I found him and would not let him go…. (Song of Solomon 3.4)
To sum up the whole matter; here is my final conclusion: fear God and obey His commandments, for this is every person’s duty. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or bad. (Ecclesiastes12.14)
How is your secret life?
Contact Scott Ross