When tempted to reveal a secret out of pride,
Then instead in the Word of God abide.
When holding the confidence of others in honor,
Then never let faithlessness be in your corner.
When God tells you to refrain,
Then telling your secret is insane.
When secrets can cause strife,
Then have regard for your life.
When the Holy Spirit wants you to be tactful,
Then with your words be thoughtful.
When hidden things can cause sin,
Then except for the Lord hold them all within.
When Jesus’ word in the Gospel does remind,
Then let not your good deeds anyone find.
When you know you shouldn’t gossip bad,
Then don’t be a selfish lass or lad.
Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered. (Proverbs 11:13)
People say that they have nothing to hide but yet they may have things on them which may endanger their good standing before their spouse, relatives and even the society they live in. Let me make it real to you; a politician is considered the best leader of the state for many years. But all of a sudden a secret which only his former aide knows comes out. The politician was once a drug addict in his teenage years and had to be rehabilitated but eventually overcame it all. However the politician’s former worker out of a evil heart bent on making money would tell about the drug addiction part but not mention that how the politician overcame his habit. Now there could be huge controversy in the media and political world, leading to the politician losing the confidence of his people and eventually having to resign and retire as well. However this could be averted by either of the two ways:
- The politician should have not trusted his former aide with his secret.
- The aide should have kept quiet.
I’d like to focus now on the part of keeping quiet. Imagine if you will, things didn’t work out well for the aide and instead he got sued for over a million and even landed in jail for not keeping privacy. Things like these too happen.
Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered. (Proverbs 11:13)
An employee giving out secrets of a banking corporation in terms of their hidden plan to enter the equities market, can result in big time losses to that corporation or undue advantage to its competitors. If such an employee is found out, you can only imagine the lawsuits and jail time such a person would be getting. And also, there would hardly be any other bank that would then try to ever employ such a traitor of an employee. But what if in the first place, such a corrupt employee would never be given access to the banking corporation’s expansion plans? There are certain banks which give information to only select staff members about their tactical future plan and not to everyone in their employ. Then obviously there would very less a chance of information leaking to the public and competitors.
Imagine if an army general while being drunk at a party tells of the location of the nuclear warhead codes to anyone who gives him a drink. And then person who gave him the drink turns out to be a spy of an evil nation. Then there could be loss of life to the nation or innocents in other world regions, thanks to one incompetent general. No matter how much the general pleads, the army judge won’t give him a chance at normal life. And obviously, the army will do everything in its power to punish the general. Retirement benefits are out of the question of such secret revealing general.
This is the point, I’d like to make; keep quiet on your secrets when you have to keep quiet on them.
Let me make it real to you. Remember the incident in the Bible about Samson and Delilah (Refer the entire chapter of Judges Chapter 16) and you’d understand how the great warrior Samson who been given tremendous strength by the Lord God to defend Israel lost it all. And how did he lose it? The woman Delilah (as traitorous like Judas) tricked Samson by means of much fake love and concern into giving out the secret of his power. And the consequences were very nasty for Samson. Let’s read the following:
15 And she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and you have not told me where your great strength lies.” 16 And when she pressed him hard with her words day after day, and urged him, his soul was vexed to death. 17 And he told her all his heart, and said to her, “A razor has never come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If my head is shaved, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak and be like any other man.”
18 When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up again, for he has told me all his heart.” Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hands. 19 She made him sleep on her knees. And she called a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him. 20 And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And he awoke from his sleep and said, “I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him. 21 And the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles. And he ground at the mill in the prison.
Now if you read the entire chapter of Judges 16, you’d know that Samson already lost his internal discipline due to getting into illegal affairs with women of perverse nature, Delilah being one of them. What makes Delilah more vicious is that she faked her love for him at the bidding of the Philistines only to wait for the opportunity to find out the secret of Samson’s strength. You will need internal discipline to ensure that you ward off any repeated attempts by vile people to away your secrets. Yes, be ready for repeated attempts if you have to.
There might be some people who might say why don’t you see how the Lord God still blessed Samson when he repented and due to that Samson took down with him at his death even more than those whom he had killed during his life? I’d say to them, I do not overlook the mercy of God in such a case. For the Lord God is even merciful to the very end. And by the Lord did Samson destroy the enemies of God’s people even at the last hour of his life. But here’s what I have to say; do not put your Lord your God to test by citing the example of Samson in giving away secrets that should never be given at all. Remember dear reader, that Samson’s eyes were gouged out. Eyes! A pin prick can cause much pain to most people, how much more the horrendous removing of eyes.
Now the Bible does not speak of Delilah’s repentance. See and make note, there are some people who never repent for the damage they cause by misusing secrets. Don’t think that Delilah went to heaven, unless the Bible clearly says so. There are people so hardened of heart that they just do not care if they made wrong use of your secret or of anyone else.
If Samson were given the option to turn back time after all that happened to him (unfortunately who even gets this option) I think he would first off never be friends with the wrong women and never have given off his God given secret of strength to anyone! Don’t want to hide this but there are many in this world who wish they could only turn back time to prevent themselves giving out their secrets which may have caused them great shame, vast disrepute and even major financial losses. They won’t be able to turn back time by themselves. But at least if they then decide to be wiser and call upon the name of the Lord God they would stand a chance to live in faith and honor.
Now that you know this, please avoid giving out your secrets when you do not have to. Some secrets in fact must never be given out (to be covered in a later post). And trust in the Lord God and do not put him to the test.
Christ be with you!
A secret is like money, it can be used wisely or misused wickedly. There are secrets which (ironically) should not be kept as secrets while there are secrets which can and must be kept secret. The people of God need to know how to discern between both such types of secrets. This will be covered in detail in series of ‘Keeping Secrets’ posts which I’m writing up. However for now I share a few good reasons for keeping secrets. This basically comes from the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 6. So here we go:
1) Keep secret your good deeds of charity so that you don’t seek pride nor fame in your acts which causes you to lose your reward from the Lord God.
“Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2 “Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:1-4)
2) Keep secret your prayer life in a such a way that you pray like how the Lord God wants you to pray without being a self seeking hypocrite but rather exalt the name of God alone. This will ensure your reward from the Lord God.
5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
7 “And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray then like this:
Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread;
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors;
13 And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; 15 but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:5-14)
3) Keep secret your fasting so that you don’t get undue praise by people and so miss out on your reward from your Heavenly Father the Lord God.
16 “And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
The three reasons above are good enough to consider keeping secrets that are meant not to be paraded before people so that you indulge in self glory and so lose your reward from your Father in heaven who is none but the Lord God. I hope this make you realize the importance of keeping secrets. Keep yourself open to the will and counsel of the Lord God manifest in the Bible so that you learn to keep secrets wisely.
Christ be with you!
Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)
The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. (1 Peter 4:7)
It’s pointless for anyone to pray to overcome temptation when that person saying that prayer is not willing to stop liking the sin. Yes, there are people who are scared of the eternal consequences of sin but do not care if the temporary pleasure they get offends the Lord God or even defiles their own soul and body. So its best to abhor the sin that tries to entice you and pray for overcoming it at the same time.
“One day, a young boy asked an old man: “Sir, which is the best day to pray?”
The wise old man replied: “My son, the best day to pray is the day before you die”.
The boy was astonished and replied: “Sir, how can I know the day of my death?”
And the old man answered: “No one knows the day of his death, that’s why we need to pray everyday.”
There are people who profess to be Christians and yet there seems to be no blessings in their life. One wonders what is going wrong with them. A little probing gets to the root of it and this answer is not so pleasant. The answer is not out there in the world and God is not to be blamed for it either. It’s something within the person: hypocrisy!
Let me make it real to you. I used to reach to out to a young man who was looking out to get married in life. He seemed financially alright. Not too bad with the looks either. Plus he was a pleasant talker. However, he kept telling me that he didn’t get the right person to marry. Also he would fall ill very often. I would preach to him but had my doubts about his sincerity.
Later I found that he already had a girl who’d meet his mother almost everyday and even do the dishes at home. Basically this girl wanted to marry him but he kept looking out for other women instead. This guy was such a hypocrite that he’d take his family to the church services but himself skip church time. So he’d just transport them to and fro from the worship service but roam around when the church prayers were being done. Also, that he would be using illegal drugs. Obviously, I was not impressed with this behaviour of his but didn’t tell him I came to know of his hypocrisy.
I met this man later and asked him when did he last attend church. The man was puzzled by this question. He told me that he went to church recently. So I asked of him that if he meant he actually prayed over there or just walked by the premises. Immediately, he turned hostile realizing that I knew of his hypocrisy and kept away from me. I couldn’t question him about why he allowed the poor potential fiance of his to come home and clean up the house along with his mother, when he clearly had no interest in marrying her. The last time I kept track of him, I found that he lost out a lot of money on some bad financial decision and his mom had to be admitted to the hospital too. Despite my efforts to contact him, he didn’t respond to the phone. At the end, I understood that just because he clung to his hypocrisy he couldn’t actually benefit from the preaching of the Gospel. He knew what the Gospel expects from him but he didn’t want to act in the right direction.
If you desire the blessings of God in your life then make sure that you eliminate all forms of hypocrisy from your life. Never ever misuse the trust of those who love you even if you don’t love them back! Sincerity in your walk with Christ is dependant on your choice so don’t get started with blaming the economy or some bad experience as an excuse for going away from the path of righteousness. If wish to get blessings with your prayers then pray without any guile and without any perverse intent, and you’ll see the difference for sure.
Verses for reflection:
- If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. (Psalm 66:18)
- The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous. (Proverbs 15:29)
- We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. (John 9:31)
- What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. (James 4:1-3)
Forever stuck on preaching to one person? (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
Don’t Squander the Grace of God (theaccidentalpoet.net)
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you (1 Peter 5:6)
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4)
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”(Matthew 3:2)
And if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. (Jeremiah 18:8)
Again, though I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ yet if he turns from his sin and does what is just and right, if the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has taken by robbery, and walks in the statutes of life, not doing injustice, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the sins that he has committed shall be remembered against him. He has done what is just and right; he shall surely live.(Ezekiel 33:14-16)
“No man has such need to pray as the man who does not care to pray. When you can pray and long to pray—why, then, you will pray! But when you cannot pray and do not wish to pray—why, then, you must pray, or evil will come of it! He is on the brink of ruin who forgets the Mercy Seat. When the heart is apathetic towards prayer, the whole man is sickening from a grievous disease. How can we be weary of prayer? It is essential to life! When a man grows weary of breathing, surely he is near to dying! When a man grows weary of praying, surely we ought to pray anxiously for him, for he is in an evil case.” (Charles Spurgeon 1891, Sermon #2189)
22 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 23 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, 24 The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.27 “So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.” (Numbers 6:22-27)
It was a holy thing in the Old Testament times for a priest of the Lord to pronouce a blessing over the people of Israel. No mere wishing but a blessing in the name of the Lord who is the creator of heaven and earth. With the arrival of the Gospel in your life you too are a priest and Bible confirms this. The priesthood here is not a ritualistic type of priesthood but a spiritual one.
4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia:Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:4-6)
Your priesthood is from God and is meant to glorify the Lord. So bless the children you have in the name of Jesus. Pray the Numbers 6:24-26 prayer over them. It might sound old fashioned but its worth every bit to pray over children and along with them for their success in life. A preacher too must pray the blessing of God over his congregation so that as they walk out after the worship service they continue to revel in the presence of the Lord God and remember that true and everlasting sucess comes from God alone.
The Lord God is unlimited in his power and mercy. Holy is his name. He can do all things abundantly out of his love for those who believe in him and work for his glory. So don’t ever limit the Numbers 6:24-26 prayer just only for children or your local church. Pray for anyone and everyone whom the Holy Spirit leads you to bless them in the name of Jesus so that the Lord God is exalted through them in their prosperity.
When reading the news be it in print or online, you may come across various bad things which happen. Though you believe in Christ, remember that you live in a fallen world which is in rebellion against the principles of God. Do not get worried about wickedness in the world but instead resist it. There are many good ways to do this. One such is prayer. And prayer is not the only response.
If you see so much trouble in the world, instead of blaming God for it, ask yourself what are you doing about it? Indeed, there are many who will make a fuss about the crimes in the world but ask them to do something to stop it and they will not offer help but stupidly question back. All they can do is question. Because they don’t get the fact clear in their minds, that they must not avoid responsibility of making the world a little more peaceful and safe.
Like I said earlier there are many ways to resist wickedness and one such way is prayer. Only a fool will say that a believer in Christ will only pray when things go wrong. To such people, I’d say that if you want to falsely accuse others, why not first check your own behavior towards the poor and needy. Again for such people, let me ask how many times did you give up your free time to stand guard at schools, parks, malls etc to see that other people’s children are safe from harm without asking for anything in return? Did you do it all your life? How many times did you donate blood to a person suffering from disease?
Now, when you watch or read the news don’t you hear of murders, of fraud, of earthquakes and various natural calamities? And not just that, anything evil that’s going on in the world, like a huge scandal in politics, marriages taking a nasty turn, celebrities acting proud and immoral? Don’t get too dazed by such stuff. Pray against evil and don’t condone it. You can consider the various troubles which people face as prayer needs and so you can pray for on their behalf. And, yes even if you don’t know some fixed set of prayers, you can still pray spontaneously in faith.
If you come to know of a hostage situation on the news, start praying about the rescue of the hostages in question. You might be in a crowded place or work and might not be able to pray openly but you can still pray by praying quietly in your mind (this applies for all situations where you need to pray). Say something like “O Jesus, cause the hostages to be rescued. Let them come out safe and in one piece. May the workers of justice prevail. Amen”.
If you watch a new documentary showing how drug trade flourishes in certain parts of the world and even in your homeland, then pray about it. Pray that people who have drugs are set free from their addictions. Pray that the drug cartels realize that they are walking the path of danger and may have to die if caught. Say something like, “I ask that the powers which spread drugs are stopped in their tracks. May those who are addicted to drugs have their eyes opened so that they leave this addiction. Cause it O Lord God, that drug producers and sellers realize that their way will lead to their own destruction and so they make a decision to leave this crime for good. Also that law enforcement agencies be victorious against all criminals who are not giving up on drug trade and that there no wrong government pressure on them. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen”.
When you hear about family problems like an inheritance dispute or domestic violence, then pray for peace, justice and reconciliation. Once you decide to pray don’t worry about how it will turn out, you first pray and leave everything to God. A quick tip is that don’t get too shocked when people and families you felt were nice, have family problems all of a sudden. You are to simply pray for them. Don’t hinder the course of justice especially in cases of domestic violence and child abuse. Pray for such families regardless of which religious faith they belong.
Sometimes, you might hear of celebrities acting bizarre in their speeches and habits. Start praying that they repent of their silliness before something seriously goes wrong for them. Obviously, don’t enjoy any of their stupidities and vulgarity in the process. Don’t patronize their bad behavior. Pride goes before a fall.
Do not wait till your preacher tells you to pray for so and so thing he read in the news. If know what you are praying about is consistent with the Bible and doesn’t deviate from the Christian faith, then there’s nothing wrong in such prayers.
When you hear of persecution against Christians start praying immediately. Ask God that those who are suffering persecution are rescued or find ways to escape safely. Pray that the angels of God fight the powers of darkness which are strong in the places where there is hate and violence against Christians. Desire in your prayers, that persecuted Christians and families of the Christian martyrs continue to be hopeful in the Lord Jesus.
The above are just a few examples where you can pray. As you observe the news, you’ll realize that there’s a lot to pray about. So read the news with a perspective to pray and see lives change for good.