So today we had a ‘scheduled’ brownout. It’s funny because the circular mentioned the outage would start at 9am, but I woke up to the sound of our neighbors’ generators starting up as early as 6am. To their credit, power came back on 5pm on the dot.
Throughout the day I slacked but my mind kept reminding me, I couldn’t run away from hitting the Word again. So read and write, I did.
Here’s a transcript of what I have on the notebook.
“If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” – Psalm 11:3
“The LORD is in His holy temple, the LORD’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men.
The LORD tests the righteous, but the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates. Upon the wicked He will rain coals, fire and brimstone and a burning wind shall be the portion of their cup.
For the LORD is righteous; He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright.” – Psalm 11:4-7
‘The one who loves violence His soul hates’: Does this also work the other way around? Like – ‘Anyone who is hated by God loves violence’?
Hate breeds hate. Hated people hate people.
‘His countenance beholds the upright’: At this time I was glad I still had some juice on the phone, so I was able to jump into Merriam-Webster really quick.
COUNTENANCE: (1) Look/Expression, (2) Face/Visage, (3) “bearing or expression that offers approval or sanction (moral support).
So understanding this definition, and pulling up what was first mentioned in Numbers 6:26, where He ‘lift(s) His countenance upon you’… Let’s check out some other words.
BEHOLD: (1) To perceive through sight or apprehension (see), (2) To gaze upon (observe)
UPON: (1) On (really, that was all that was there)
GAZE: To fix the eyes in a steady intent look often with eagerness or studious attention.
Taking this all together, are we to say that God’s look intently looks upon you (!?!) ?
I am reminded of how we “behold ourselves as in a mirror”, as in those who are hearers of the Word, and not doers, as mentioned in the epistle of James.
I’m also led to say that we ought to see how intently God – that is, His entire expression, visage, offering approval – perceives us, and not only perceives us but fixes His eyes on us eagerly, studying us (though He knows all there is to know about us) with steady intent.
Because of Christ, who has made us righteous, who Himself is our righteousness, we enjoy God looking at us, beholding us; Eagerly studying us, it is as Peter says: “He cares for us.” (2 Peter 5:7)
We are tested, as Abraham was, and as James would mention in his epistle… But we are certainly able, not only to remain steadfast but to soldier on, knowing that this faith which would have us believe in God looking – His entire visage, looking at us with approval, intent, and eagerness; We who were once sinners, wicked to the core, now made new with a new faith authored in us through Christ, we are able, by this faith, to care for others as we celebrate God caring for us!
Now and always – Thank You, Jesus!
That was the Psalms… now we jump to Proverbs 11.
“The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.” – Proverbs 11:3
I would always ask, what should I do next? Where should I invest in next? What should I spend on next?
I am presented with a clear answer here, or at least one to dig into further – I am upright through Christ and I am guided by my integrity. Let’s go back to Merriam-Webster:
INTEGRITY: (1) Firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values: Incorruptibility
(2) an unimpaired condition: Soundness
(3) the quality or state of being complete or undivided: Completeness
Derivation: Integer – Latin, “Entire”
WE ARE WHOLE: As we are according to our senses, we say we are incomplete. Yet we say in Christ we have been made (new and complete), and in Christ we are held together (undivided).
We cannot deny the fact of the incomplete-ness of our physical bodies, and the division we witness amongst ourselves, and even experience in our own minds.
But there it is: These are facts with a beginning and an end, which we respect and recognize… ONLY from the incorruptible, sound and complete Truth of Christ, who has made us, re-made us and holds us together, our beings far beyond that which we perceive.
From a finite viewpoint we are flawed.
From Christ’s perspective, we have been made whole.
In Christ, we have been made whole. Christ is our wholeness. Christ completes us, and we are not divided; Christ holds us together. Christ is our wholeness. In Him, we live and move and have our being.
Christ is our wholeness, and Christ is our integrity. Through this wholeness we are guided. We recognize integrity, as we ourselves have Christ as our integrity. Through this integrity I can answer what I should do next, what I should invest/spend on next.
So much off of one verse. One proverb. But it doesn’t stop there.
“Riches to not profit in the day of wrath,
but righteousness delivers from death.
The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way aright,
but the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.
The righteousness of the upright will deliver them,
but the unfaithful will be caught by their lust.” – Proverbs 11:4-6
We are the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ. We have been delivered, we are directed aright (correctly). Delivered into wholeness, directed correctly, completely – that is, in full direction from a full being.
So we proclaim deliverance as we have been delivered. We greet others with direction, as we ourselves have been directed.
By the body of Christ we have been made whole. By the blood of Christ we have been united.
Thank You, Jesus.
I glanced through Proverbs 11 pretty quick, and while I may have already derived a more general type of answer for my question regarding decisions, there may be more to dig through. Of course, by stepping away and coming back to it, that’s where I see that one who places their faith in Christ shall himself be made upright, as Christ Himself is their righteousness, and Christ Himself is our integrity.
Basically (there’s that word), we see integrity because we have integrity.
Ayan, it doesn’t stop there. There may be details allowing us to be more specific.
“As righteousness leads to life, so he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death.”– Proverbs 11:19
We ourselves have been made righteous unto eternal life. So our decisions have their foundation in righteousness leading to life. It’s not that we make the ‘right’ decisions all the time, but we can be sure – as God, who knows all things around each and every decision there is to be made, has guaranteed – that each decision we make leads to life.
I keep saying Christ is the Living Word present in our life, and Christ is the Word of Life present in our words; So He is present in all our decisions, giving Life, giving His Word.
“The desire of the righteous is only good, but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.” – Proverbs 11:23
How can we say that Christ is Life in every decision we make, no matter how our own/others’ senses may call it right or wrong? Well, He who has placed eternity in our hearts and actually gave us new hearts (hearts of flesh versus stone) in the first place, surely directs our hearts to begin with.
By the power of the Holy Spirit we have not hardened our hearts, but we have understood the day of salvation, and have been duly transformed, made new from the inside out, by the renewing of our minds.
In other words, Christ, as our literal Life, is present in every phase of the decision process, much as He is present with every breath we take, and even beyond, far beyond the final breath of our physical bodies, present in all aspects of our being, now and forever.
When we understand who we are in Christ, and who Christ is in us, this is what directs us, delivers us.
The Truth of Christ is us, and us in Christ – this is truly worthy of our meditation as it is of our praise.
Thank You, Jesus.
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