Luke 2:19, “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”
There are times, those times, when I am as sure as a man can be that the Lord has spoken to me. Yet, I’ve had to learn to do as Mary did after she’d been visited and that is to do absolutely nothing at all. To just let my mind “download” what I’ve just heard.
Looking back over my years as a writer/member of Faith Writers I some times review my previous articles to see if in fact there is some substance in what I had written. If, while rereading my articles, my heart, my soul is not nourished yet again by those words I can safely conclude that it wasn’t the Lord who had spoken to me, but rather, in my zeal I had written something for no reason other than “feeling” as if He had.
Before you get the wrong impression, I am not writing this to “scold” any one for writing too quickly, that is, after a moment or season of heightened emotions, we all too quickly sit down at the keyboard and begin to publish what it is we (at the time) are absolutely convinced is a word from the Lord for His people. When, like Mary did, it would be better to take the time to let it all sink in.
To put it in simpler terms (as if that were possible, considering the nature of this topic), I have two friends I meet with on a regular basis and although there is more I could say about this verse or that truth, they’ll oftentimes stop me in the middle of a thought and say politely, “That’s enough. You have high-speed, but we have “dial up” and it takes a while to download what you’ve just said.”
Now, occasionally, I’ll scroll through the “Newest Articles” at Faith Writers, but I’m not looking at titles to see if there is one which arouses my curiosity or piques my interest, no, I’m looking at the author’s names.
Too often, I’ll see multiple articles and not just scattered here and there among the 200 listed, but rather listed one right after the other and I can’t help but wonder the same things about them that I’ve learned to wonder about myself and my own writing. “Is this a word, a message, a communication from the Lord and if so, did He say it to me with the intention(s) of my sharing it? Or is this something He’s said that is to be kept solely between Him and me?”
With this in mind, I’ve also looked back at my own articles and compared the dates, looking for those “rapid fire” articles of mine. I’ve noticed a season when I had published one article per week and some times when I had written some day after day. As I did, I have had to learn to ask myself some hard questions. The answers (if they were honest ones) have not been a blessing to my mind, but they have proven to be a tremendous blessing to my heart and then to my own soul.
One of the first questions I ask myself, not to myself actually, but during a conversation with the Lord is, “Did I write this ‘to be seen by men’ or was it written to be ‘bread for the people who read it?” In other words, did I “feel” as if I had something to say and when I “said” it, did I feel better about my relationship with/to the Lord for having said it? And did the ones who read it feel worse? (Sadly, we all know there are many articles at FW and other forums which have been written to make us feel as if the writer of that article has a higher quality relationship with the Lord than we do.)
Without belaboring the point, “Are my previous articles ‘still bread’ to me today?” If they don’t nourish me today, then chances are they weren’t written for the benefit of the reader, but they were published so I could be seen as being some one or some thing that I am not.
Several of my articles deserve to be deleted, quite honestly, but I have intentionally left them where they are as they serve as a reminder that I am not a member of the Body, nor Faith Writers for the sole purpose of self exaltation, but I am a member of the Body which is Faith Writers for the sole purpose of saying things which are of benefit to all of us. If what I’ve written doesn’t “feed” my heart and soul, then it doesn’t need to be said at all. (You’ve no idea how many articles I have stored on my computer which human eyes may never see or at least not for a good long while.”
The point of this article is this; there are some things which, for a fact, the Lord has said to you, but great care must be exercised in determining which of His words are meant for others and which ones are to be “held in confidence” the way a husband relates to his bride while on their honeymoon. There are some things that are just too precious, too personal and which are said for the sake of the marriage that are never to become public knowledge.
In the past few months I have those moments where I’d say “I need to write this! And I need to write it NOW!” and as I am rushing to my computer, the Spirit will pull with a harsh gentleness on the reigns of my heart, enough to slow me down and cause me to hear Him say “This is ‘honeymoon’ talk. I am a jealous God and as your Husband, these words of ours are those between the husband and wife. Never to be said outside the veil of our sanctuary.”
As good as all of this may sound, this knowledge wasn’t easy to come by. I fought the notion of keeping some things to myself as I thought such “secrecy” to be selfish. I thought that if I didn’t share the things the Lord had said to me that I was withholding good from the Body and this is something that I’ve never wanted to do.
In a recent “encounter” I just “knew” I had to write what was on my heart. Although He is immeasurably gentle, as I made the move toward my computer He said something which served two purposes; for one, it confirmed to me that we don’t need to write (make public) absolutely everything He says to us and second to that, His word to me will serve as a safeguard against any/all future articles. What did He say that has had this restraining affect on my desire to publish too quickly?
He said, “You are my bride, but your haste to broadcast the intimate details of our time together makes you nothing more than a temple prostitute and this grieves Me more than you presently know.”
Read once again the story of Mary’s “intercourse” with the angel and notice she didn’t rush right out to share what she’d just heard and even after an indeterminate season of considering what she did hear, she went to one person, only one. Why?
The reasons, I’m sure, are too numerous to list, but we can know some of those reasons. The word “pondered” literally means “to combine.” Or in other words, she took the time to “put it all together.” To think it through in the light of her knowledge of the scriptures, which as a young Jew, she would know the written Word but needed to take the time to see if what she’d just been told was in keeping with what had been written.
Think of it this way; there are some meals that are just better after they’d had a day to just sit. Which tastes better? Spaghetti hot off the stove or spaghetti which has had that one day for all the ingredients to “combine”, to blend in with all the others?
“Taste and see that the Lord is good…” and this may mean that what He’s just said to you about your loving intercourse with Him may never, ever be known by any one but the two of you, or it may mean that there are just some things that need that time for all you have had with Him to “combine” with everything else He’s placed in your heart.
But, like me, you are the only one who can know that.
(For those of you who would like to comment on this, I no longer have PM, so you'll have to contact me at "rebuild_NO@yahoo.com" or leave your comments here.)