I love hiding the tv remote from the kids, not so they can find it, but so they can’t! Some things are mean’t to be hidden. Like easter eggs before easter, you don’t want them being found! Or like my cordless drill – I really don’t need my one and a half year old son Roman finding that (again). But then there are some things that get hidden that really shouldn’t be…
I’m reading through the whole Bible in a year using the Bible in a Year ® reading plan on The Bible App. I bought myself a sweet journaling bible so I can scribble down all my thoughts, responses and prayers on the pages as I read (you should totally do it). This morning I was reading part of Psalm 40, written by King David, when I came across this;
I have told the glad news of deliverance in the congregation; behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O LORD. I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation (Psalm 40:10-11).
Store it but don’t hide it
The problem with putting things in storage is you often forget you have them, and certainly you don’t use them. Beyond that, unless you pull them out to show someone else they’ll never see what you have in storage. Reminds me of Jesus saying no one lights a lamp only to hide it under a bowl. You need to bring them out every now and again and remind yourself of what you have. Salvation can unfortunately end up much the same in the life of a believer. We receive it, it’s wonderful, it’s life changing! Then we store it away in our hearts and ‘move on’ to ‘better’ revelations or experiences.
You never graduate from the Gospel
The message of the cross and the incredible love of God revealed through Christ is not something we ever ‘move on’ from, the Gospel is not what saved you as much as it’s what is still saving you. When the great Apostle Paul penned his mind blowing letter to the Christians in Rome, he shares his desire to preach the Gospel to them!
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world… So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. (Romans 1:8-15)
Why was he so eager to preach the Gospel to Christians whose faith in Christ was becoming famous? Because you never graduate from the Gospel – you grow in it. But what has this got to do with Psalm 40 and hiding things? Everything. We should definitely store the Gospel in our hearts, treasure it, preserve it, meditate on it, hold it as precious which indeed it is; but not store it away so it can never be seen or heard, it’s too good for that! Your ongoing experience with the Gospel is something to be stored in your heart and yet something to be shared from your heart.
Steward your story
Your story is powerful. Your story is significant. Yes yours! If the main character in your story is Christ then you have one of the greatest stories in the world to tell! Have you ever thought about your story as a commodity entrusted to you by God? It’s precious, it’s valuable, it can’t be manufactured, it’s one of a kind, it was given to you; in fact Christ died to give you. The greatest thing you can ever do when you receive a valuable gift is to use it and take care of it in such a way as to honor and express gratitude towards the one who gave it. It’s called being a good steward, like in the parable of the talents, it’s not enough to just receive the gift, we must use it for it’s indeded purpose and be good stewards of the wealth God has entrusted to us.
Your story is of great value to God and to humanity. Yes! YOUR Story.
Tell your story
David said, I have not restrained my lips… I have told… I have not concealed… but rather he told his story in the great congregation, he would tell of God’s power to deliver him and save him from sin and death, he would tell of God’s faithfulness towards him in spite of his own failings, he would tell of God’s steadfast love and how salvation had been given to him. In effect, he would tell of the Gospel and how it was, is and was continuing to shape his life. Steward your story. Share your story. Don’t ever get tired of your story, it’s amazing! Tell of God’s faithfulness in Christ, tell of his steadfast love, tell of his salvation and deliverance that was given to you and remains even now, a constant experience of living a life with Christ.
Put it away
The problem with putting your story (your testimony) away and not sharing it is that we are hardwired to share it! Story telling is in our very nature, after all, God, in whose image we’re made, is the greatest story teller of all time! We love to tell stories, share photo’s that tell a story, Instagram, Facebook, twitter, chats around the coffee table, phone calls, fishing stories, war stories, it goes on and on… we are constantly recounting things every day of our lives. But if we store away the greatest story we have we settle for sharing secondary stories, stories that usually about us.
The problem with every other story I share is that often I am the main character… The Gospel is a far greater story with a far greater central character; Jesus.
What’s worse is that after we post photos of our dinner or the sunset, all too often we tend to tell stories of destruction instead of deliverance. Bad news sells. We rant about issues or problems instead of praying about them. We wallow in our problems instead of ascending the heights with praise and thanksgiving. We talk of our suffering instead of our salvation. We speak of our struggles with love instead of His steadfast love. We chat about our failures and shortfall instead of His faithfulness that covers all. We need to put that stuff away. It’s not about ignoring our pain or pretending that we’re perfect and nothing ever goes wrong, it’s about giving the story of Christ in our life the proper place and the proper stage; first place and centre stage.
May it be said of us that we did not restrain our lips nor conceal his steadfast love, amen.