As You Really Are

Revealed. Bare. Tested as genuine. No longer concealed or unwittingly hidden in the bondage of self-will but set free to live conformed to the revealed will of God.

Ps 19:14 – Let the sayings of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, Be for a pleasing thing before Thee, O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer! (YLT)

The sayings of my mouth.

Expressions that expose what I perceive to be truth and wisdom.

The meditation of my heart.

To earnestly, deeply think and to murmur with tenderness, evoking a strong emotional response.

My soul.
My soul is cast down.
My soul is in turmoil within me. Why?
The oppression of my enemy [hating adversary]. (Ps 42)

Luke 2:34-35 – and Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, ‘Lo, this [one] is set for the falling and rising again of many in Israel, and for a sign spoken against — (and also thine own soul shall a sword pass through) — that the reasonings of many hearts may be revealed.’ (YLT)

This one [Christ Jesus] is set.
Set. To lie outstretched literally or figuratively. To place in a passive or horizontal posture; utterly prostrate.
For the falling and rising again of many
That the reasonings of many hearts may be revealed.
Words. Thoughts. Meditations. Heart. Mind. Will. Motives. Emotions.
Revealed. To take the cover off; disclose.

Note how your body and mind respond to these words: Revealed. Take the cover off. Disclose.

Do you feel yourself hunch your shoulders, cross your arms, curl up in the protective fetal position? Or do you open yourself up spread-eagle?

Rom 9:22-25 – What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? (ESV)

Is it the vessel of wrath or the vessel of mercy that cringes at the idea of having words, thoughts, meditations, heart, mind, will, motives and emotions revealed? Is it the vessel of wrath or the vessel of mercy that responds to disclosure by trying to protect or hide itself?

How did the psalmist David describe his experience with having his heart revealed, the reasonings of his heart uncovered and disclosed?

Ps 38:1-8 –O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath! For your arrows have sunk into me, and your hand has come down on me. There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation; there is no health in my bones because of my sin. For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.
My wounds stink and fester because of my foolishness, I am utterly bowed down and prostrate; all the day I go about mourning. For my sides are filled with burning, and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and crushed; I groan because of the tumult of my heart.

David’s description of his experience with having his heart revealed

There is no soundness in my flesh, my body, my person
Because of your indignation, Lord God, because of your fury, your displeasure with sin.
There is no health in my bones, my substance
Because of my sin, my offence and its penalty and sacrifice.
Your indignation, my sin = no soundness, no health in my basic physical matter.

Your arrows have sunk into me. They press. They lead down.
Your hand has come down on me
There is no soundness (no wholesomeness) in my flesh (my body, my person)
There is no health (no peace) in my bones, my substance, my basic physical matter
I am utterly bowed down (I do amiss, I am perverse) and prostrate.
All the day I go about mourning (in sackcloth or in dirty, filthy, depressingly wretched, meanly selfish garments)

My sides (loins, the region of strength and procreative power)
Are filled with burning (full of drought, shrinkage)
I am feeble (sluggish, faint) and crushed (collapsed)
I groan because of the tumult (snarling, roaring, growling, disquiet) of my heart
Like a heavy burden, my iniquities have gone over my head.
They are too heavy for me.
My wounds stink (are morally offensive)
My wounds fester because of my foolishness (silliness, to be perverse).
My heart throbs, pants. My strength (vigor, power) fails me.
The light (illumination, happiness) of my eyes also has gone from me.

Pause. Ponder.

Can you relate to David’s condition and pain? His disillusionment with self and life? His utter helplessness to be different, better? Having come to the end of himself, the vessel of wrath? His longing for health, strength, wholeness?

David expresses what his falling, the destruction of his vessel of wrath, feels like.

The vessel of wrath is a state or condition, an experience common to human beings, one that we are all born into, through no choice or act of our own. And we all go through the process of having this condition exposed.

Jer 10:23 – I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. (ESV)

If this is truth, then what drove me to spend so many years of my life working hard to direct my steps, to choose my course, to be good and right, believing that it was my will and my responsibility to determine my eternal destiny? When, like David, I finally realized the burden was too heavy for me and gave up my efforts I began to see from a whole new (and doable) perspective.

Ps 51:5 – Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Iniquity: perversity, moral evil, to wander away, lose oneself, to perish, do amiss, bow down, turn, do wrong.1

Sin: a crime or its penalty; to miss, to forfeit, lack, lead astray, condemn.2

Iniquity and sin are the perversity and moral evil of wandering away from truth and life and love and intimate connection, thus losing oneself and perishing as a result. This describes the vessel of wrath.

How did human beings get into this condition?

Gen 1:27 – So God created man [Adam and Eve] in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (ESV)

Gen 1:31 – And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good… (ESV)

Gen 2:25 – And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (ESV)

Naked and not ashamed. Innocent. Free. Free from moral wrong. Free from guile or cunning. Free from harmful effect or cause. Simple. Bare. Unadorned. Childlike.

Every human being begins life in innocence. Unfortunately, because of the properties of the vessel of wrath, we don’t remain in innocence for long. It seems that God intentionally designed us for failure, as vessels to be used for dishonorable use.

Rom 9:21 – Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use? (ESV)

The Lord God planted a garden and put Adam and Eve in it. There he caused to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, including the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil placed in the center of the garden. This tree represents two very different ways of knowing and relating to life, ourselves, others, and to the Lord God. And it seems that the Lord God’s intention is that we all experience both ways of knowing and relating.

The Lord God instructed Adam, “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Gen 2:17 ESV)

Then a foreign tongue entered the garden speaking words that contradicted those spoken by the Lord God.

Gen 3:4-5 – But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Created in the image of God.
Like God.
God knows
You will be like God, knowing

Have you ever had someone persuade you to believe that you can get what you want and need, regardless of which path you take? That you’ll end up in the same place in the end?

The vessel of wrath

Gen 3:1-3 – Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'”

Did Eve claim that God spoke words that he had not spoken? If so, might that indicate that she was drawn to that tree even before the serpent deceived her with its lies? Does this indicate that the vessel for dishonorable use was primed and ready for use, though Eve wasn’t even aware that it existed?

“You shall not touch it.” Were these words the sayings of the Lord God’s mouth? Or were these the sayings of Eve’s mouth as she struggled in her own ineffective power to obey the Lord God’s words?

“Don’t eat. Don’t touch. Don’t eat. Don’t touch,” indicating external actions that Eve believed she could will herself to refrain from doing. If these were the sayings of your mouth and the meditation of your heart, how long do you think it would take before you were drawn to that tree to closely examine it and it’s fruit, to ponder it, to question the Lord God’s motives in denying you it’s benefits, and then find yourself trapped in irresistible desire to take the fruit and eat it?

What were the sayings of Eve’s mouth and the meditation of her heart before she encountered the serpent and its lies? Was Eve accountable or was the serpent accountable for her failure to obey the Lord God’s words? Or did both come under the wrath of the Lord God’s displeasure with sin?

And why does the Lord God desire to show his wrath and make known his power?

Maybe that’s the transforming process we need to pass through in order to hear, deeper than our physical ears are capable of hearing, to perceive, more clearly than our physical eye is able to see, to understand, more thoroughly than our minds are equipped to know, and to believe so readily and freely from the depths of our heart and soul that we naturally live and breathe the Lord God’s command.

I don’t know what the sayings of Eve’s mouth or the meditation of her heart may have been, but I do know what the Lord God has convicted me of over, and over again.

Ps 4:2 – O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? (ESV)

How long shall my honor be turned into shame? To wound. Disgrace. Confuse. Taunt. Insult.
Am I aware that I regularly do this?
Made in the image of God, yet time after time I shame rather than honor him through my vessel made for dishonorable use, through my filthy, depressingly wretched, meanly selfish garments.

How long will you love vain words? Empty, worthless words. Words with no purpose.
How long will you seek after lies? Search out, specifically in worship or prayer, strive after. What was Eve striving after? What am I striving after? Do I even know? It seems that ignorance, deception, and illusion are the very effective tools of our oppressor.

Our inner self needs nurturing

Focused on externals, my basic physical matter, in which there is no soundness or health. For decades, I had no idea that it was my soul, my inner self that needed nurturing in order to live and breathe the Lord God’s commands, to discover and be who I really am.

Ps 50:17 – For you hate discipline, and you cast my words behind you. (ESV)

You hate discipline. Warning. Instruction. Restraint.
You throw my words away.
You don’t treasure my words.
You don’t know that in my word is life.

What is the purpose?

What is the Lord God’s purpose in making us vessels for both honored use and dishonorable use?

Prov 16:4 – The Lord has made everything for its purpose [for himself], even the wicked for the day of trouble. (ESV)

The Lord has made everything for its purpose [for himself]
Even the wicked for the day of trouble. The morally wrong, actively bad person, condemned, guilty, the ungodly who do wrong, disturb, violate, vex.3 The Lord God made us for the day of trouble.

Can we change ourselves from a vessel for dishonorable use to a vessel for honorable use? Can we change ourselves from a vessel of wrath to a vessel of mercy?

2 Tim 2:20-21 – Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. (ESV)

If anyone cleanses himself

Can we cleanse ourselves?

How do we cleanse ourselves from what is dishonorable, so we will be vessels for honorable use?

2 Tim 2:22-26 – So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. (ESV)

God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth

For decades I missed the point. I focused on externals, my basic physical matter, to flee and pursue in order to make myself pure and good and right and faithful and peaceful. But it wasn’t these characteristics that I was supposed to work to produce in myself. I was supposed to pursue the one who is by nature all of these! The one who is able to purify my heart, for I, vessel of wrath, couldn’t change my heart. I couldn’t heal its wounds. I couldn’t correct its sight or hearing or understanding.

1 Cor 1:30 – He [Lord God] is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption. (ESV)

In Christ: fixed position in place, time or state, and by implication instrumentality, medially or constructively, a relation of rest.4

In Christ

What a difference this little tidbit of knowledge has made for me! In Christ.

Prov 16:4-6 – The Lord has made everything for its purpose [for himself], even the wicked for the day of trouble. Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished. By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil. (ESV)

The Lord has made everything for its purpose [for himself]
Even the wicked for the day of trouble.
Even me for the day of trouble.

I could not comprehend that the Lord God intentionally setting me up for failure and trouble was a loving or kind act. That made no sense to me. I resented that he would intentionally treat me so shabbily.

Everyone who is arrogant, proud, haughty

I never thought of myself as being arrogant, but that is the natural state of the vessel of wrath. What other word can you use to describe someone who calls the Lord God, their Creator/Potter, into question and judges him and his ways to be wrong? What other word can you use for someone who is independent, self-reliant, determined to accomplish for themselves, in their own way, what can only be achieved through intimate connection and understanding? In Christ.

Everyone who is arrogant, proud, haughty

Is an abomination to the Lord. Morally disgusting. An abhorrence; especially idolatry.5

An abomination. An abhorrence. Idolatry.

Seeking and trusting a different god (myself). That was me, though I couldn’t see it, and didn’t know it. The vessel of wrath. The vessel made for dishonorable use, the one who turned the Lord God’s honor into shame.

Everyone who is arrogant, proud, haughty
Is an abomination to the Lord.
He will not go unpunished.

I have not gone unpunished. Today, I am so grateful for that! For the Lord God’s idea of punishment is not about retribution.

Punished. To be or make clean literally or figuratively. To be bare, i.e. extirpated. Pulled up by the roots, destroy or remove completely; exterminate; abolish.6

Punish. Exterminate the vessel of wrath. Remove completely the vessel for dishonorable use. Make clean my filthy, depressingly wretched, meanly selfish garments.

How does the Lord God punish?

By steadfast love
Mercy, kindness
By faithfulness
Truth, stability, certainty, trustworthiness

By steadfast love and faithfulness
Iniquity, moral perversity
Is atoned for
Is purged.

Purged. To cover; make amends or reparation for wrongdoing or guilt; to pay the penalty of; suffer for; cleanse; forgive; pardon; make reconciliation.7

Make reconciliation.

I have come to appreciate and respect the Lord God because he has shown his wrath and made his power known to me through my pain and suffering. His punishment is truly kindness as he pulls up by the roots and destroys every selfish thing in me that separates me from him.

This, I think, is why the Lord God, Creator/Potter, made me both a vessel for honorable use and for dishonorable use! It’s only when the vessel of wrath is destroyed, and I’m brought to the end of myself, who I think is me, that I begin to crave intimate relationship with him. And I begin to discover who I really am, made in his image and likeness. And this is when he begins to satisfy my hungry, thirsty soul.

This is when my soul begins to cry, “When shall I come and appear before God?

This is when I hear him respond: Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Mt 11:28).

My Lord God’s attentive, unceasing kindness in exposing, baring, and cleansing me has set me on the path to becoming a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to my Master, and ready for every good work. I’m a work in process, resting in the capable hands of my Creator/Potter.

The Lord God has been in process of doing for me what I, vessel of wrath, cannot do for myself, purifying my heart; granting me repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth.

1 Cor 5:7-8 – Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (ESV)

Cleanse, purge out the old leaven, the ferment, the excitement or agitation, so that you may be a new lump, a new mix of solid with liquid. Or perhaps so that you may be a new lump, a new mix of matter and Spirit.

Rom 8:13-14 – For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. (ESV)

As you really are

As you really are unleavened, uncorrupted. You really are revealed. Uncovered. Disclosed.

For Christ
Our Passover lamb
Has been sacrificed
Let us therefore celebrate
Not with the old leaven (old way of life)
Malice. Badness. Depravity. Trouble. Essential character intrinsically worthless. Degeneracy from original virtue.8
Evil. Hurtful in effect or influence. Ill, diseased, morally deserving blame.9

Christ, our Passover lamb
Has been sacrificed
Let us therefore celebrate
With the unleavened bread
Christ Jesus
Sincerity
Truth

Sincerity. Clearness. Purity. Judged by sunlight, i.e. tested as genuine.10

Truth. True, as not concealing; to no longer lie hidden, often unwittingly.11

Eph 4:21-24 – If you really listened to him [Christ Jesus/Messiah] and were instructed about him, then you learned that since what is in Yeshua is truth, then, so far as your former way of life is concerned, you must strip off your old nature, because your old nature is thoroughly rotted by its deceptive desires; and you must let your spirits and minds keep being renewed, and clothe yourselves with the new nature created to be godly, which expresses itself in the righteousness and holiness that flow from the truth. (CJB)

How has the Lord God been purifying my heart, purging out the old leaven?

Ps 12:6 – The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times. (ESV)

The words of the Lord are the words of the one who is wise, whose tongue brings healing. The words of the Lord have become my gentle teacher. The pure words of the Lord are the vehicle he’s used to grant me repentance and lead me to a knowledge of the truth. The Lord God has placed in me a passion for his words. His words have uprooted lie after lie. I’m beginning to believe that I really am unleavened. Uncorrupted. It’s just that there’s still so much hidden and not yet revealed so I continue, from time to time, to fall for the lie that I am dishonorable, worthless and useless, and then I act and react from the filthy, depressingly wretched, meanly selfish garments of my vessel of wrath.

O, Lord God, let me not love empty, worthless, purposeless words. Let me not search out, strive after lies in worship and prayer to false gods. Rather:

Ps 19:14 – Let the sayings of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, Be for a pleasing thing before Thee, O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer! (YLT)

Ps 18:30 – This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield [protector] for all those who take refuge [confide] in him. (ESV)

Interact with the words of Scripture through deep, careful study.

Then move beyond logic and reason; move from head to heart; from matter to spirit.

Meditate. Experience the word of Scripture bodily by moaning, growling, uttering, speaking aloud each word, syllable by syllable. Experience the words of Scripture expressing the longing and desire and hope in the depth of your own soul. Become acquainted with your longing. Anticipate that your soul’s longing will be satisfied, its hunger will be filled with good things, and it will be healed and made complete again. Let the inspired word of God arouse feelings of awe.

2 Cor 13:14 – the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, [is] with you all! Amen. (YLT)

Contemplate. Sit quietly without thinking, without murmuring. Simply be. Become conscious of your companions.

Stay in this place of rest and fellowship for as long as you can.

When finished, select just one word or phrase and carry it with you all day, thinking about it, murmuring it, holding it, treasuring it. Let it soak deep into your soul. Tomorrow, meditate on the entire text again. Select the same word or phrase or a different one to carry with you all day, thinking about it, murmuring it, holding it, treasuring it. Do this practice every day. Let God’s Word begin to fill your soul with good things.

I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you, I attentively watch how you’ve done it. I relish everything you’ve told me of life, I won’t forget a word of it. (Ps 119:15-16 MSG)

 

But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. (Job 32:8)

I encourage you to look for ways and practices to help you become aware of Holy Spirit and to relinquish all that you have and all that you are to Holy Spirit’s convicting, enlightening, restorative ministrations.

A practice that has been life-changing for me comes from Psalm 46:10.

Ps 46:10 – “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (ESV)

Be still.
It’s a paradox.
Be still. A state of being. Am. Is. Stay, remain as in was, were.
It’s a process of letting go in order to rediscover Life that was forfeited.
It’s a process of ceasing, stopping, to be destroyed, and dying in order to be redeemed.
It’s a process of abandoning and neglecting in order to be healed and made whole.

It’s a process of opposing, contending, and striving in order to give up, renounce, leave, and abandon self-interest that is death, forfeiture of Life.

It’s a process of becoming weak, feeble, to be wept over in order to return to the original Life that was forfeited, but is bought back by the only One who has Life in himself.

Be still, consequently
Know

Know, not in the sense of accumulating facts and figures, receiving answers about what to do to get a good life, but know as in relationship. Know as in Being. Awareness, consciousness, discernment, recognition, acquaintance, familiar friend, feel, perceive, have respect, have understanding, instruction, presence, fellowship.

Be still.

Letting the vessel of wrath prepared for destruction go in order to know the riches of God’s glory for vessels of mercy.

2 Peter 3:18 – But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (ESV)

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