I absolutely love my wife, Karen. We have been married more than 38 years and we have experienced life together. And I love her! I love her with all my heart! I tell her everyday how much I love her. And I have no trouble telling the world that I love her. Because I love her, I protect her. And together we protect our relationship and our intimacy. You see no matter how much I love her, there are some things I will never tell you about the relationship I share with her – because its those things that make our relationship special and ours alone.
John 2:5 (NKJV) His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”
This was a very clear exhortation by Mary, Jesus earthly mother, to His disciples. You and I have likely had similar exhortations from the Holy Spirit through earthly vessels like Mary. Over the last several weeks I have felt the direction of the Lord. I know He has a task He wants me to do and complete. But there is a difficulty. I didn’t pray it through. That is, I failed to get the fullness of my Lord’s direction before I shared the directive with others. So when I shared with others they began to ask questions and give advice. I, in turn, began to consider their advice and try to answer their questions. In the process I became confused, frustrated, and I even questioned whether I had heard the Lord. So, what to do? I’m shutting every other well meaning person down on this subject and I’m waiting on God alone. When I have peace in my heart about the mission, I’ll obey.
I value the input of others. I trust in the counsel of many. But there are times when what we all need most is to hear God and God alone. Life is complicated enough. We don’t need to scramble God’s directives with too much well-intended advice from our brothers and sisters.
Faithfulness is at times a road less traveled. It’s a road cluttered with both godly and ungodly distractions. To be faithful requires something of me. I’m faithful to my wife. That means no one else is allowed into the intimacy I share with her. At times I’ve sought advice from people wiser than me about the subject of marriage. But I’ve always safeguarded my relationship with Karen. Yet, any real marriage is carried out in a very public forum. My love for my wife is expressed in both places – in private and in public – but our intimacy is never betrayed, compromised or made public.
My relationship with my Lord is quite similar. It has a public expression and a private expression. Many Christians experience difficulty when they are unfaithful to this concept. Certainly Jesus loves you. Certainly His plan is for you to be involved with other people in the body of Christ. But never forget, there are some things that must simply be held in your heart between you and your Lord unless and until He releases you to share them.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, understood this concept quite well. She knew when to tell others something about Jesus (“Whatever He says to you, do it.”) and when to hold these things to herself. Look what she did when the angel told her she would conceive and bear the Son of God:
Luke 2:19 (NKJV) But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.
Sometimes when God tells us something, its really for our ears only. And sometimes we must tell others. Just as in a good marriage, we should understand what we should share, when we should share it, and with whom we share it – and what will never be shared with others because it really is just between you and your Lord.