The Bare Soul - October 24, 2010
Mining God's Secrets

The following is the message text and audio recording of a sermon titled "Mining God's Secrets" delivered to the homeless
at the Kansas City Rescue Mission Chapel on October 21 2010.

Mining God's Secrets - October 21, 2010

Deuteronomy 29:29 - The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.

The world watched with elation as 33 Chilean copper miners were pulled to freedom through a half mile mine shaft. The remarkable culmination of rescue and recovery was broadcast to millions throughout the world as they emerged from the dark hole which had been their unwilling home for the past two months. The joy of family members was evident as they emerged one by one. What a treasured day of restoration in mid-October 2010 as these men were reunited with those whom they doubted would ever see them again. While it is unclear at the time of this writing what exactly was the cause of the accident, it is probably safe to assume that a full understanding of what went wrong would be forever hidden if the miners had lost their lives. What might have been a secret, buried a half mile below the earth, will undoubtedly be revealed with the help of these men's testimonies.

Humans have been mining the earth for millennia, searching for valuable metals that lay on or beneath the surface of the earth. As early as Genesis 2:11 we read that gold was a prized metal that was abundant in the land of Havilah, which was in close proximity to the Garden of Eden. If man could not easily obtain these precious ores in streams or canyon walls, he soon learned that mining would often yield rich veins of these precious metals. However, with excavation came the danger that precludes digging large holes and caverns in the landscape. Often the risk was worth it if the pay out was sizable. At other times, men most certainly paid with their lives. In the spiritual sense, mining for precious "payloads" require a steep price of those who would seek out these secret treasures of God. The cost is a focused passion and a surrendered life to mine God's secrets. As stated, sometimes gems and precious metals are easily found on the surface, in creek or stream beds for instance. Both the California Gold Rush and the one in Alaska's Klondike 40 years later began because of rich finds of gold ore scattered throughout rivers and tributaries. Often, God will likewise allow us to find spiritual treasure right below our proverbial feet. Our spiritual eyes discern these treasures and we most gladly scoop them up and cherish them for what they are. However, it takes a man or woman of vision to discern where God's deeper secrets lie. That is the difference of being a mere son or daughter of God and allowing God to manifest our royalty as sons of the Majesty on high. Proverbs 25:2 tells us: It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.

As mentioned, a child of God must have the desire to go beyond scooping up an occasional spiritual "nugget" in plain sight if they are truly to know the deep things of God. And what are the deep things of God? King David and his son Solomon help us to understand the things we should desire to mine from the depths of God. In Psalm 25:14 David says:  The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him, and He will make them know His covenant. Simply put, what we should desire above all is the fear of the Lord because that is the very thing that will perfect us into God's image, sanctified for His glory (II Corinthians 7:1). Holiness, beloved, is God's aim for us both in this life and the one to come. (Hebrews 12:14) However, to learn the fear of the Lord we must first obtain the knowledge of who God is and what He has done for us. Solomon understood that vision and discernment come at a price. They are part of a strategy to continually beseech God for His "spiritual excavation" plans. He states:  For if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the LORD and discover the knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2:3-5) This king of Israel understood that in order to understand God, one must first see God with true "heart revelation". Another who saw God, both with his eyes and more importantly with his heart was Isaiah the son of Amoz. To see God, in all of His glory, as Isaiah the prophet did at his calling created a life totally surrendered to God. Even as the angel touched the prophet's lips with the burning coal from the alter, so God desires to touch all of our lives -- first with the revelation of who He is and secondly to purge us from our selfish ways (see Isaiah 6:1-8). The culmination of an encounter such as this is a fear of the Lord that will keep us forever focused on God and His desire for our lives.

God promises us through his prophet the gift of revelation if we will but seek Him. In Isaiah 45:3, the Lord says: I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden wealth of secret places, so that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name. Just as those in Chile and millions around the world waited for the revealing of those trapped miners, so the Lord longs that we too would wait with the same expectancy for His treasures to be revealed in our lives. However, we must act with deliberateness and patience as we seek God's perfect plan. To extract God's treasures means we must be willing to sell out to God only, to compromise not, and to act with passion and vision (Matthew 13:44). When we seek God and value Him with all our heart, then we are sure to find His most precious  revelation -- a vision of Himself. How those miners must have felt when they once again walked upon this earth, filling their senses once again with life! That, beloved, is what the Almighty desires for each of us, that we have spiritual eyes to see all the wealth He has given to us in His Son. However, we must, seek it, mine it, and then treasure it for us to truly experience the depths of His riches. May we all seek Him as the treasure He is!

Heavenly Father, help us to be miners for Your hidden treasures. Help us to cry for understanding, wisdom and discernment until we too are perfected in holiness by the fear of the Lord. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

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