A blog about everything about teaching the Bible. "And still I will show you a more excellent way..." (1 Corinthians 12:31).
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The influence certain sinful people and their practices have had on society over the last several decades is apparent when we think of phrases like “in the closet.” Most of us are well aware that I’m not talking about where you hang your coat. The early church was so influential on society that, slowly, certain formerly secular terms came to mean to everybody else what they meant to the church—repentance for instance. Also, things that are not necessarily spiritual in nature came to be named after the church, since the church practiced those things. For instance, vocal music without the accompaniment of musical instruments isn’t necessarily spiritual. Think of barber shop quartets, school choruses, etc. However, the term we use to describe vocal music is accapella, which is simply Latin for “church style.” You can tell how influential a group is over society by how widely its language comes to be used, and whether society at large gives such language legitimacy.
With this in mind I want to encourage us (the church) to begin exercising the power God has given us to influence the world (Daniel 7:18, 22, 27; Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 4:20; 2 Corinthians 6:7, 10:4, 12:9; Ephesians 1:19; 2 timothy 1:7, 3:5) to redeem the language people use every day. In Matthew 6:6, Jesus said, “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” We need to be a people who are “in the closet” with God.
Jesus was stressing the importance of praying to God out of a sincere desire to be with and speak to him, rather than praying simply so that others will praise you for your spirituality. Whoever goes into his closet to pray, is praying to be seen (and heard) by God alone. The Lord’s body needs revival, and revival comes by the power of God through prayer. We need to become a people of prayer again. We need to be “in the closet” with God. From now on, in our language, let the phrase mean exactly that.