“It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings to search things out.”
Notice this verse does not say “It is the delight of God to conceal things…” There is a difference which we’ll uncover, but first, let me tell you a story.
I had felt Him calling me to go for a prayer walk all morning. And there was something on my mind I wanted to ask, but I was avoiding bringing it up. Not like God didn’t already know.
Sometime in the night before, I woke up with a beautiful song running through my mind, ending in a call to pray. I knew I was going for a drive in the country when my alarm went off and would have plenty of chance to walk and pray then, so I fell back to sleep.
At daybreak, I found a little café a ways out and sat down with my breakfast burrito and hot tea. The sun had not yet risen and it was chilly! Chilly enough, I had to bounce inside and outside to photograph and finish my bible reading. My journaling began like this “Dear God, you’ve called me to pray this morning instead of my normal read and journal…” There it was; I was writing down exactly what I wasn’t doing, and almost followed it with a reason why. Clearly, I was hoping writing out the prayer would be just as well. Instead, my mind wandered so that I ended up writing and stewing over another issue bothering me. I still hadn’t asked my request.
Still journaling, I started to contemplate ‘out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.’ My mouth wasn’t going but my pen was. It reminded me of the time Moses struck the rock for fresh water instead of speaking to it as the Lord had commanded. I don’t want to sound silly! I argued inside.
Do you ever get that inclination to be calculated and sure of your asking before going to the Lord in prayer?
After all, I’d asked for and prayed over other things that had not been granted (as I knew them to be) and my heart, though it understood God is good all the time, felt a little raw. My silence to voice what God already knew was on my mind was only hurting myself.
“God, if you were here in the flesh,” I sighed wistfully, looking out the window, “I’d go walking with you around that little pond- it’s cold out there- but just to spend time with you.” That was when I realized I’d had one of those “no filter” moments when you open mouth, insert foot. How embarrassing. Of course, God was there. Ever present, never failing. Yet I had made a differentiation. I wanted to sit in my warm café, snuggled with my tea and ask Him to move mountains without moving seats myself.
So, I got with the program. My last fifteen minutes before heading into work, I reluctantly strayed outside around the little pond. “Dear God,” I breathed behind my coat collar, “what did you want me to know? Why have you asked me to go on this walk?” The rising sun danced on the waters and smiled a golden smile. “God, thank you for the people in my life… thank you for bringing me to Colorado… I’m confused. What are you telling me?” The breeze fanned a stray hair against my cheek. I felt God’s presence there.
“Ask” he said.
“Ask?” I queried. “You wanted me to come out here to ask?” Then my father, Matthew’s, wise words drifted through my mind, God doesn’t steer parked cars. “Oh,” I smirked.
I sensed God smile and then He whispered something that brought tears to my eyes. “I delight to give you the desires of your heart. I don’t play games with you; I am your fiercest lover.”
I stopped dead in my tracks, the wet tears freezing my face. With no second thought, I voiced my request. “…but, I want your will.” I ended. I snapped a couple last photos of the pond before leaving for work. My heart was lighter.
God didn’t answer my pray how I expect that day. But, I know He heard. And I know he took the opportunity to reaffirm his unsurpassable glory and delight in me. No coincidence my name means “the father’s joy.”
God was right. He doesn’t play games with us. “It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings to search things out.”
The word “glory” in Proverbs 25:2 is a noun. It’s not a verb. God is not playing hide and seek with our emotions or raising his eyebrows at our level of faith. It’s not a pass or fail test. Many of us still think this way. We think we will gain the delight of the Father when we finally discover his ways.
That word “glory” describes Who He is because, as you know, a noun is a person, place or thing.” Delight,” on the other hand, is a verb. God does because he is so. Glory is part of His nature. Glory is part of what we become when we find him and because it is He who lives within us. “By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.” 1 John 4:13
My encouragement to you would be this: don’t wait like I did. Voice your gratitude, your concerns, and your desires to Him, unfiltered. Just say it. If, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, then sometimes, it may be we are afraid to speak because we don’t want to know what’s in our heart. The only way to change that is to be honest. God is going to give you his best, for its literally HIS GLORY he’ll give you.
God is your fiercest lover.
P.S. It was only later that night that I realized the photo I had snapped captured the perfect impression of a cross.