Let them understand the pattern

Throughout this past week, I’ve been steeped in thinking of patterns and pieces and things fitting together and how God creatively and masterfully gathers pieces of our lives from here and there — new and old — and fits them together according to His pattern.

Ezekiel 43.10-11  Thou son of man, show this house to the house of Israel that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and let them understand the pattern. And if they are ashamed of all that they have done, show them the form of the house, and its pattern, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all its figures, and all its descriptions, and all its paintings, and all its laws; and write it in their sight that they may keep the whole form thereof and all the ordinances thereof and do them.

It’s interesting how we all tend to, at once, demand and reject patterns and forms.  I was thinking about this earlier when I was mulling over different forms and patterns I’ve used through the years for quiet time and Bible study.  Using forms, we might find ourselves feeling spiritually dry and quiet times might seem to become rote performances — then we might seek to be free from form and we may find ourselves floundering and then possibly ignoring the Word or prayer.  Seasons of these cycles repeat and we often find ourselves looking for the old ways… what was I doing, saying, thinking, reading, etc., etc., when I was daily walking with the Lord?  What gave me faith, understanding and trust?  What pattern had the Lord worked in my life?

The following is not meant to be a “form” per se, but as I read passages of Scripture and come to a portion that arrests my attention in some way or another, I have in mind any one, or many, of these questions.

  • is there a praise I can give the Lord?
  • is there a trespass I need to confess and restore?
  • is there a sin issue to confess and repent?
  • is there a promise I can claim as my own?
  • is there a command for me to obey?
  • is there a blessing for me to remember?
  • is there a failure from which I can learn?
  • is there a victory for me to seek to win?
  • is there a new understanding of God, of the Lord Jesus, of the work of the Holy Spirit?
  • is there a new understanding about the presence and schemes of the devil or of lies I might tend to believe?
  • is there an action of any sort I need to take?
  • These sorts of questions make the living Word the Word living in my life.  It is by faith in Jesus and through the Holy Spirit illuminating the Word of God I gain understanding.  As I wrote about yesterday: How is it that you do not understand? I must ask myself this question when my thoughts are not in line with the Word or when I question what the Lord is doing (or not doing) in my life.  I must realize that it’s not God who’s not working or present or speaking — it’s me not listening or trusting or following Him in faith — it’s me not continuing in the patter He’s given me.  And, above all that, I must remember that it’s not my faith that gives me understanding, it’s His faith working in me that gives me understanding… it’s His Word living in me that gives me understanding.Psalm 119.104  Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.

    Proverbs 4.5  Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
    Proverbs 4.7  Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
    Proverbs 16.16  How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!

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