Power of obscurity
Updated: Aug 11, 2019
Dear saints, I trust that the Lord had been blessing and protecting you. We have a desire to be seen, heard and followed. Even the most reclusive among us would identify with that sentiment to some extent. But is being in the spotlight always good? Does a child of God need to be the center of the universe to effectively serve the Lord? Are saints who live in relative obscurity useful in God’s kingdom? I’d like for us explore these issues today.
Please turn with me to just one verse, Psalm 134:1. The verse exhorts us the royal Priests (1 Peter 2:9) of the Most High God who are ministering to the Lord at night to praise and extol the Lord. Notice anything peculiar about that verse? It reads “who minister by night”. Who exactly is the Priest ministering to at night with no one around? You see saints our ministry primarily is unto the Lord Himself. That we minister salvation and sanctification to feed the sheep (John 21:17) is a result of our ministry to the Lord and not its cause. In other words, just like the lonely Priest in the Temple in Jerusalem at night, so we primarily offer prayers and minister to the Lord and all other ministries to the masses flow from it. Something else stands out from that verse. The Priest not only has anyone to minister to at night, he also doesn’t have anyone to witness or appreciate what he is doing! Just imagine what a drag it’d be to minister and have no proof for the same or receive any rewards. Priests who minister in such total obscurity receive their praise and reward from the Most High God Himself (Matthew 6:4-6). We should do and be likewise saints.
Let’s look at some examples from the life of the Lord Jesus Himself. Jesus was heralded as the Messiah when He rode victoriously into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday (Matthew 21:9), but then just a week later the same crowd demanded His crucifixion and Barabbas’s release (Luke 23:21)! The Lord knew better than to trust fickle and unstable human praise (John 5:41). In just one week, Jesus went from being an instant celebrity to an obscure outcast. When Christ was crucified, how many disciples did He have? The answer is none (Matthew 26:56). Even in such obscurity and pain, Christ was able to declare triumphantly that God’s work of redemption was finished (John 19:30). What was a monumental disaster from man’s point of view was a enormous success from God’s point of view.
This day and age of internet churches and mega religion, it’s easy to be caught up in the glitz and glamor of things. Being in the spotlight is encouraged by current trends and electronic culture. In reality, most of God’s work is done in relative mundaneness and obscurity. An obscure Nazarene shunned all attention, praise and rewards and toiled for God and is now exalted to the highest heavens (Acts 2:36, 5:30). What are we seeking today saints? Popularity and to be in the spotlight or relative obscurity where only God can see what we do and reward us? I hope it’s the latter.
Have a good week saints