HAVE YOU TOLD HIM LATELY?

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HAVE YOU TOLD HIM LATELY?

In 1964, Simon and Garfunkel released the following words.

“Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again”

Yes, The Sound of Silence. Did you know that the song actually flopped when it was first released? In fact it flopped so badly, the duo split up; and it was not until the song picked up airtime and got popular in 1965 that they got back together again to perform it and capitalize on its success. My point? I’ll get to that in a while. But first, let us look at the words.

Been upset by something lately? Paid attention to how it developed? It first starts out as a bad thought. Perhaps a ridiculous and laughable one even. But slowly, if we entertain that thought, the thought becomes and idea, the idea triggers a memory, the memory evokes an emotion, the emotion results in physiological manifestations like sweating and heart palpitations, and then we get upset. Sounds a bit like this, doesn’t it?

“Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted
In my brain still remains
Within the sound of silence”

And if we are not careful, if we do not stop this process and nip it in the bud, this will happen.

“In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
'Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of
A neon light that split the night
And touched the sound of silence”

If we walk with the guilt, if we walk with the pain, if we walk with the condemnation, the more we walk, the more alone we feel, the darker the world gets around us, till even a neon light can pierce our eyes. That is how dark Satan’s condemnation is.

But what is worse is, the thought does not stop. It grows, it multiplies, it compounds till suddenly you find yourself watching re-runs of every single cause of guilt and shame in your life; every single reason for you to feel condemned playing right there before your eyes; even events you thought you had buried with the sands of time are suddenly as real to you as it was when it happened.

And now my point. When we are first caught in the sound of our own silence, when Satan stands at our right hand to accuse us, things start to look bleak. But just like it happened for Simon and Garfunkel, give Jesus time with our situation and He will turn things around for our good; and this is why we can have confidence that He will always come through for us.

“He was despised and rejected and forsaken by men, a Man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief and sickness; and like One from Whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or have any esteem for Him.” Isaiah 53:3 [AMPC]

Did the episode make you feel despised? Did the memory leave you feeling rejected? Beloved, Jesus acquainted Himself with grief and sickness; He knew what it felt like to be despised and rejected.

“He was oppressed, [yet when] He was afflicted, He was submissive and opened not His mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth.” Isaiah 53:7 [AMPC]

When you took a walk with your guilt, you went down a lonely cobbled street. But when Jesus was led to His slaughter, He had a big heavy cross on His back and what must have been an infinitely heavier burden on His heart.

And to top it all off, while your guilt was most probably the result of your own doing, Jesus suffered because

“…it was the will of the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief and made Him sick.” Isaiah 53:10 [AMPC]

Can you imagine being made to suffer by your own father, who is not only omnipotent, you know he loves you deeply and dearly? Words cannot even begin to describe Jesus’ walk with the ‘sounds of silence’ that were not even His.

Yet, it was not for sport that our Father did that to Jesus. Indeed,

“When You and He make His life an offering for sin [and He has risen from the dead, in time to come], He shall see His [spiritual] offspring, He shall prolong His days, and the will and pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
“He shall see [the fruit] of the travail of His soul and be satisfied; by His knowledge of Himself [which He possesses and imparts to others] shall My [uncompromisingly] righteous One, My Servant, justify many and make many righteous (upright and in right standing with God), for He shall bear their iniquities and their guilt [with the consequences, says the Lord].
“Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great [kings and rulers], and He shall divide the spoil with the mighty, because He poured out His life unto death, and [He let Himself] be regarded as a criminal and be numbered with the transgressors; yet He bore [and took away] the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors (the rebellious).” Isaiah 53:10-12 [AMPC]

Jesus suffered to TAKE AWAY your sins, your iniquities, your guilt, along with all their consequences, so that you can be justified before our Father, be righteous, upright and in right standing with God. So that is why Isaiah said,

“Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.” Isaiah 53:4-5 [AMPC]

So, a question for you then, beloved child of God. If Jesus has TAKEN AWAY our sins and guilt, and along with them, all of their consequences; why are we still walking along with our ‘sounds of silence’? Read it carefully again. They have been TAKEN AWAY. Removed. In fact, this is how eloquently our Father put it.

“For a mere moment I have forsaken you,
But with great mercies I will gather you.
With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment;
But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,”
Says the Lord, your Redeemer.
“For this is like the waters of Noah to Me;
For as I have sworn
That the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth,
So have I sworn
That I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you.
For the mountains shall depart
And the hills be removed,
But My kindness shall not depart from you,
Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,”
Says the Lord, who has mercy on you.” Isaiah 54:7-10

Our Father forsook Jesus so that with great mercies He can gather us. With a little wrath He hid His face from Jesus so that with everlasting kindness, He can have mercy on us. For as He has sworn, His peace shall never be removed from us. So why are we still walking with our ‘sounds of silence’?

The devil will continue to sift us like wheat and sin will continue to crouch at our door and have its desire for us. That is just how the world is for now, until Jesus comes again to set things right. But that does not mean that we need to let the devil take us down the street with our guilt and shame. Because they are not ours anymore. They have been TAKEN AWAY by Jesus.

Instead, when the devil comes to us again in the guise of Simon and Garfunkel, might I suggest that we turn away from him and instead look to Jesus and belt out Rod Stewart.

“Have I told you lately that I love you?
Have I told you there's no one else above you?
Fill my heart with gladness, take away all my sadness
Ease my troubles, that's what you do”

Because that is exactly what Jesus has already done for us.

Beloved, the devil knows he cannot get us with anything new. That is why our troubles always revolve around the same old things. For us, the beloved children of God, the devil only has access to our past video reels; and once in a while, he will pop one in the player and remind us of what a wretch we have been. But when he does, we can stare that very same episode in the face and say to it, “Removed by Jesus.”

Because that is exactly what has happened.

From now on, no more walking down cobbled streets with your old friend pain. Turn to Jesus and remind yourself just how much He loves you. So beloved, have you told Him lately that you love Him?

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