Canaries and Stool Pigeons (For the Birds part 6)

Coal: mine

"Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts." (Isaiah 6:5)

It isn't until you actually see the Lord that you begin to glimpse your—or in the case of me myself, mine—sinfulness. The above verse is Isaiah relating his vision of the throne room. More than enough to get one to stop what they're doing and take notice of God's holiness. God is more than good to both show you your (my) sin and shortcoming and also to cleanse you of it.

"And when [the Holy Spirit] is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me....and He will show you things to come." (John 16:8-9,13b)

Observe, obverse

Sometimes—and I'm being completely serious—you get to be the canary in the coal mine. That little yellow bird whose untimely demise would in turn save the lives of the miners down there with it. Makes me wonder though, would it be such a bad way to go? I mean, who wants to be down there in the bowels of the earth anyway? Digging for gold and treasure. It's like you trade one type of cage or enclosure for another. Because with spiritual atmospheres, God would have you be so in step with Him that you are in turn attuned to the subtle shifts that herald either forthcoming revival or anything God would put a cap on as not in keeping with His plan. This is what I mean when I say you're the canary. And I can guarantee you, at the risk of seeming crazy to everyone else, you may well be the only one who sees what's going on spiritually.

"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." (Philippians 1:21)

"For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept: then had I been at rest. With kings and counsellors of the earth, which built desolate places for themselves; or with princes that had gold, who filled their houses with silver: Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light. There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest." (Job 3:13-17)

Report, retort

The parallel I'm seeing here is that of remaining where you are for the Lord, as the evil slowly tries to encroach and creep and seep in. To so shine for God (canaries are yellow, after all) that, rather than keel over from asphyxiation, you actually begin to affect the atmosphere in spite of it. To stop it if that's what He wants you to do. Because it's one thing to dispassionately bring to God what you see. It's quite another to pass judgment on it as you observe. And it's nearly impossible without the help of the Holy Spirit to both be in an atmosphere that conflicts with your spiritual constitution and then remain loving and kind in spite of it. Not in spite of the people, mind you, but the darkness and dust. The imperative is to pray. To sing. Not to tattle or silently condemn or hole up in an enclosure of your own making to the neglect of those around you. The Lord will keep you alive as He shines through you.

 "Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God." (1 Corinthians 4:5)

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Psalm 119:105)


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