Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Why Are You Hiding? (Part 2)

Does this mean it’s alright for you to live a flawed life, a life without purpose? If that were true there would be no need for the word correction. The experience of Adam and Eve teaches us that hiding serves no useful purpose. It also teaches us that flaws come at a cost that must be paid. For Adam and Eve, God sacrificed the blood (life) of two animals to cover their nakedness. For each of us, it is the blood of Jesus Christ.

When I hide, I replace God (on the throne) with myself so that I can cover my weaknesses and flaws. Cosmetic surgery can enhance a woman’s face and body, but no amount of surgery can hide vanity and pride. They say, “Clothes make the man.”, but clothes can’t hide selfishness and greed.

Hiding your flaws simply means you’re a slave to the thinking and behavior that keeps you living in fear. I never like to hear someone point out my flaws. It means that I was unable to hide something about myself which I fear. I immediately feel the overwhelming need to justify why I am the way I am. I feel vindicated and relieved because it allows me to continue hiding. Who am I hiding from? I’m already exposed and I’m still trying to hide? Does that behavior even make sense?

I’m slowly learning to accept that I am a flawed person. I’m also learning to trust God and others with the truth about my flaws. This does not mean that I will live with my flaws and tell others, “That’s just me, deal with it!” It means I will use the biblical concept of Aram (aw-ram’) of standing before God and acknowledging my guilt, allowing God’s Holy Spirit to smooth the flaws (the rough edges of my life); both inside and outside. I no longer have to be afraid.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.5

I believe there are three benefits to being transparent instead of hiding in the shadows of deception:
  1. Liberation
  2. Peace
  3. Spiritual empowerment
There is liberation in being honest about myself because the truth sets us free from fear. Being transparent expels the fear about me, enabling me to understand that God really does know and love me as I am. Because I am known by God, I’m also forgiven. When I reach the place where I no longer am afraid, I can stand before God and others and not feel shame. The bible says,

God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.6

Fear robs us of power, love and a disciplined life. It also destroys our confidence. Fear and lack of confidence go hand-in-hand in distorting our identity and self-image; perverting who we are and how we see ourselves.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.7

The real measure of one’s confidence is in (and from) God. It is through our identification with Jesus Christ that we discover who we really are. We recognize the truth about God and our self. This instills confidence because we are liberated from our basic fear of God; realizing the truth that He is our Father.

A second benefit of spiritual transparency is peace.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand…8

Peace dispels the anxiety, worry and fears I had about my identity; in other words, who I am. I am growing in that truth and as a result experiencing a new found comfort with who I am. I begin to experience the calm guidance of the Holy Spirit in the same way that Peter did when he followed Jesus out onto the water.

But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.

And Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’

And He said, ‘Come!’ And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
9

Inner peace includes confidence in the Lord; allowing me to trust Him in every area of my life.

The third benefit of spiritual transparency is spiritual empowerment.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…10

The Greek word for power is dunamis (doo’-nam-is) which means force (literally or figuratively); specifically, it means, miraculous power. Dunamis comes from the root word dunamai (doo’-nam-ahee) which means, to be able or possible:--be able, can, could, may, might, be possible, be of power.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is (literally) the power of God resident in the believer. What does the power of God mean in my life? Literally, it is the inexhaustible power source which resurrects my life (spirit, soul and body) to live for God. I am empowered by God to live holy, honestly, truthfully and right before God and those whom I interact with. I am empowered to be a living example of Jesus Christ. It is not the Lord’s intent that I merely talk about Christ; I must honestly reflect Christ in my life. That is true power! It is a power which cannot be mimicked; it is only reflected from God through the believer.

Once I understand that I have liberation, peace and spiritual empowerment, I no longer need to be afraid and hide. I can reflect the life of Jesus Christ in my life and live a life of transparency. I am Aram (naked) before God, who is smoothing out the flaws of my life; both inside and outside.

I no longer need to hide.


Footnotes:
  1. Hebrews 4:16, NIV
  2. 2 Timothy 1:7, NASB
  3. Romans 12:3, NIV
  4. Romans 5:1, NIV
  5. Matthew 14:27-29, NASB
  6. Romans 1:16, NASB
References:
  1. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, By James B. Strong, S.T.D, LL.D., Riverside Book and Bible House, Iowa Falls, Iowa 50126
  2. Unger's Bible Dictionary, By Merrill F. Unger, Moody Press, Chicago
  3. The NIV Study Bible, Edited by Kenneth Barker, Donald Burdick, John Stek, Walter Wessel and Ronald Youngblood, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530, USA
  4. The Ryrie Study Bible (New American Standard Version), Edited by Charles C. Ryrie, Moody Publishers, Chicago, Illinois, ISBN 0-8024-8920-6

1 comments:

God's girl said...

I love it. Thanks for all your prayerful comments and encouragement:) Ah...to stand without fear and without shame before God... a beautiful thing.

It's easy for me to "hide" when my emotions are a wreck, so this post was very timely. Thanks:)

Heaven