Tuesday, January 5, 2016
It's a scene we've all witnessed.
A church filled with precious people.
Row after row.
Nodding in full agreement to the preacher....
Yet, internally we're experiencing a crippling ache of loneliness, a raging force of anger, a heavy chain of emotional strongholds, a toxic form of thinking, a paralization of fear, a deep rooted pain of the past and a profound disconnect from the very God being worshiped that Sunday morning.
Have you ever been there? I have... But why?
Why the disconnect from an intimacy so profound, so deep, so penetrating, so liberating, so transformational from a God who promised to never leave or forsake? From a Savior who gave up His life to be beaten, whipped, mocked, and nailed to a tree so that we no longer have to be identified by our past sins & current failures? So that we can be FREE from the power & influence of the enemies tactics of temptation & torment through habitual sin? Why the disconnect?
"Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially THE sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us."
(Heb 12 1-2)
Could this be the answer?
Could it be that we each have a "THE-sin?"
A specific "the-sin" that so easily trips us up?
A specific "the-sin" that is habitual?
A specific "the-sin" that has become part of our every day life?
A specific "the-sin" that resides in the secret place of our soul?
Where mine looks different than yours and yours looks different than theirs?
Where the enemy of our soul uses it to steal, kill and destroy our dependency and life-giving intimacy from our Healer, Remedy, Cure and Answer to this life?
Secrets. There's a simplicity to the word and yet the enormity of its potential to destroy is anything but simple.
R- releasing the
T- tactics in the
The-secret sin seeks to break the bond of intimacy with God.
The-secret sin chains us to a life of bondage.
The-secret sin prevents us from living out the purpose and plan pre-destined by God.
The-secret sin never fails to leak out onto those we love in numerous ugly ways.
The-secret sin puts a thick barrier between ourselves and the very power of the name Jesus Christ.
Is this a familiar scene?.....
A relationship may appear innocent to others- but the toxic enmeshment, immortality, codependency and idolatry is kept secret.
The new items bought may look good- but the purchase to fill an internal emptiness is kept secret.
The well stocked pantry may appear harmless- but the reliance on food as a counterfeit form of comfort is kept secret.
The computer sitting in the home office may serve as a helpful family tool- but the pornographic visuals seen when no one is around is kept secret.
The wine on the counter for guests and the occasional glass for dinner may appear innocent- but the use to gain a fabricated-confidence is kept secret.
A friendship with a sister in Christ may appear loving- but the bitter root of jealousy within the heart is kept secret.
The grueling hours and busyness of the day may appear noble- but the hunger to prove worth and value to the world is kept secret.
Running a ministry, leading a bible study &/or serving at church may appear Godly- but the deep internal ache driving the servant heart is kept secret.
The marriage union portrayed to others may appear perfect- but the brokenness, betrayal and pain within the marriage union is kept secret.
The internet games and hours on social media may appear culturally acceptable- but the craving to be known is kept secret.
God has not called us to a life of perfection, but that of a life refusing to operate from secrecy.
A life where we genuinely, repeatedly, daily, boldly, confessionally bring to Him our battle scars. Our hidden agendas. Our wrongful motives. Our unforgiving heart. Our idolatry. Our toxic thoughts. Our harmful assumptions. Our "the-sin."
Where the song of our heart pleads to Him each morning:
"Search me, God, and know my heart.
Test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you.
And lead me along Your path of life."
(Psalm 139 23,24)
And it's here, and only here, that His power to free us from that which the enemy intended to imprison us, is released into the inner most corners of our being.
Where "THE-sin" which was planted by our enemy to destroy, God used, at the moment of our decision to surrender, to become our purpose and plan.
Jesus has paid the price for our secret "the-sin" and shame. He died so that we no longer have to live in secrecy- but in the fullness, security, acceptance of complete surrender. Where nothing is hidden before Him. Where I am raw, vulnerable, exposed and loved- not because of perfection& absence of sin, but because of surrender to my imperfections& sin.
The opposite of secrecy is surrender
The late Brennan Manning once said:
"I am utterly convinced that on judgement day the Lord Jesus will ask one question and only one question. Did you believe that I loved you? That I desired you? That I waited day after day for you? That I longed to hear the sound of your voice?"
The (surrendered) believers will respond and say "Yes Father, I believed in Your love and I tried to shape my life in response to it."
But many of us who are so faithful in our ministry or practices in our church are going to answer, "Frankly, no Sir. I never really believed it."
And there is the difference of the surrendered believers and the nominal christians.
No one like a surrendered believer can measure the depth and intensity of Gods love.
Jesus comes to the chair we are in and says I have a word for you: "I know everything. I know every skeleton in your closet, every moment of sin and shame, dishonesty and past. I know your shallow faith and your feeble prayer life, your inconsistent discipleship- and my word to you is "I DARE YOU TO TRUST THAT I LOVE YOU- just as you are, not as you should be. Because none of us are as we should be."