“The Truth About Hiding” “When we have dealt with the core of our shame only then will sin become powerless.”
It is my only desire to truly find where we stand with our Father. Not in the sense of our position in purity or righteousness but at the core of one’s identity there is a question firmly wrapped up in this curiosity about who He really is, and who he says I am. In the journey to understanding our intimate belonging, just what is it that Abba expects from us? To become hidden from love is the product of shame, we see this in the garden of Eden and have for all time since. Adam and Eve become deceived by the serpent we all know the story, but as the Father walks through the garden pining for his creation with a sense of loss and despair, we see these words penned in Genesis,
“But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, and I hid ” (Genesis 3:12)
Isn’t it interesting that the very first response from man to His father in a position of deception was to hide, (needing to remember that at this point sin was not a thing? If we translate this into our modern culture Christianity we would see this same response riddled throughout the church, a culture of performance Christianity without any reality to do with how we are actually going. These days we find it offensive if someone shares from the stage about their struggle with Lust or anger, and ultimately their brokenness. In fact, we have become so cautious with showing our own mess that perhaps we have even deceived ourselves of the truth.
“We have managed to implement the first sign of disbelief in Gods love toward us into our ministries, by allowing our own hidden shame to dictate the terms of how we do relationship with God and others, never allowing our mess to be seen and therefore never truly dealing with its effects in our lives and to those around us”.
Paul, the great apostle, may have put it like this “Thinking more then we ought of ourselves” (Romans 12:3) Presenting ourselves to be of a different level to others. This is deception at its finest. Although mostly unintentional, using the very beginning of sin which in reality is really simply put, “Hiding”. We have created an unspoken ministry rule that we can’t possibly be vulnerable with our people or more importantly our friends. There cannot be a time for sharing our mess because we have to lead our congregations in the ways of righteousness. We call it wisdom! While in fact, we trap everyone else into the same prison which is the original deception, we feel this while we hide, “Fake,” living out this life of an impostor screaming for freedom from ourselves while presenting perfection. This sounds curiously familiar to the actions of that of the Pharisees. I am not saying it is so. However, I do feel it be a question that we should all face in this end time generation. Jesus puts it like this, and in our impostor state or our act, we all fall into this category.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness (Matthew 23:27)
Ultimately remaining hidden looks like mistrust toward the loving nature that we believe God has toward us. I want to share this thought with you from a book I am reading by Brennan Manning while we take a moment to reflect on who we really believe the father is. Facing our own hiddenness looks like dealing with our misconceived beliefs.
“Have you grappled with the core question of your faith, which is not ‘is Jesus like God?’ but ‘Is God Jesus-like?’ do you comprehend that all the Attitudes, Values, qualities, and characteristics of my Son are mine; and he who see’s Jesus sees me, His Father.-Brennan-
“This is a question not for the faint hearted it’s a question that will actually transform who you think the father is, for a second drop your preconceived ideas and allow this truth to wash over you”.
Perhaps one of the biggest deceptions that have happened of all time occurred in the Garden, that Adams rebellion was maybe more than just not doing what he was told and eating from the tree. The painful truth is this, Perhaps to Him, “The Father” could have been this wound of rejection toward Him inflicted by us. Is it too much to believe that God is so relational that He would be affected by our actions? After all, he had done, after all, the goodness and love that He had shared, that Adam and Eve still did not believe in His goodness toward them. After all the natural manifestations of it in the garden, all the living proof of His heart toward us, yet in our time we still struggle with this truth. We still allow our own decision to hide rob us from who He really is. It has not changed since the Garden, Post the cross we still struggle to accept who we are to Him and worse to accept His love even after the fact that he laid down His life for us to be restored to our position as sons. It is this dim relational view that will make God real to us, I am tired of talking about my greatest love as if He died on the Cross without rising like He is a distant thought. I am not trying to add to the scripture I’m just simply tapping into the despair the Father feels when I hide from him as if he cries out “When will you believe I Love you”. Will you allow this to affect you? Or will it pass you by as another blog? My Heart is broken for Him in my own neglect to be real with my daddy. Let me leave you with one last, though. I want to share a scripture with you one last “hurrah” on the result of hiddenness,
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name? ’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness” (Matthew 7:22)
Let us focus for a second on the severity of this scripture and look solely at Jesus’ response to those who did great exploits without being known to God, you see we have made our ministry all about the pursuit of knowing about God, I ask you this, does God know you? Have you opened your life to Him in the relationship? Or do you believe that He is a dictator that does not need to know you but instead he is the fulfiller of all your needs? Have you ever been in a relationship like this? How tiring is it? Does God know you? Are you still hiding in your shame while Striving to feel acceptance? Are you a place of rest for the Holy Spirit, a personal friend, and a refuge? Let’s pray; Father even as I type this my very own hypocrisy challenges the core of my hidden state, that I would not respond as the first Adam to your calls of desire for deep intimacy with me. Here i am a prodigal surviving on the scraps of affection I give to you, coming to the end of myself puffing my chest out on the profound and long journey home to you, help me to believe, as I embark on this journey that you would receive me as a son who desires to be known by you. Father, I think the answer to the question in my heart of what it is you expect from me is simply to respond to your voice in the garden, “Adam where are you I can’t feel you”. Father, I’m here, and I am yours! Amen