I’ve been trying something new this year, and it has transformed my relationship with God.
I’m being really real.
I know, it may sound silly. I mean, God knows everything. Yeah, well, I’m sure Adam and Eve realized that fact, too. And yet they hid. Let that sink in for a moment.
The other thing is, I’ve been a Christian for years and truly love God.
This getting real with God thing has been a work in progress, actually. So, although I’ve been a Christian for much of my life, God recently impressed upon my heart to make my word of the year “know” which has brought new meaning to authenticity (read the blog post about it HERE).
A bit of history is in order. For many years I worked overtime at presenting myself to others as someone I knew I wasn’t but wished I was. As a kid who moved over twenty times growing up, the desperate need for acceptance drove me to create a facade—a mask.
If people knew the real me, would they accept me?
We all need to feel accepted. God created us this way. He also created us with a need for intimacy—with Himself and with others. However, a by-product of sin is hiding which of course, is counterproductive to the true intimacy we need for thriving relationships.
Intimacy is the experience of truly knowing and being known by another: “In-To-Me-See.”
To be known by someone requires honesty. If you aren’t willing to be open and honest with someone, real intimacy is not experienced.
Honesty is a key component of intimacy.
It wasn’t until I began to take my relationship with God more seriously, that I realized I was withholding parts of myself. I wore the mask I presented to the world even with God. In my case, the omission was the equivalent to lying. Perhaps this strikes a chord with you, too. Are you wearing a mask?
So, how does getting really real with God start?
Here’s the amazing thing. All we need to do is A.S.K.
Admit to ourselves and to God our tendency to hide. It sounds simple enough, but the truth is, sin desires darkness. We must coax it into the light. And some of those sins have been hiding in the corners and crevices of our heart and mind for years! Those rascals might be the same sins that hid within our mothers, fathers, grandmothers, and grandfathers. Sin has a way of doing that—attaching to our relatives in order to keep the cycle going. I’m speaking of generational strongholds that our enemy, Satan, is aware of and will use every tactic to convince us we are doing just fine the way we are. Guess what? God doesn’t want just fine when it comes to our relationship. He wants the best! This means getting brutally real with ourselves. We need the Holy Spirit’s guidance for this to be effective. Why? Remember, our sin nature tells us it’s better to be covered up than to expose. My friends, that’s a big fat lie!
“Keep me from lying to myself; give me the privilege of knowing your instructions.”
Scripture is the most likely way the Holy Spirit will speak to us (of course, He speaks in other ways, too). We must read the Bible with the expectation that the Lord is going to speak. Remember the good old days when we used to receive handwritten letters? We tore open the envelope with the excitement of reading a special message from a friend or loved one. Scripture is God’s love letter to each of us. Through Scripture, the Holy Spirit will help us to know more about God and about ourselves. It will also teach, convict, and encourage us. But if we aren’t regularly “listening” to God by reading His Word, we are in danger of losing intimacy with Him. Tragically, many never gain the intimacy God desires for us to have with Him because we simply don’t make spending time in the Word a priority.
Hmmm, could it be we’ve already experienced the power Scripture has for exposing sin, but it made us scurry for cover like a cockroach when the light turns on? You either said “ouch” or “amen” to that one! Either way, I hope you will think about it well past reading this post. In fact, I’m praying the Holy Spirit brings this post back to your recollection because I think we all have areas in our lives that need exposure to the light.
“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” Hebrews 4:12
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
“Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths of your instructions.” Psalm 119:18
Kneel before the Lord. This is something I often do physically which helps me spiritually. I get on my knees in order to place my entire self in the posture of humility, respect, and trust. I find it difficult to hang onto pride, anger, and other sins when I’m on my knees before God. By the way, this isn’t a one-time thing. Because of the sin nature that is at odds with the Holy Spirit, we must keep short accounts. This is why I daily posture my entire self before God.
“Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our maker, for he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care.” Psalm 95:6-7
Being really real is risky business, isn’t it?
Yes, but the risk far outweighs the fear. You see, we don’t need to be afraid of allowing a loving, forgiving God into our messy, hidden selves. We can remove the mask. In fact, if we give Him the access, His perfect love will cast out all of those fears. Since I’ve allowed God “access” into those hidden areas, I have experienced His presence in ways I never thought possible. I’ve also experienced freedom from some long-time strongholds. And my friend, this is my prayer for you!
Knowing God intimately is worth everything!
I mean, we will spend eternity with God. I don’t want to wait until I get to Heaven to begin really knowing Him, do you?
Prayer: Father God, I don’t want to hide any longer. I need your perfect love to push out fear. I want to be honest with myself and with You. Give me the courage to take off the mask and allow You in. I give You permission to shine Your light into the hidden areas of my life. Make true intimacy with You God more important than anything else. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Feel free to add a prayer request 🙂