Monday, July 2, 2018
Hebrews 4:12-13, “For the Word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart. And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, and revealed to the eyes of Him with whom we have to give account” (AMP)
Well, if we are to be completely honest, there are those days when we simply don't have time to wash our hair or get it to look just right, so what do we do? We cover it up, and some of us with a hat! Now, for a bad hair day, that is acceptable and even understandable, but when it’s time to come to God, cover up is never a good idea.
I don’t believe in exposing others, so I’ll just expose me! There are times when I enter my prayer closet with God, and truth is, I wasn’t on my best of behavior throughout the day. So, talking to God in the evening becomes more eloquence of speech. I ask Him to bless all those who are in lack and in need. To be there for those in the hospitals, nursing homes, jails, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, rehab, etc. I ask Him to provide for those are without. And all that sounds wonderful. But truthfully, it’s just a mask because I really don’t want to discuss my bad habits, bad judgments, bad decisions and choices that were made all throughout the day, some accidental, but most deliberate. There are times when my prayers are more flattery of speech than true, heartfelt sincerity. Lord, thank You for the roof over my head, the clothes on my back, my job, and family. You’ve been such a wonderful provider, an awesome comforter, a timely counselor…And again, all of that sounds wonderful. But I’m still keeping myself “covered up.”
Which made me think of Hebrews 4:12. It says, "For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. EVERYTHING IS UNCOVERED AND LAID BARE BEFORE THE EYES OF HIM TO WHOM WE MUST GIVE ACCOUNT” (NIV)." In other words, “HATS OFF!”
No matter how bad your hair day may be, eventually, at some point, if it is to get any better, you’ve got to remove what’s covering it and fix it! Likewise, no matter how bad your attitude, habits, addictions, decisions, choices have been, you can’t keep covering them, at some point, you have to uncover them, so they can be fixed!
If you think about it, how retarded are we to think that we can hide, mask, masquerade, shield, pretend or cover up before the One Whom the Bible says, “…EVERYTHING IS UNCOVERED AND LAID BARE BEFORE THE EYES OF HIM TO WHOM WE MUST GIVE ACCOUNT”
Believe it or not, but even with your baseball cap on to cover-up your bad hair day, you do realize that the One Who has numbered the hairs of your head, still sees it all right? Take a look at a few translations of Matthew 10:30:
“But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered [for the Father is sovereign and has complete knowledge].” (AMP);
What I love most about this Scripture translation is the word “Numbered”, it’s defined as “to assign a specific number to or mark with a number”. That literally means that every strand of hair on your head has its’ own specifically assigned number. Look at it like this, many of use a brush on a daily basis. And for most of us, our brushes are full of hair that has come out over time. Do you know that God can look at that brush and tell you the specially assigned numbers of each strand of hair?! How crazy is that?! He can tell you that hair numbers 4, 39, 1,102, 333, 972, are the numbers specifically in that brush! And what’s even crazier than that is most of us have shared our hair brushes, either with a spouse or children. And do you know that God can differentiate each person’s hairs and the numbers that were assigned to each!? I know, absolutely insane! So, where am I going with this? YOU CANNOT HIDE, MASK OR COVER UP WITH GOD NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU TRY! If He knows the specific numbers to each of your hair strands, surely He knows what you did last night, where, with who, why and how many times. Please understand, you can hide your bad hair from the world, but you can’t hide your bad habits from God!
“God means what He says. What He says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through EVERYTHING, whether doubt or defense, laying us OPEN to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.” (Hebrews 4:12-13 MSG) I love that word “impervious”, it’s defined as “unable to be affected by”. So, you may as well come clean and come uncovered because it is absolutely impossible for you to be a believer, and yet go unaffected by the Word of God!
There is nothing you can do to Shield yourself from an All-Seeing God, just ask Hagar! Genesis 16:13, “She answered God by name, praying to the God who spoke to her, “YOU’RE THE GOD WHO SEES ME!...” (MSG). Or ask David, “Is there any place I can go to avoid Your Spirit? to be out of Your sight? If I climb to the sky, You’re there! If I go underground, You’re there! If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon, You’d find me in a minute—You’re already there waiting! Then I said to myself, “Oh, He even sees me in the dark! At night I’m immersed in the light!” It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to You; night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to You.” (Psalm 139:7-12 MSG)
HOW DO YOU ATTEMPT TO HIDE FROM A GOD WHERE NOTHING IS ABLE TO BE HIDDEN FROM HIM?
You see, what we've managed to cover up from everyone else, God sees. The covering comes off when you pray...or it ought to. But we have a tendency to get all dressed up for God, and we come to Him with this flowery prayer language. We talk to Him about religious stuff. But real prayer begins when you come into God's presence with the real you; the one who isn't together like everybody else thinks you are, the one who's struggling and honest about it, the one who's hurting, the one who's doubting, or the one who's grieving, the one who's sinning. Maybe you're falling. Maybe you're giving out or maybe even giving up. If in fact any of that describes you, you need to go to God Uncovered in prayer, not Masked in Pretense!
“The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and He knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this: Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who You are. Set the world right; Do what’s best—as above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with You and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge! You can do anything You want! You’re ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes.” (MSG)
Prayer is never to be a performance. The prayer closet is not a stage and you need no longer be a play-actor. Come to God as you are so He can change you into what you should be. You’ll never find yourself in a better place if you keep hiding yourself in your last bad place. Genesis 3:8, 10, “When they heard the sound of God strolling in the garden in the evening breeze, the Man and his Wife HID in the trees of the garden, HID from God…He said, “I heard You in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked. And I HID.” (MGS) Adam sounds like some of us in prayer. We know what we’ve done. We know how bad our motives and intentions were. We know we had no business being there, doing that, being with them etc…we knew the mistakes and deliberate bad decisions we made throughout the day. You can hide from other people, but you can never hide from yourself. So going into prayer, we knew exactly who and what we were taking into prayer. And even though we know God sees all things, for some reason, we don’t want to think that He saw “those” things. And so the performance in prayer. For some of us, we’re in the same position as Adam. You realize you messed up and so you immediately go into self-preservation mode (cover-up and hide)! But just as God knew where Adam was, He also knows where you are. And that’s something to take comfort in, not hide from.
I always find it amazing that when we mess up the first person we want to hide from is God. “…the Man and his Wife HID in the trees of the garden, HID from God…” (MSG). That makes as much sense as having a toothache but hiding from the Dentist; having a stroke but hiding from the Doctor; having car trouble but hiding from the Mechanic; drowning but hiding from the Lifeguard. In other words, when you’re hurt you don’t hide from the Healer. So, whether it’s drugs, alcohol, fornication, adultery, lying, cheating, stealing, depression, suicidal, lonely, empty, confused, desperate, take it all to God…Uncovered…after all there is Nothing He Does Not See!
See, the first reason to come to God honestly is this: God already knows! That's what this says, "All things are uncovered and laid bare." There's no point in coming to impress God. You come, not as you ought to be, but as you are! Then in verse 15, we've got a second reason we can come honestly to God. "We do not have a high priest who's unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have One who has been tempted in every way just as we are yet without sin." So let’s walk right up to him and get what He is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.” (MSG).
Isn’t it wonderful to know that you’re going to someone with issues they can relate to? No, Jesus didn’t sin, but how comforting to know that he sympathizes with our weaknesses; He’s been tempted in every way; He understands; and He knows exactly what it feels like to simply be human. The Son of God Himself, as sinless as He is, can relate to us mere humans.
With that said, you should be encouraged today to go to God just as you are. Why? Because He doesn’t need your façade, your baseball cap, scarves, wraps, masks, Maybelline; 3 piece suit and the like. He already knows. He’s already seen. You don’t have to “fix-it-up” for Him. You don’t have to style it or spray perfume or cologne on it. You don’t have to dress it up. You don’t have to give it all the right words. You don’t have to perform. You don’t have to perfect. You don’t have to worry about your appearance. He wants you…as is! All you have to do is go to Him Uncovered just one time, and empty out. You’ll be amazed at how easy it becomes to continue to do so. He’s easy to talk to, because He understands.
God really understands…
You're talking to the God who's been here. He's been hurt, He's been lonely, exhausted, and criticized. Jesus was abandoned, slandered, tempted, betrayed, He was beaten, He was stabbed in the side like many of us have been stabbed in the back. What a Savior! We can come uncovered to this Lord because He's walked this road. Jesus gives us someone who laughs with us, who struggles with us, who cries with us.
But God doesn't impose himself. He only comes by invitation. You'll only know the empowerment of God's grace in an area that you have totally opened up to Him. Remember, bring the real you to God. Like the hymn says, "Just as I am without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me." The “you” that has been hidden from everyone else is the “you” God wants. He wants to carry and He wants to heal that person. He wants you to stop hiding, stop shielding, stop masking, stop covering.
A bad hair day is one thing; it's the bad heart days that Jesus is concerned about. And when you pray, uncover what's really there. He’s the master-stylist who can fix anything!
Today, expose your heart issues to God so He can heal you. Truth is, if the heart issues were in the natural, no one could beat you running to the cardiologist! So, treat your spiritual heart issues with the same urgency! Let no one beat you in running to God! Take uncovered you, messy hair, no make-up, run down, tired, frustrated you, straight to God. You’ve been in hiding long enough, it’s time to come out, come out wherever you are and receive the help, healing, and wholeness that He is so desperately desiring to give you!