Saturday, June 25, 2011

Shining Through...

When I was about 4-years old, my older sister and two older cousins were throwing rotten apples over cars as they drove past our house. Of course, I wanted to be like the big kids so I picked up an apple to pitch over the next car that passed by. The next car happened to be a shiny red sports car. As I threw the apple the other kids yelled out, “DON’T do it! You’ll never make it over!”… It was too late; the deed had already been done and the decaying apple hit with a “splat” right into the car window. The woman in that car slammed on the brakes and put the car in reverse. What did we do? We high-tailed it into our back yard to hide.

Even 40 years later, my first natural response is to run and hide when I don’t want to deal with real life. I am learning when I run or hide from my problems all that does is make me “ugly” on the inside and causes my attitude to be ugly on the outside too.

Exodus 34 talks about Moses going up the mountain to worship and commune with God. It was in those forty days that Moses “saw” God and when he came back down to the children of Israel, “his face was shining brightly because the LORD had been speaking to him,” (Exodus 34:29). The children of Israel were afraid to look at him so he covered his face with a veil, so they couldn’t see the glory of God shining from his face. But we read in II Corinthians 3:13-16 that as time went on and real life happened, the glory shining from Moses’ face was fading, but he continued to keep the veil on so no one would know… he was putting up a facade.

I know I have been guilty of the same… posing and pretending that because I am a Christian… everything is just fine. Do you ever do that… do you ever have difficulty being transparent?  All across the world people are going to church… putting on their religious faces, looking fine in their Sunday best while on the inside they are not fine at all. The really sad part is that if you play that charade long enough you can start to believe it. Most people around you may never know what is really going on inside you, but your heart always knows. As sisters and brothers through Christ, we should be able to be completely transparent with one another. We need to find those people we can truly trust and drop our “veil”… just be real about our short-comings. Living an authentic life might sound like too much exposure, but sharing what is in your heart is freedom.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” II Corinthians 3:17

You just never know who might be struggling with the same issue and by you opening up… that could be their lifeline to true freedom in Christ. Pretending is bondage… honesty is freedom.

You are a masterpiece, created by God… recognize that… start behaving like one. Pretending to be what you are not is like putting a “paint-by-number” clown over the Mona Lisa. God made you the way you are to live a real life to glorify Him. It is only when we become completely transparent that the glory of God can be seen shining from within us.

“And all of us, as with unveiled face, we continued to behold the Word of God as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord Who is the Spirit.” II Corinthians 3:18

When we pose and pretend or run and hide… we aren’t giving God the chance to do a work in us and through us. It is only when we admit to our shortcomings and weaknesses that God can be our strength… total dependence and trust in Him is real life as a precious child of God.

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32
The next time someone asks you how you are, will you just say, “fine” or will you give an honest answer?  I pray for us all to stop peeking from behind the “veil” and that we let our walls come tumbling down… let God’s light come shining through!

Rejoicing in Truth!

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