In His Word 8-16-10

Are you for real? Seriously though, are you honest with yourself about who you are in Christ? It does not really matter if you are honest with God because He knows the truth regardless of what you tell yourself.

While hiking over the mountain trail, I found it was not as difficult as I thought it would be. I had been telling myself I could not do it all the way up the first part of the trail. I stopped more on that stretch to breath and acclimate myself to the altitude (and be a baby) than I did on the rest of the hike. After that it was up and down and level and slippery and, even though it was steeper than what we had just climbed, I stopped fussing and realized I could do it! I got real with myself and decided I could go further than I thought I could because I was stronger than I thought I was.

It is so funny how we see ourselves as one thing and yet we act like another. It works the opposite way as well. I have had pain in my body and said to others, “I am okay. I Just need to take a break,” when I really was suffering. So why do we lie to ourselves when it is something painful, or when others care what’s up in our lives? Why do we walk around acting as if all is well when we really know deep inside that we are having doubts, pain, sorrows and other problems?

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! “For who has known the mind of the LORD? Or who has become His counselor? “Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him?” Romans 11:33-35
It is because we don’t want people to see us broken. But what about God? We lie to Him and say we trust Him, then go and try to do everything on our own.

In the lessons at one of the camps this summer, the main character had to find out that her heart was the gem she was looking for. The heart of a servant came from within when she accepted Christ for real. She attended Church regularly with her parents. She went to her youth clean-up day and complained about how much hard work there was to do. You know - things like sweeping up papers and dust. Wow, such difficult things! She was ready to have her daddy hire someone to do it. She was acting like a Christian without really having that relationship built in Christ. I say built because we can start the relationship with an invitation, but we have to build upon the relationship with daily conversations with God. We won’t become real until we get to know Him for real.

Think about it. How many of your friends would you call upon for a real prayer request? How many people on your list of friends really are friends who would carry your dirty laundry to the washer no matter how stinky it is? That is what we do when we give our friends our real prayer needs. We give them our dirty laundry and they carry it up the mountain to God, the super colossal washing machine! He washes the tears, cleans up our act, and gives the answers to our needs. Those friends who we trust with our needs and desires can bring God closer when we can’t bring our needs to Him ourselves.

As I climbed the mountain, I came closer to God and I saw what He laid out before me to walk on. I knew I could trust Him. I learned my limitations and, though I could have faked it and gone further, I knew when to be truthful to God and stop. I sat against a big rock for a while, watching the people with real hiking equipment march by. One such man went back and forth on the trail as if he were going to find someone or something. He had all the right gear on and it reminded me of how prepared we need to be for our hikes through life. The most important thing we have to do is to be real with ourselves and know our limitations.

If we are not real with ourselves how can we be real with God? How can we be real with others? When we lie to ourselves and say we are fine, what good does it do? None. Claiming to be fine when we are not:
  • Will not further the kingdom of God.
  • Will not make us feel better.
  • Will not get us to heaven.
  • Will not make us look better to others (Be sure your sins will find you out. Numbers 32:23).
  • Will not fool God into blessing us for being so brave and sacrificial in our pain.
Claiming to be fine will, however, bring us down in shame, pain, and sorrow when no one helps us back up. If they do not know we are hurting, how can they help us? Let go of the pride.

So does that mean we tell everyone about all our hangnails? Do we give everyone some dirty laundry to take to God? No. We get real with ourselves and admit to ourselves that we can be honest with God. He will bring us a friend to help us back up with our dirty laundry, our pains and sorrow, and even with our shame.

I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord. ” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Psalm 32: 5b.
Let us give God our best us, our worst us, and all of us. Let’s not hold back what we think he does not need to know. He knows us better than we know ourselves, after all. What can be hidden from a God who sees all things and knows all things? Nothing. It is a wonderful thing to have someone who cares enough to ask for help. It tells us that they trust us. Let's let God know the pain we are really in and allow Him to send us a comforter, whether in human form or the Holy Spirit Himself. Let us allow Him to help us today.

Let’s get real with ourselves and not hide our pain. Give it up!

Dear Heavenly Father, we give up! We give up our pain, our shame, our desires, our needs, our hopes and our dreams to You. You know about them, but we are letting go and allowing you to do something with them. Thank you for your help. In Jesus' name, amen.

Suggested Readings: Psalm 19:1-14; Psalm 51:1-19; Matthew 8:1-33; 2 Corinthians 12:1-21 and Numbers 32:1-23.