Fear Exposed. Day thirty...
No one has ever accused me of being a man of few words. But because I use a lot of words during the course of a day, I run a greater risk of having some of them coming out badly.
Back when I had many employees, I was constantly giving directions, corrections, and instructions. And I regularly had stuff come out of my mouth that should not have been said. You've probably been around people accused of being unable to say, “I'm sorry.” Well, I'm not one of those people. I am very good at apologizing because I have a lot of experience.
Just this past weekend on Sunday morning, I remembered some bonehead thing I'd said on the previous day, and a fear of sorts set in: “Did I really say that? Why in the world would I say that? Did I offend him? What kind of trouble did I cause for him?”
Sometimes apologies only make matters worse, but in this case I sensed I should apologize, and decided to call my friend in the afternoon. He was very gracious, and immediately put me at ease. He didn't come out and say so directly, but it was if he implied, “I'd already forgotten about it.”
I've had employees come to me the day following a mistake on their part and say something like: “I am so sorry for messing up. I couldn't sleep all night thinking about it.” And when I told them I'd already forgotten about it, they would respond with, “You're not mad? I figured you would be mad.” And they would be visibly relieved.
I've wasted so much time and energy obsessing about my performance—absolutely certain God was at least aggravated with me, if not mad at me. And I went on and on and on… not fearful of losing my salvation… but fearful of losing my intimacy with Him.
And I could only stop when He was able to get through to me with, “I'd already forgotten about it.”
The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared. But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. (Hebrews 10:1–4 NLT)
We have a relationship with God that the people living under the old covenant did not have.
They lived with feelings of guilt (a conscience of sins). The blood of bulls and goats did not take away their sins. Those sacrifices only covered their sins. They were very much aware that underneath this covering they were still sinners. I believe they lived with a certain amount of fear that if they made a wrong move God's covering might slip out of place, and expose their sinful nature to His wrath.
I am convinced most of us, under the new covenant of grace, live as if we were under the old covenant of the law.
We act as if Jesus is just a covering for our sins, and we are afraid to do much moving around for fear of having our naked sinful self exposed to God's displeasure.
We wear Jesus like an ill‐fitting costume, afraid that if we make any risky move of faith we might become exposed for who we really are.
But Jesus did not cover our sins. He took them away. He took them away!
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29b)
Yes, we have a human nature that, if permitted, naturally behaves badly.
But we are not our human nature. We are spiritual men and women who no longer have to be subject to our human nature.
But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God). (Galatians 5:16 AMP Bible)
Jesus took us, men and women who were corrupt and unable to control ourselves, and with His own blood made new creatures out of us, making us the righteousness of God in Him. (See 2 Corinthians 5:21.)
But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. (Hebrews 10:12–14 ESV)
We don't have to wear Jesus around like an ill‐fitting costume, afraid that if we make any risky move of faith we might become exposed for who we really are… because we are not who we think we are. We really are the righteousness of God in Christ.
So move boldly in faith, knowing when you expose yourself you are exposing Christ in you, the hope of glory. (See Colossians 1:27b.)
Have a good day,