Saturday, January 15, 2011

Unguarded Ones

You know... I really love how God works. This post, for example... I started writing it one week ago. When I started typing, I was really excited because this was one "obsessed" topic that I could confidently reflect upon. But, God, in his ultimate wisdom, had other plans. So, for the past week, it has been distraction after distraction. Countless things have "popped up" causing me to push off this entry. I was beginning to accuse myself of procrastination (something that isn't too common for me), but after having dinner with dear friends the other night, I knew that my putting off this entry was more about gaining insight than lack of motivation!

A week ago, I was going to ramble on about how it's a waste of time to hide things from God... because he knows everything about us already. Sometimes, being honest about who we are, how we feel... is a little difficult. But, after having dinner the other night, I realized that being "unguarded" is about more than transparency. I'm not sure if Chan had this in mind... but God definitely pricked my heart on this one, so I'm going to share. But first, let's look at Chan's definition:

"People that are obsessed are raw with God; they do not attempt to mask the ugliness of their sins or their failures. Obsessed people don't put it on for God; He is their safe place, where they can be at peace." p. 144.

So, the other night, I met two dear friends for dinner. We spent the two hours enjoying Thai food and sharing what God was doing in our lives. One of my friends, in particular, is starting a new adventure that is pushing her out of her comfort zone. This impending change is uprooting her family, and includes many uncertainties... at least for the foreseeable future. It was obvious that she trusts God... but equally obvious that fear and trepidation were lingering. As I left dinner that night, my heart was heavy for her... probably because I understand her feelings, even though our situations are a little different. I'm struggling with all the changes in my life, but for me the transition has been steps, as I like to say it. For her, it's happening pretty fast. So where am I going with this you might ask? Well, here's the thing... as I left the restaurant I began wondering about how God feels about our fears and doubts when it comes to Him. I have no problem being "unguarded" with God when it comes to how I honestly feel about everything (and everyone) else... but what about Him?

So, as I wrote to my friend yesterday, sharing with her all the things God placed upon my heart, one thing in particular directly pierced my soul. It's pretty easy for us to sit here and say that we try to "keep things from God." But, if we really think about it... that's not possible and we know it. So, that makes me believe that there's something more to our behavior... there's another reason why we aren't completely honest with Him... at least through our own admission, because remember: He already knows everything!

So, what is it? Well, the easiest comparison is this: When you were a child and you did something really bad... something so bad that the impending punishment from your parents was nothing compared to the disappointment you knew they would did whatever was in your power to cover it up, make it better, or just make it go away... anything to keep the parental units from finding out. Well, I think we do the same thing with God. If we don't talk to Him about "it"....maybe, just maybe, we can find a way to make "it" go away on our own. But, what about when it comes to not trusting God? When we try to convince ourselves and others that we know everything is going to be okay... even though we doubt? I truly think this is the worst way we can live "guarded" lives.

I could ramble on about this topic forever, but I'll try to stick to the major point, which is this: Pretending that we don't have doubts (let alone sin) is doing much more than keeping us from living obsessed lives for Christ... IT'S ROBBING GOD OF GLORY! For you see, if we place all of our "junk" at His feet... even our doubts about Him... that transparency allows Him to work freely in our lives. If we acknowledge our struggles, He uses them as part of our redemption. Yes, He could do it on His own. But, our participation, in this sometimes painful process, makes the reward so much sweeter! For you see, it's our participation that draws us closer to Him. It's our obedience, no matter how trying and difficult, that lends itself to a beautiful, transforming relationship that transforms lives... starting with our own!


Give it over to Him... whatever it is! No excuses. Be honest with Him and with yourself. That's the first step in achieving a life of transformation through the body of Christ... well, after salvation, of course!

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