Not For Shame, But For Glory!
Reading: Luke 11:1 – 12:11
There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.
What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs. Luke 12:2-3 NIV
One day, everything that there is to know about us will be known by everyone else. All the good things in our lives — the deep things, the hidden things, the things that show just how good God has been to us — all these will be on display for his glory, a reflection of all that Jesus won for us at the cross. What a wonderful day that will be! What a celebration!
But what of the “not so good” things?
I find great reassurance in knowing this: There will be no shame on that day for sins confessed. They are forgiven and forgotten, for “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12).
But what about unconfessed sin? Is it possible that I could live my life as a follower of Jesus, and yet still harbour sin? Would I not have to completely ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit? And how could I live in such a place of deceit? Obeying that still small voice of the Spirit is the very essence of living the Christian life, “…because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14)
But in actual fact, as I think about that day when “all will be revealed”, I find there is no fear within me. Instead, I am comforted by the knowledge that in God's sight, everything is already revealed.
“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.” (Hebrews 4:13).
What a wonderful arrangement! Whenever I turn my eyes toward God, if there is sin or a wrong attitude or something that needs to be put right, it is right there — “uncovered and laid bare” — all ready to be confessed, and forgiven. So long as I keep seeking his face, I need never be afraid of harbouring sin. Sin can't remain in his presence, so he helps me get rid of it, meaning I can always stand before him clean and forgiven.
And now, the priestly blessing in Numbers 6 carries new meaning. As God turns his face toward us, it is inherent in the blessing that he meets our sin with his grace, and replaces our shame with peace.
And when that great day comes when “all is revealed”, it will be for us a day not for shame, but for glory and great joy. Hallelujah!
Thank you Jesus that the fruit of your work in my life will one day result in much glory and celebration. I look forward to that day! I agree with what David said: “Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.” Psalm 32:1-2 NIV
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26 NIV
Have you tried SOAP? Using SOAP as you read your Bible is a great way to hear what the Holy Spirit has specifically to say to you. Why not try it? You can read about it here: What is SOAP?
Looking Into the Face of God
Reading: Psalm 102
Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly. Psalm 102:2-3 (NIV)
Right at the beginning of Psalm 102, the writer pleads with God, “Do not hide your face from me…” What is it about a person's face that is so important? Of the five senses, touch is the only one that doesn't rely on the face. The face is where we see into a person, like a window into the person's thoughts and feelings. But a person's face is also a window through which they can look to see into us.
To hide your face from someone speaks of cutting off communication with them. But even if we can't see a person's face, we may still be able to hear their voice. And so we see that God draws us to himself even when we are far from him, calling us to turn from our sinfulness and come into his very Presence. The final verse of the psalm reveals once again, as all through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, what God's intention for us is: “The children of your servants will live in your presence…” (vs 28).
When Jesus won victory over sin and death at the cross, he did something wonderful – he opened up a window between me and God. It's a window through which I can see God – his thoughts and his feelings, and his holiness – and through which God looks into me. Yes, “everything is open and laid bare” before his eyes (Heb 4:13), but before, his face was turned away from me because of my sin. Now my sin is gone. I have been made holy by the completed work of Jesus on the cross. Now, God's face is turned towards me.
I imagine myself walking up to a wide open window and talking with God as he leans on the smooth wooden sill, his face turned towards mine. The sun shines and a warm breeze gently blows. This is why I was made – to commune with my awesome and approachable Creator.
Thank you Jesus that you have opened up for me this window of opportunity to come close to you, and see into your heart. May the window always remain open, and may the sill be worn smooth from time spent leaning on it and talking with you.