No More Hiding!

Mike-P1020072-200Dear Friends,

This last weekend I went to a Men’s Conference at Dominion Worship Center here in Bakersfield. The theme was “No More Hiding.” I realized as I was sitting there listening to the speakers that what they were teaching was applicable to both men and women. The teaching centered around Hiding from God and others. The focus was on why do we hide and how do we break out of that place?

Why Do People Hide? Four reasons…

1. FEAR – we are afraid that if people found out what we were really like they wouldn’t like us. If they knew what we struggled with or some of the thoughts we harbor they would be shocked or would not want to be around us. This is the result of believing a lie. A lie that says that the Father doesn’t love us, that we have to work to be approved, or that he only loves us if we live up to certain standards and expectations, etc., etc. One of the most effective ways to counter this lie is to understand who you are in Christ and that there is nothing you can do that will change His love for you!

2. SHAME – the enemy is very good at accusing us whenever we do anything wrong. In fact, we ourselves are good at doing things that allow him to cause us to feel shame. This is the shame that drives us to hide instead of running to Him asking for forgiveness. Shame is one of the enemy’s most effective tools in keeping us from being open and honest with God and people. I’m not saying that we should all go around airing our most secret sins to everyone. But we need to have someone in our lives that we can go to and talk about anything. Someone we can be completely honest and transparent with.

Of course when you think about it there is nothing hidden from God, but sometimes we need someone with skin on with whom we can bare our souls. Someone that will help us deal with the shame in a way that allows us to understand that we can go to our Father God and confess our sin. He will immediately take away the shame if we believe He has forgiven us and we let Him do it. Unfortunately, for some of us, it is difficult to grasp this kind of forgiveness and love so we stay hidden in our shame. Do not allow the enemy to keep you trapped there!

One of the biggest struggles men have in the church today is pornography. The number of men among Christian and non-Christian men that struggle with this is almost the same. There is a lot of shame associated with pornography and many fail at staying away from it again and again. But we must realize that we can also bring these failures to God and he will forgive and release us from the shame. He wants us to come be in a place of intimacy with Him. A place where we are naked, unencumbered, open, real and comfortable in our own skin. One of the quotes I heard this weekend was; “Anything apart from divine intimacy is distorted.”

3. INSECURITY – many of us have a difficult time believing our security is in Christ. We try to amass stuff, money, power, and things to feel secure. We put our trust in our job feeling that therein is our security. We invest in bonds and securities’ believing that therein lays our security. In reality, none of these are truly going to provide us with security. They can all be gone in a heartbeat. Understand that I am not saying these are all bad things and we should not do them. That’s nonsense. Obviously there are some wise things we need to do, but anything that is of this world is not where you should ultimately put your security. Our only true security must be in God alone!

4. DISAPPOINTMENT – perhaps in the past you have experienced deep disappointment. Maybe it was a personal tragedy and you blamed God. Or it could have been something someone did to you or said to you that hurt deeply and you don’t want to be disappointed again so you don’t trust. You don’t allow yourself to ever be placed in a position where you are not in total control.

God created us to dream, to create and utilize the gifts He has placed in us. Whether it is writing, painting, photography, or any other thing that allows you to get those creative juices flowing it is a gift from God and will grow as you allow yourself to create. God is calling us to dream again. To come out of the hiding place and into the “secret” place. It’s a place with Him that He alone can satisfy.

Because of who you are you can come to Him and give Him your fears, shame, insecurities and disappointments. He will cast them away from you and free you of these things that satan will use against you.

God is calling us out of hiding and into a place of encounter. A place where we can stand before Him in complete abandonment knowing that His love for us is so overwhelmingly complete that none of these things written above can keep us from His loving us.

$$$ If you can remember to keep us in you prayers regarding finances it would be much appreciated. April was a difficult month for us as our donations were almost $2,000 less than what we needed to pay our expenses. We hope to be able to catch up in May. Thank you for your prayers and your continual support of this ministry.

God bless,