I read this devotion this morning and wanted to share it here in my blog. I was just speaking to some folks yesterday about this very issue of secrecy. It isn't until we share these things with a Godly friend or counselor that we are able to actually break free from our secret places.
"He searches the sources of the rivers and brings hidden things to light." Job 28:11
Have you ever noticed how often Satan uses secret things to trip us up on our journey...those secret places that reside deep within our soul that we keep hidden from others and even try to hide from God?
Think about it... pornography is usually done in secret. Excessive shopping can be done over the Internet, with no one watching. Eating disorders develop in isolation when we binge by ourselves, then purge with no one around. Or when we publicly pretend to eat, but privately starve ourselves.
The things we watch, what we think and how we spend our time are the "secret places" Satan can and will use against us. Yet often we continue in our secrecy, afraid to reach for Truth. Why?
Secret places seem safe. Secret places are familiar. Secret places feel comfortable to us. So we cling to them.
It's not that we don't want to be honest and get real about the secret places in our soul. It's just sometimes easier to keep the truth hidden than it is to get real about things from the inside-out. Though most of us crave authenticity, our fears of being "found out" are what keep us living in secret, exactly where Satan wants us to stay. The crafty, conniving one knows that if he can get us to continue to bury our secret places deep within our heart, we can't be effective for God. He knows that thoughts of our private sins will eventually eat away at us, causing us to feel fraudulent and unworthy of the love and acceptance of others, and most of all, our Heavenly Father. But the truth is, we are the ones who don't love and accept ourselves. Not God.
Friends, the message of Jesus Christ is one of hope and restoration. It is one of freedom. It is one of unconditional love and acceptance. And it is one of Truth and spiritual exposure. What He is after from all of us is greater authenticity, greater genuineness, and the Truth, found in Him. In His sovereignty, He knows it is what we truly crave. "What you're after is truth, from the inside-out" Psalm 51:6 (MSG).
So, how do we combat those secret keeping habits we've developed over time?
1) Practice telling the truth. Telling the truth is a choice and needs to be a conviction. Healthy habits can and will be formed when practiced repeatedly, and truth telling is an important habit to get into.
2) Develop a genuinely authentic faith. Recognize the importance of authenticity, and begin making it of utmost priority. Do things to strengthen your walk (prayer, Bible study, etc.) and guard your mind.
3) Recognize that no one has it all together. See Satan's lie for what it is and determine not to get into the comparison trap with others. You cannot know what a person is all about by what they look like on the outside.
4) Stop trying to be perfect, act confident, appear happy, and seem super spiritual. These are some of the most common ways we, as women, pretend. It is only when we operate in a spirit of truth and openness that we will be able to live without pretense.
5) Determine to live your life with a genuineness that others will cling to and want to emulate. Honesty facilitates honesty. When you begin to get real and honest, hiding nothing in your relationship with God and others, people will begin to take notice and follow suit. This will strengthen all of your relationships and build up your self-esteem!
When we no longer hide in our "secret places," we can venture down a different path of greater authenticity and truth, bringing us to a place of ultimate and lasting freedom. And it is in freedom that we find no value in being a secret keeper any more.
By: Lisa Whittle