Ephesians 5:16 tells us that we should make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. The problem that many of us have is that we let opportunities that come our way just pass right by and we do not do anything about it. We spend our days in our own small story and hide from opportunity. It could be right in front of our face, yet we do nothing. I can speak all about this, because I have certainly been guilty of this in my life. Truth is truth and it’s not worth hiding from.
In John Eldredge’s book, “Free To Live – The Utter Relief Holiness,” he shares something we all struggle with in our life’s. It has to do with how we hide in our lives. We are all guilty of this in someway. We have that fig leaf that protects us in our small story. Here is what John shares:
One of the strangest quirks of life here on this planet is the fact that the one face we hardly ever see is the one closest to us: our own. As we move about in the world every day, our face is always right before us and always just beyond us. Somebody could write a fairy tale about that. It would be an allegory for how rarely we see ourselves, who we truly are, the good and the bad. But in unexpected moments we get a sideways glance, as when passing by a plate glass window downtown, and most of the time we don’t like much what we see.
Notice how we are in elevators: No one makes eye contact. No one wants to acknowledge that we are seeing and being seen. In a moment of forced intimacy, almost claustrophobic intimacy, we pretend we aren’t even there. The reason? Most times we just don’t know what to do with what we see. About ourselves, I mean. It doesn’t take a Nobel Prize winner to see that something dreadful has happened to the human race. So we look at the ceiling or our shoes; we watch the numbers report the passing floors; we hide. This is how most of us approach our entire lives—we hide what we can, work on what we feel is redeemable, and despise the rest.
There is a better way.
There is most certainly a better a way. I can totally relate to this. I ride an elevator to a 21st floor office and it has often been an awkward time. I find myself staring up, staring at the floor counter, or my phone. I know I’m not the only one either. If you think about we are hiding. We hide from opportunities to fellowship, know others, and from exposing anything about ourselves. I’ve been coming to great terms about the false story I’ve lived in and hid behind. I have a great deal of work to do, but the Lord has been revealing so much about who I am and who He is calling me to be.
It begs the question of what kind of man do I want to be. Do I want to be one that stays in my hidden small story and behind my fig leaf or do I want to put off the old man, the poser I’ve been and come alive for my God and for His kingdom. It takes a great deal of courage to come out from behind our fig leaf. It is so easy to be stuck in that world and in that life and be perfectly content with just getting on life. As for me, I not live in this small and false story any longer. God has shown me who I am and I know I cannot go back.
Ephesians 4:24 says to “Put on your new nature, created to be like God.” God is calling all of us to a larger story. He is calling us into his kingdom. To leave our sinful nature behind and live for him and under his undeserved grace and mercy that we have through Jesus Christ. When we learn to leave this old nature behind, the opportunities that will unfold through our faith will be enormous. With our real identities in Christ, we can truly move forward for the kingdom. We all have gifts and talents we’re blessed with. It’s a matter of whether we decide to put them to us.
In now living our life through Christ, we can share our faith with others. As my Pastor shared with us, we can extend the love of God to others. Jesus extended compassion to everyone. The lost (Matthew 9;36:37), the sick (Mark 1:41), the adulterous, and the demon possessed (Mark 5:19). We all have an opportunity, through Christ to share that same compassion and love to others. We all have a number of different ways that God is calling us to do this. We are not saved by our good works, but since we are saved, we have the opportunity to do works that God calls us too.
So in returning to the question, what kind of man or for you ladies, what kind of woman do you want to be. Do you want to hide behind your fig leaf, or do you want to answer the call God has for all of us? Do you want to be on the sidelines out of the game, or do you want to be in the game?
I know this all sounds easy, but if you turn to the Father in prayer and daily communion with Him, He will Father you through this. He is wanting to raise the fatherless place in all of us to restore us through Christ Jesus so that we are now alive and equipped for the race. Armed with the full Armor of God and ready to get your hands dirty and into the battle. Remember, the Father is orchestrating a rescue of all of us. You have to make the choice of whether you allow Him to rescue your heart and bring you to life. The free will choice is always ours to make. Will you choose God first or this world? I used to choose the world first and hide just as Adam did. I no longer want to be that man. My new heart is in Jesus and my desire is come alive in Christ and walk with God in discipleship and love.