Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dark into Light

1 Corinthians 4:5 says, "So don't make judgements about anyone ahead of time- before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due."

This verse is so very humbling. It can be frightening to think that all of those "dark secrets" and "private motives" will be bared one day. As I was reading and praying today, this verse struck me so deeply. I am aware that God already knows all of my weaknesses, all of my secrets, every hateful thought, every selfish desire. When I come face to face with my maker, He will not be surprised by what He sees. So, if God knows all of these things now, then what does this verse mean? What else could possibly be revealed on that day?

The Lord knows every inch of my being. He knew all that I would be, all that I would ever offer, every failure and success, every thought I would think, every wish and desire I would ever possess. And he knew all of this long before I was even born. This God who created me and sustains me knows me better than anyone. Better than my husband. Better than my parents. Better than my closest friends.

Better than myself.

"...For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives..."

If these troubling qualities are already known so intimately by my creator, then who is left to discover them but myself?

I began to think about the intentions of my heart, my righteous pursuits of holiness, my loving displays of affection towards my husband, my discerning shepherding of my children, my obedient discipling of the nations. And I began to question the purity of my motives in each of these seemingly honest and Christ-driven actions. And I began to wonder, "What do you see, Lord, that I do not? What fleshly desires have invaded and marred these otherwise holy pursuits?"

One day, we will stand before this holy and righteous judge, and I believe that on that day, our eyes will be fully opened and we will finally be face to face with the harsh reality of who we truly are. But what about in the mean time? We will never be able to understand it all or strip it all away on this side of eternity, but surely we can strive, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to tear down some of the walls, destroy some of the lies. Surely we can ask God to begin revealing some of our dark secrets and some of our private motives now, allowing us to better understand now the weaknesses of our heart that not even we know or have admitted to ourselves. And if we can begin to see what God sees, if we can understand and accept the parts of us that keep us from living a life fully abandoned to God, perhaps we can begin to try again, with purer motives, fewer secrets, and a more righteous heart.

By God's breathtaking grace, we don't have to live in fear of coming face to face one day with all of these truths. We can know that when the Father looks at us, He will not see us but the Son. We do not have to fear condemnation or judgement. We can rest assured that every sin will be forgiven, every misplaced "good" intention will be forgotten, and all that will remain will be the covering of Christ's blood.

The verse ends with these encouraging and challenging words: "...Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due."

Whatever praise is due... I don't know what kind of praise my life might possibly merit from a perfect God, but I hope that there will be many moments worthy of the words, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." So, I will continue to ask this all-knowing God to shed light on the sin that I have missed, to reveal to me the weaknesses that keep me from serving him exactly the way he deserves. And I will try again, knowing that the next attempt, while it may be a step closer than the one before it, will never be perfect. And I will praise my Jesus that, by the covering of HIS perfect life, it doesn't have to be.

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