Are there people in your life that you feel you can share everything with, warts and all? Like a tree in winter, can you expose your branches of heartache, sin, fears, doubts, thoughts and everything in between to that person or group?
If you have an accountability partner, do you tell them absolutely everything in order for them to hold you to account? Or do you hold back with a revised edition of your struggles?
Are you open with a spouse or family member fully, even if it risked hurting them? Are you afraid of how they will react so you keep that bit of your life to yourself?
There are people in our lives that we may feel comfortable sharing our hearts with. However, just like putting on a smile and saying ‘I’m fine’ when really, everything is far from fine, we tend to carry around something that we don’t fully share with another. Perhaps we are not even aware that we are doing it. We give an abridged version of our heart with someone.
Despite this, God sees what goes on behind closed doors. The closed doors could be literally within our homes, churches, work places or some other physical space. Or it could mean the closed doors within our hearts – the part of us that we are reluctant to share with anyone.
Some people find it hard to open up to others. Even the thought of opening up to what appears to be an invisible God can be quite a challenge. I can confess that I have thought on more than one occasion that I felt as if I was talking to myself, rather than talking to God directly through prayer.
Sometimes, when we cannot even bring ourselves to speak about the hidden things of the heart, God is already prompting us lovingly to Him because He can see our hearts. What is hidden behind closed doors is not hidden from God.
For real change to take place in our lives, we have to come to God with a genuine repentant heart.
There are hidden things in my own life that I struggle with which God is bringing to my attention, in order to help me and to enable me to be all that I can be for Him.
That might mean getting to the really hard stuff. The stuff that I want to hold onto but God wants me to discard. Bad habits, difficult thoughts, negative attitudes to name a few.
Even though it’s painful to come face to face with our hidden hurts and scars, we can take comfort that God has dealt with it all for us. Jesus is proof enough as he took the nails on that cross so that we can live a new life. The scars on His hands and His feet show that He took the hidden and the brokenness of our lives, and brought it into light and restored it fully, bringing us into a newness of life with Him.
For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. Luke 8:17
The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.1 Samuel 16:7
God looks at the heart. He sees the motives behind our words and deeds. Where can we hide from God?
Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. 1 Corinthians 4:5
I am thankful that God will bring it all to light and expose the motives of our hearts. But I pray the prayer of the psalmist: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
I want the Lord to cleanse my heart and renew my spirit daily. It does need a daily clean, because every day there are new obstacles, temptations and challenges. If my heart becomes cluttered and my thinking distorted, it is easy for me to hide behind the excuses, lies and wrong-thinking that the world throws at me regularly.
Let us thank God that He is a God of restoration. Let us take every thought captive and make it obedient to Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). And for those of you who dislike the word ‘obey’, have a read of this 😉 : Obedience to God
Friends, we live in a tough world and were never designed to go through it alone. Take comfort that the Lord is with you and that He sees what you are going through and knows your heart. Sit with Him in the silence for a while. He will meet with you if you ask Him and seek Him. God’s door is always open. The open door, which is always held open for you, leads to abundant grace, mercy and joy found in knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Through Him, we have access to God always. His door is never hidden. It never closes.
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14