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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Naked and Unashamed


Naked and Unashamed



Why is it so hard for us to be vulnerable and transparent in our walk with God? Why do we insist on walking out our lives in some area of secret shame? Deep down it’s the fear of the Lord that causes us all to hide.

1 John 4:18” love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love”.

So, why do we hide behind people, and busy ourselves in activities to try and forget what we know we are afraid of?
I believe it is because we are afraid of God and His judgment and as a civilization we have been programmed into believing the holier you appear to people, the more respect and authority that is entrusted to you. The more respect and authority you have; the further convinced we become that we’re in good standing with God. It’s in our nature to feel inadequate outside of God’s grace, and it is also in our human nature to seek out stronger people than ourselves when we feel insecure or afraid. We unintentionally admire those that walk in what we perceive as a purer relationship with God than we ourselves walk. We want someone whose judgment we can put our trust in, when we feel insecure about our own.

2 Cor 3:1 “Are we beginning to praise ourselves again? Are we like others, who need to bring you letters of recommendation, or who ask you to write such letters on their behalf? Surely not.”

The problem with this is; we tend to measure a persons’ holiness or piety based on their outward displays of Christianity. This can be dangerous, because we tend to overlook the obvious instructions laid out in scriptures for each one of us as individuals and turn over the spiritual reins of our lives to men and woman that we, convince ourselves are much more qualified to hear from God on our behalf. What happens as a result of this delusion is; most men and women that are man ordained pastors are not spiritually mature as shepherds and will not attempt to assist you in your struggles, and we then become blinded by their false humility and begin to believe "If God doesn't call me out on this, No one needs to know", which in turn only broadens the gap of sin that separates us from the will of God. So we continue to walk the walk and talk the talk and cover over every inward struggle that we walk in, to chase after higher positions of spiritual authority that we have convinced ourselves are the fruit proof that we are doing GOOD with God. This secret shame covering that I am speaking of is the very thing that keeps us all from really connecting as brothers and sister in the family of God. We forfeit the supernatural power that comes from confessing our sins one to another, because it has been subjugated by a man made institution that we as Christians refer to as Church. This was never God's plan for us. If you look at the very first book in the bible “Genesis”, you will see a story unfold about Adam and Eve and how it wasn't until they were made conscious of their sin that they realized that they were naked. Up till this point, being naked was a good thing. In fact it was how we were designed.
Gen 2:25 "Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame".

It was only the understanding of the vulnerability of being exposed in contrast to the condition of being covered that caused them to be ashamed of their nakedness. In simpler terms: Once they realized they were no longer in good standing with the Lord, they saw themselves as naked and became ashamed and sought to find items of this earth (fig leaves) to cover their shame.
(We all seek after things of this world to cover over our shame)

Gen 3:3-10 "At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the voice of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
The Lord God called to the man saying; Where are you? he replied; I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid myself. Gen 3:11 "Who told you that you were naked?" the LORD God asked. "Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?"

Notice this is a two part question the Lord asks Adam: He first asks "WHO told you, you were naked? Implying that SOMEONE told them of their nudity. The Lord was not ignorant of man's recent encounter with the serpent; HE knew exactly how things transpired. Just like when He asked Adam "Where are you", do you honestly believe that the Lord didn't know? It was a heart question that Adam heard the Lord ask in the garden that day, a question that we all hear when we are hiding from God. "Where are you?" is not a question concerning our geographical location, it’s a question that cuts straight to our heart and speaks to our sin and asks "whose voice are you listening to now?" Where are you? Means: "if you are no longer walking in accordance to MY will, whose will are you walking in accordance to? For you have moved outside of MY will". His question about WHO told you, you were naked? Makes it evident that a person’s nakedness can only be perceived if SOMEONE tells them they are naked. The Lord could have said "How do you know that you are naked?" but He didn't. He said "Who told you? You see, I believe that it is by our human desire to seek after forbidden fruit (knowledge and experiences prohibited by God) that cause us to forget the will of the Lord and follow the voice of both our enticer and our accuser. We follow that voice when we allow ourselves to believe that God's commands for us to avoid and shun certain things is unfair and somehow unjust; so we take it upon ourselves to test God's word by doing the very things that separate us from Him and ultimately move us farther outside of His will for our lives. The devil will entice us with the imaginations of the possibilities of sin. Remember, sin starts in the mind. He convinces us that we MUST have what we have been denied by God. And deceives us into thinking, it's almost our right as a child of God, to be able to partake of ALL the fruit of His creation. The moment we reach out our hand to take of the tree, we are no longer following the will of God. Once we have eaten the fruit, the very first taste of knowledge is guilt. You feel guilt because you understand GOOD; and you feel guilt because you understand EVIL. Almost naturally our first instinct is to try and share that guilt because the weight of its consequences is comprehended by our new found knowledge and we try to entice someone else to fall in order to share the weight of our foolish decision. This was the very first thing Eve did after eating the fruit, the scriptures say that she gave the fruit to her husband and he ate it also. It was then that their eyes were opened to see their nakedness. Their nakedness was perceived because they stepped out of the will of God and were no longer covered by God’s grace as ones ignorant of sin. Now, not only did they know what sin was; they understood what it meant to turn from what is good and choose evil instead. This is why they hid themselves amongst the many trees in the garden. This is very similar as to why some go to large churches; often times, it’s to blend in among the masses. The Garden of Eden in Hebrew means the Garden of Pleasure. The Garden represents the earth and we are its trees. Numerous times in scriptures the Lord compares us to trees i.e. :( you can tell a tree by its fruit) When we know we have sinned we hide ourselves amongst the trees of the world in hopes that God won’t see us or our sins in midst of everyone else’s. But we as children of God will always hear the voice of the Lord walking in the garden of this world calling out to us “Where are you? whenever we stretched forth our hand for that forbidden fruit. Satan is called the accuser of the brethren. He accuses the saints before the throne of God night and day. His goal is to get you to step outside of the will of God, so He can turn around and use it to condemn you before the Father. Hence, the “who” in the Lord’s question of “Who told you, you were naked?” Is most definitely Satan. It is Satan that shows us our nakedness outside of God’s will and causes us to want to hide from God and from others, and many times from ourselves. Its Satan’s job to remind of us of our fallen state every day, he wants us to forget that Jesus shed his blood as an atonement for our sins, past ,present and future. Jesus is our covering; He covers our sin so we can be naked and unashamed. We see this demonstrated through the act of the Lord fashioning garments of skins to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness in Gen 3:21.

The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them”.
Blood was somehow shed to cover their nakedness or rather their consciousness of sin. An animal of some sort was sacrificed to make coverings for their bodies. The scripture does not elaborate on what type of skins but we know that the Lord himself fashioned the garments out of skins as coverings for them both. Jesus and the blood he shed for us, is all the covering we will ever need. If we eat the bread of His body, and we partake of the cup of His blood which represents us sharing in the cup of His suffering, then we prove that we agree with His words, even when we can’t seem to get our bodies to line up.

Romans 7:21-24 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?”

Romans 8:8-9 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ”.

The bible says in John 1:8: “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us”.

Romans 3:10As the Scriptures say, "No one is righteous--not even one”.

Jesus came to cover our nakedness once and for all. We all have areas that cause us shame in our lives. The object is not to look upon another’s shame; we are to look away so to speak. Let me give you an example in scripture. A little further ahead in Genesis there is a story about Noah getting drunk and passing out in his tent naked and his son Ham walking in and looking upon in his father in his shameful state. Look at how his brothers Japheth and Shem handle the news of their father’s nakedness:

Gen 9:20-27And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father's nakedness. So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him. Then he said: "Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants he shall be to his brethren." And he said: "Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem, and May Canaan be his servant. May God enlarge Japheth, and may he dwell in the tents of Shem; and may Canaan be his servant."

The reason the Lord tells us not to judge another man’s standing with the Father on whether “he will ascend or descend”, is due to the fact that; in our flesh, our judgment is skewed. We can only judge by the outward severity of sin because we cannot see the condition of a man’s heart, only the Spirit searches and knows the condition of a man’s heart. Prov 16:2 “All a man's ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD”. Let me give you an example in a manor I believe Jesus would:

Who do you believe God would consider the worse transgressor? The non believer or baby Christian that is not acquainted with the teachings of righteousness Heb 5:13 committing the sin of murder, or a pious seasoned Christian person that commits slander against his brother by bearing false witness? Do you see what I am driving at? We have to always have the statement “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” always playing in our minds when we happen upon someone in a shameful condition and not go announce it to the world. Because, WE too have our own shameful condition and only God Himself knows whether before Him we stand or fall. In the case of Noah’s sons, the hearts of each man was revealed. Ham after happening upon his father’s weakened and shameful condition went immediately and told his two brothers of the news. Shem and Japheth handled the news like true Christians and demonstrated the true love of God by covering Noah’s nakedness without looking upon his shame. When we approach one another ‘s weaknesses with this heart attitude, we will be just like the man in the parable Jesus told about the Good Samaritan that demonstrated what a neighbor was and what being a neighbor meant.

Luke 10:25-37
Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.” But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

The Devil comes to Steal, Kill and Destroy. He is roaming to and fro looking to find someone along the pathway to overpower and rob of their inheritance. It is our job as Christians to look upon our brothers and sister in the light of Christ’s mercy and God will extend the exact same mercy and grace upon us. This is how one is able to walk naked and unashamed. When we are lead by love, we are lead by the Spirit of God. When we are lead by the Spirit of God we are no longer under the condemnation of our nakedness through sin and death. We find ourselves covered completely in the Blood of Jesus and ultimately defying the power of sin and death.

James 1:25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

The word in Greek that is translated in this verse as looks intently is parakupto and it actually means: to stoop down to a lower level to obtain a better view.

In Greek this scripture more accurately translates as:

“But whoever stoops down and lowers themselves to perceive the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it; they will show that they have not forgotten what they have heard, by doing it, these will be blessed in whatever they do”.

If we truly remember to do unto other as we would want them to do unto us, and Judge the way we want to be judged by God; then we can truly walk about in the garden of this world and be completely naked (honest and transparent) and unashamed because we know that Christ is our spiritual covering, fashion by God’s own hands to cover our nakedness just like in the Garden of Eden.

I pray this article causes us all to stoop down and lower ourselves to get a better view of God’s perfect law of freedom and learn to walk naked and unashamed just as we were originally designed.

God Bless Be Free and Set Fee!

5 comments:

  1. Wow you brought that together very well. I could always use a reminder like this, especially when dry seasons hit and vulnerability is the last thing on your mind.

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  2. "We can only judge by the outward severity of sin because we cannot see the condition of a man’s heart, only the Spirit searches and knows the condition of a man’s heart. " Amen.

    I've always loved the story of Noah. The dude had just gotten off a boat for 40 days with a bunch of animals and his family. That's enough to make anyone need a drink. God knew long before Noah flubbed up and got drunk that he was going to do it and STILL "Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord."

    I don't condone drunkeness... it leads to shameful behavior. BUT Noah was just REAL. He was just an extraordinary guy with a lot of regular issues. When we get honest with ourselves, we ALL are extraordinarily loved by the Father, but still battle with our regular, sinful selves. Our mistakes don't have to discredit our favor with God unless WE allow them to.

    Naked and Unashamed. Absolutely.

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  3. Thank you for your comment! It blesses me thoroughly when someone not only gets it, but actually lives it! Blessings to you Beer Drinking Angel!!

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  4. Amazing! Simply amazing!!

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