Wrestling with God
You know that ‘secret’ that nobody knows…. I have several thoughts about it. And you may be surprised at said thoughts. We are told to “confess our sins,” to get counseling, to let it out. There’s much to be said for that. Yet… I have a few other thoughts as well. I believe scripture suggests there are times to keep secret things secret. Don’t get mad yet… (smile and keep reading) …
Have you ever thought about this? Let’s say you have that thing that you’ve never talked to anyone about because, “Who could I talk to about this?” “Who could I trust?” “Everyone is too closely tied to it to understand.” “I don’t know who would be able to give me wise counsel” … and so – you’ve bolted it in to that lockbox you call your heart and there it is; always there, persistently having a voice. Or have you shut it down so hard that you haven’t heard from it until now (and you’re silently cursing me for giving it a voice). Still don’t get mad…
First, probably no less than 100% of the entire human population can relate to this. You are not alone.
Secondly, here’s a thought: maybe it’s okay for it to be secret, but not okay for it to be yours – locked in and unaddressed – held hostage and holding fear or shame with a constant threat of ruining your life.
Deuteronomy says, “the secret things belong to the Lord our God but the things which are revealed and disclosed belong to us and to our children forever…” (Deuteronomy 29:29). Interesting, ey? The motives and the intentions --and yes, all those secret things-- belong to our hearts and to Him, unless we reveal them. Then in Proverbs we read, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter” (Proverbs 25:2). It is the GLORY of GOD to CONCEAL a matter! What?! Perhaps some of you are ready to strangle me, but I didn’t say it, I am only pointing out what the wisest man who ever lived said.
Perhaps Father desires that some things be left hidden. I know, I know, how can this possibly be good!? I have several examples I could give but I’m not going to spend time here doing that. There are some very important things to discuss if we are going to take this approach! It is NOT healthy to have loads of secrets and to hide things. BUT…on occasion it is important to keep things within your own heart and in honest communication with Father.
There are two parts to my encouragement in this. First, you (your body) simply cannot handle keeping things secret in your own heart and not having openness with Him. Your body is not meant for it and neither is your soul. You NEED to be able to let things out. Deuteronomy says the things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever. If I must talk about every single sin, everything done wrong, every evil done to me, guess who has to carry that forever? My children and my children’s children after me. The offense hurts many, weighs many down and carries on to a thousand generations after me. Is this what I want to pass on? No. So, how can I release these things and yet not give them to someone else to carry? This is the second part to discuss.
We must learn to let go of things with Father. He is there, desiring relationship, desiring honesty with us, and ready to bring glory to the matter while at the same time concealing it. Just a thought: If I only ever go to a counselor and never to the Great Counselor, how do I begin to hear from Him for myself? If men, and even the holiest of men, are giving me counsel and telling me what to do – how will I ever learn to find the truth without them? I want to learn to hear from Him, to gain His wisdom, and to have a face-to-face-come-to-Jesus-meeting-down-and-dirty-scrap-it-out-with-Him match. Do you remember when Jacob wrestled with God? My question is… if we are ever and only getting our absolution from a human, do we ever get that fabulous, life-changing wrestling match with God? I want to be in a face to face battle with Him – to see Him fighting for me, to feel His heart alongside and, in moments, against mine. There is a depth of relationship that comes when we get close, honest, recognizing the fear in our own eyes, seeing the grace in His. Where we smell the sweat of that intense and uncomfortable place to be led to the still waters knowing we have not been rejected in our foolishness. This is a holy place. And this, my friends, is what I believe He wants with us. This is what He does NOT get from us if we simply pacify our guilt through some cliché meetings with a counselor or friend who tells us it’s all going to be okay.
So then, we are not holding in our sins for our own conscience to deal with. Neither are we letting a human absolve us. But we are, in real and honest ways connecting at a heart level with a Loving Father who then takes the secret things, forgives them, and cleanses our conscience from all our failures. We are brought in to a new space WITH Him beside still waters – after the wrestling and the loss and the pain. Here, to be restored, to be at peace and to BE with Him.