In Genesis 3:7, after sinning, mans eyes were opened and instead of seeking God to deal with their shame, man sought to cover their nakedness with fig leaves. It sounds ridiculous when we read it – yet, how many of us are currently doing the same thing? We have this virus as an invisible menace, and all these rules to keep us divided, and our churches are being forbidden to meet together… and how many of us are truly on our faces seeking God. If anything, our church-worship has been exposed and we are left naked trying to hide behind news, netflix and munchies. If anything, this national crisis has shown me how much nonsense I tell myself about the myth of ‘if I only had more time’… I have more time and I am not using it to do anything productive. I would love to tell you how spiritual I have become, but if anything, this crisis has made me less spiritual. The covid19 thing has left me in a place of doing nearly nothing for my family and absolutely nothing for anyone else.
When Adam answered God in Genesis 3:10 he said “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.” How long have I went to church out of fear – hiding in the pews… seeking the ticket out of death – but not really having a relationship with the ticket-master. Hoping that some religiousness would cover up my nakedness. How long did I sew bible-pages together in an attempt to hide my nakedness? Knowledge tends to puff us up. Knowledge will not save me. Faith will save me, the faith that is forged in relationship. God has done the impossible for me. He has redeemed me from the compost bin and called me friend – not by my merits… but by his. He has paid an expensive price for me – a price I cannot fathom. God has done for me what I could not.
There are many fig leaves we can use to attempt to hide from God. Church attendance, bible study, church groups, church activities, business, family, personal time, recreation, jobs, children & their activities, or some combo of all of them. At what point do we drop the leaves and stand naked before our savior, lord and king? To God, we are all naked and exposed all of the time. There is no covering he cannot see through. To attempt to hide from God is as silly as it sounds. Long-term attempting to hide from God sounds like a recipe for chronic mental/physical health problems – starting with delusions. Jesus said ( Matthew 6:23 ) that if the light we think we have is actually darkness, how deep is that darkness? If our light is actually delusion – how delusional have we become?
My challenge to myself is to drop the leaves. The present state of my city/state/country is voluntary isolation. I choose to invite God into my isolation – and I hope you will too. God has made himself available to us all. In Romans 10:9 it says this: “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” in Acts 16:30 we read an account of a jailer asking “What must I do to be saved?” And Paul & Silas reply in Acts 16:31 “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.”
Salvation is not the end, it remains the beginning of a marvelous relationship. I believe God desires to reveal himself to us – and he is looking for those of us who value his revelations so we may grow closer together. Our relationship as a church to Jesus is as a bride to her groom. God uses marriage to show us a symbol of two becoming one in spirit though separate in body. In fact Paul points to marriage in Ephesians 5:31-33 to ‘illustrate the way Christ and the church are one’. God also shows us he forgives us despite our harlotry in chasing after other gods.
Here I am, standing naked, surrounded by a pile of leaves. I am praying that those leaves may be burned up – and that I don’t find new leaves to replace them. Lord please help me to stay naked and exposed and to draw close to you in this time. I want to be hidden in you instead of disguised in the world. Thank you for exposing my nakedness. I pray for more of you, and less of me. Please be with my brothers and sisters and help them to hear from you. Thank you for life, and for appointing me to live at this time. Your blessings overflow my cup. Help us all to dwell with you the way you intended since before the foundations of the earth. In Jesus’ name.