Updated: Nov 10, 2020
What are you hiding?
What are you hoping no one ever finds out about you?
Or about what you've done?
Don't worry, I'm not going to ask you to write it in the comments below : )
But what you do with it will determine who you become!
Pastor Steven Furtick in his message "Reputation Rehab" said, "God will use the stuff you want to hide if you offer it to him!" In this particular message he explains how Rahab the prostitute from Joshua 2 is an example of God using the things we want to hide. Rahab knew how to hide men so it made sense God used this part of her story to protect the spies.
"God will use the stuff you want to hide if you offer it to him!" -Pastor Steven Furtick
In my NIV Study Bible Notes for Joshua 2:1 it says, "God often uses people with simple faith to accomplish his great purposes, no matter what kind of past they have had or how insignificant they seem to be. Rahab didn't allow her past to keep her from the new role God had for her."
"Rahab didn't allow her past to keep her from the new role God had for her." -NIV Study Bible Notes
Later in the New Testament Rahab is referred to as Rahab the righteous. She was listed among other heroes of the faith. If God counts Rahab as righteous and her faith as an example for us all, then there is hope for you and for me!
"In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?" -James 2:25
What are you hiding? What do you hope no ever finds out?
I know what it was for me. I know what it was for some of my good friends. And I know it wasn't until we faced these things head on that we were able to make significant progress towards healing the past, finding peace in the present, and seeing freedom in our futures!
I will not pretend to know what it is for you or even how to fix it for you! But I do want to share what I found helpful in this journey of facing those things which I wanted to hide from. These three steps came from a workshop I attended at Faithful and True Ministries.
1) Confess it
Yes, you read this correct. Confess it - in the appropriate setting and with the appropriate, trusted audience of course. I was unable to find freedom and peace until I admitted to myself and others that I had a problem I needed help with. I had to first face the reality of my choices and be willing to accept the natural consequences of my actions. What I didn't realize at the time, I was already paying consequences for my choices. By confessing it, I didn't reap consequences, I simply acknowledged the consequences I was facing and the ones that were still to come.
Confessing it allows you to release the illusion you can control the consequences of your choices by hiding them!
For those of us who have chosen to follow Jesus Christ, this is a commandment given to us as a way of living our lives according to God's plans and dreams for us. James 5:16 sums it up this way, "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective."
2) Feel it.
I have a number of therapists to thank for helping me through this step! I couldn't have done this on my own. It was important for me to allow myself the time and freedom to experience the feelings and deep emotions surrounding my childhood traumas, spiritual and sexual abuse, and addictive patterns.
I know this sounds overwhelming at first - at least it was for me. The greatest guidance I received here is to simply take it a day a time and find a therapist or professional if needed or at least a trusted friend who can journey with you. Don't put a timeline on this step. Be sure to journal your feelings and thoughts surrounding the pain, consequences, and questions you have around these painful emotions. Finally, trust the process.
3) Eventually, share it when you are ready.
This stage comes after you've first found healing and freedom in the first two steps. For me, God has made it clear he didn't give me my story to hoard - he gave it to me to share! To be a lighthouse of hope for those who are stuck in hiding like I was!