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"In Pursuit of God's Heart"

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.  2 Chronicles 16:9

Sin causes us to want to hide in shame.  In Genesis 2:25 we find Adam and Eve in the garden, and they were both naked, and they were not ashamed.  Immediately after they sinned (Genesis 3:7) their eyes were opened, and they knew they were naked and found fig leaves to cover their bodies.

In Genesis 3:10-11, Adam confesses that He heard God’s voice and was afraid and hid because he was naked.  And God asked, “Who told you that you were naked?” 

Before this Adam had walked in the Garden with God and enjoyed fellowship with Him but once he sinned his fellowship was hindered.  God immediately knew that they had sinned not only by their actions but because there was no place they could hide from God.  

Confessing Our Sins

Just as Adam and Eve’s sin separated them from intimate fellowship with God, our unconfessed sin causes us to hide in shame and avoid the loving, intimate relationship that our hearts long for. 

First John 1:9 assures us that, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  

I relate uncovering our nakedness to exposing our sin. We have the option of coming before God’ confessing our sin,  and asking God to forgive us, or hiding our sin and burying our secrets as if we have done nothing wrong. 

In 2 Samuel 6:14;20, we see that David had an intimate fellowship with the Lord.  He whirled and danced in worship clothed in a linen ephod.  Michal, his wife, complained about his undignified behavior.  It was an embarrassment to her, but David was undeterred from his jubilant worship.  

David had an intimate relationship with God.  Scripture describes him as a man after God’s heart.  He was quick to repent when he sinned, and he was a wholehearted worshipper.  

Spending Time in His Presence

God’s desire for us is that we put off all pretense of being who we are not.  He created each of us as an original not a copy of someone else.  He knows that as we behold Him and develop intimacy with the Lord Jesus Christ that the fruit of the Spirit will begin to form in our lives.  

The attributes of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control as found in Galatians 5:22.  

He doesn’t want us to pretend to be someone that we are not, but as we spend time in His presence, we will be transformed.  In Luke 10:38-42, Martha came to Jesus complaining because Mary was not helping in the kitchen, but Jesus said that Mary had chosen to sit at His feet and be taught by Him and she had made the best choice.

 Often Jesus called the Pharisees and Sadducees hypocrites.  He even said that they were whitewashed tombs full of dead men’s bones, (Matthew 23:27). He told them it was more important for the inside of their cups (hearts) to be clean then for their outward appearance to be clean.  

They were more concerned with keeping up appearances before men than coming naked before the Lord and receiving the washing and cleansing that only the blood of Jesus can give.  

God Longs to Set You Free

Nakedness requires humility.  It is not easy to confess the deep, hidden wounds, hurts, and sins.  It requires digging up, a purging, a sitting quietly and listening so that the Holy Spirit can speak to your heart.  The enemy knows that as long as that sludge stays there clogging your heart, it will prevent you from being the original, joyful, trusting individual that you were created to be.

Little by little, with each betrayal, each hurt, and wound; you lose your trust and your desire to be transparent and vulnerable (naked) before the Lord.  You develop a façade to shield yourself from further pain.  We think that if people or God knew who we really are then we wouldn’t be accepted. 

Psalm 139 states that God knew us before He formed us in our mother’s womb.  God says that there is nowhere we can hide from His presence.  So if you were abused as a child, became an alcoholic or a drug addict, or were guilty of adultery, God knows all about it, and He longs to see you set free of the enemy’s chains.  

In Psalm 51, David prays a prayer of repentance to the Lord.   He had committed adultery and then murder to cover up his guilt, but God sent a prophet to let him know that he knew all about David’s sin.  David came before the Lord, no longer hiding, no longer covering up his crimes but naked asking God to cleanse and give him a pure heart.  

We are so loved that God who created the universe wants us as the bride for His Son Jesus.  How does that bride prepare for the coming wedding?  Jesus is coming for a pure, spotless bride.  Not one person is spotless like Jesus. 

In the parable of the wedding feast (Matthew 22), Jesus describes the kingdom of heaven where the king sends an invitation to come to his son’s wedding.  There are many excuses given by those invited for why they couldn't come. 

So the king commands his servants to go out into the streets and bring them in.  As they come in, they must put on a wedding garment.  The king came and found one guest not dressed in the wedding garment and told them to throw him out, “for many are called, but few are chosen.” 

Do you ever consider the scary statements in the Bible?  If we are all called but only a few chosen, what is the requirement?  

What Should Our First Consideration be?

If Mary pleased God by beholding Him while Martha was complaining about Mary not helping, what should our first consideration be?

David was a man after God’s heart who spent years out under the stars getting to know God; Anna spent years in the temple in prayer and fasting and saw the Savior; John the Baptist dedicated his life to preparing for the coming of Jesus. Don't you think we should reconsider our priorities and spend less time in the flurry of activity and more time in intimate fellowship with the Lord?

The Lord spoke to my heart that intimacy requires nakedness and while He longs for me to confess my deepest secrets to Him and requires that I seek forgiveness from others whom I have hurt, it is not my job to judge or expose the secrets of others. 

Genesis 10:18-24 is the story of Noah’s son Ham discovering that his father had gotten drunk on wine and passed out naked.  Ham went and told his brothers about their father’s condition.  Shem and Japheth honored their father by backing into the tent with a cover on their shoulders and covering him without looking at his nakedness.  

Tell Him all Your Secrets

Many of us have been deeply hurt by people who should have loved us.  Our first desire is often, vindication.  Expose them by making sure others know their lies and secrets. 

I must admit that I was recently convicted in this area when my birth mother passed away.  She had abandoned me as a one-year-old, and I had only met her briefly twice before she died.  At her funeral, I found that I was very angry because she had taken all her secrets and baggage to the grave. 

I had six younger half-sisters, the majority did not know that I existed.  It was a sad story of lies, secrets, and deception.  As we pieced together bits of information, I realized that like Noah’s sons, we had the choice to either expose or cover her nakedness.  

My heart’s desire for each of us is that we will trust God with our baggage; that we will confess our sins to God and one another; that we will allow God to be the judge and that we give each other grace. 

No one is perfect, and only God knows the depth of our depravity. And He still loves us.  There is nothing so wrong that God won’t forgive when we repent.  We need to confess our miserable condition to the Lord. 

Sit at His feet and tell Him all your secrets, just as the scripture at the beginning of this story states; “God is faithful and just to forgive our sins when we confess.”

An Invitation

In Revelation 3:17-22, the angel says to the lukewarm church “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy and have need of nothing’-and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked – I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.  Therefore be zealous and repent.  Behold I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 

To him who overcomes, I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

The invitation has been extended, the time is now, come!!!!

By Patricia Harris

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