ECCLESIASTES 3:18 – I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts.
THEME OF THE DAY. ANOTHER WORK OF GOD IN US. God does many works in the lives of His children. Here are just a few. He teaches us. He directs us. He comforts us. He corrects us. He conforms us into the image of His Son, the Lord Jesus. Yet, there is a work we may not be quick to acknowledge or even embrace and it is the most important work He does for it determines if the other ones occur. It is found in today’s scripture – seeing ourselves as we really are.
When it comes to what we are, we each have “public” and “private” faces. First, the public face is how we are perceived by people observing us. For instance, the “Sunday face” when we come to church. We might have had a rough week, a challenging Sunday morning, perhaps even a heated exchange among family members, and come into our churches with the “plastic smile” and when asked “How are you?” respond with, “Fine, doing good.” I am not saying we are being hypocrites, but we certainly are putting on a persona of how we want people to think of us. As easy as this is to do, it is also spiritually damaging. It prevents genuine Christian fellowship and the Biblical mandate to invest in one another by sharing burdens and weeping with those who weep. And what is even more dangerous in our spiritual lives is allowing this lack of reality to become the norm in our lives. We become comfortable with “dual lives”.
The other face we portray is the real one – what we are in private; what we are before God alone. But the problem may very well be is we do not take the time to see our “real face” before God. Many Christians do not practice self-examination on a regular basis. They do not want to be alone before God for Him to search them, expose them, and then change them. So, they fill up life with busyness and a flurry of mindless activity leaving no time for the necessary work of God showing us who we really are. And if we do not do this, we will not grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus.
In today’s scripture, King Solomon reveals God will test us to show us who we truly are, and in doing so, the real work of change begins. And the only way to see us as frail, needy, dependent, and easily deceived people is to be brought face-to-face before the all-knowing God. We do not need to fear this “revelation” of who we truly are because the One who is exposing us loves us, and is doing so to do the good work of changing us. Submit to it for it opens the door to living the Christian life as God desires with lives not of two faces but of the real one defining us in private and public.
PRAYER: “Lord, as You show me myself as I really am, may I embrace the humility it produces.”
QUOTE: “If we are to know God as He really is we must see ourselves as we really are.”