by Susan Sampson
“True fellowship with God begins not only when we lay everything down but when we let down our guard because we believe” (Beyond Belief, pg. 67).
When I read this it was like a light dawned for me. I’ve always known that I have struggled with self-protection, but for some reason the way this sentence was worded, it really hit home. I have been on guard my entire life. I have been the guard of my heart.
As I reviewed my lecture notes, this stood out: “Caution – when you want to withdraw and not have close intimate fellowship chances are you aren’t walking in light.” There’s that word again – “intimacy.” On page 70 we read that the word for fellowship in Greek is koinonia which carries with it the idea of “openly and generously sharing with others what one has, including yourself, an intimacy, togetherness, oneness of heart, one in the Spirit.”
In Genesis 3 we see that Adam and Eve’s first response after sinning was to hide from the presence of God. This is me. I have been on guard, hiding my heart from others, wanting to withdraw, guarding myself from true intimacy. This is not living in the light.
Why do I hide? Because I don’t want anyone to see the “real me.” But I am realizing that this is because I am still identifying the “real me” as the “old me.” I have to confess my unbelief that the old has gone and the new has come. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me (Gal. 2:20). So many times I sadly still live in the “old me.” The old me is ugly, selfish, jealous, afraid of what others think, prideful and arrogant, always thinking I’m right, unbelieving, judgmental, and lazy. And I know there’s more. But the truth is that the penalty for these sins has been paid for by the blood of Christ. He took my sin upon himself and it was nailed to the cross and I bear it no more. Therefore I don’t need to hide! To grow in Christ, I must live in the Light.
One with Himself I cannot die
My soul is purchased by His blood
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ, my Savior and my God
With Christ, my Savior and my God
“For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3).
On Day Five we were instructed to read Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17. There it was in verse 12, such sweet words from my Savior: “I have guarded them…”
Jesus is my Guard! The words to another song come to mind: “Here’s my heart Lord, take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.” Instead of continuing to hide in darkness, there is One alone who is safe. He is our Hiding Place. May we run to our great high priest whose name is Love!
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him. You are a hiding place for me; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. (Psa. 32:1-7)