Can you believe itʼs been three months since our last SHE event? Wow!!! Time sure flies, doesnʼt it?
Well, I hope youʼve had a chance to rethink some of the things we talked about and to let them really sink in and become a part of your life, how you think and how you respond. I hope youʼve been cultivating your spiritual appetite and laying off the “spiritual snickers bars.” Old habits can be hard to break, but rest assured, God wants to spend time with you, and if you will seek Him and spend time in His Word, He will never disappoint!
Remember in the Swap Shop “Eat & Be Satisfied,” our key verse was, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” (Matt 5:6) We talked about the word filled, how it comes from the Greek word “chortazo,” meaning “to be fully satisfied, to enjoy abundance.” Iʼd like to take a minute to talk a little more about the word filled.
You know, being filled and being full are not the same thing. The passage doesnʼt really say that those who hunger will be full. It says that those who hunger will be filled. The verb demonstrates continuous action; that is, you are continuously given in order that you can continuously give. Think of it this way - pipes get filled with water, but they donʼt stay that way ... unless thereʼs a clog, but thatʼs not really the point here. :-) Pipes fill with water, but they donʼt stay full. If a bucket gets full and stays that way, it stagnates. You know why the Dead Sea is dead? Because it has no outflow! You and I were not called to be buckets that sit around full of water, but we are called to be pipes. As the water flows through us, it fills the pipe. The filling of the pipe means that it is flowing through the pipe to accomplish a purpose on the other end!
Isnʼt that great news?! As we hunger and thirst for righteousness, God fills us.
I love the thought of God continually filling us with what we need. Fresh from the source! As we daily hunger and thirst for Him, He daily fills us with what we need to fulfill our purpose!
So what are you waiting for?
Eat! Drink! Be filled!
God is looking for men and women who want to be filled ... who will He find?
Growing up in New Orleans and now living just outside of that wonderful city, I've been to my fair share of Mardi Gras parades...but I've actually never been to a Mardi Gras Ball. Have you? The decked out kind? The ones where there are purple, green, and golden decorations enveloping the ballroom...the lights are dim and there's amazing music playing in the background...all the men are dashingly handsome in their black and white tuxedos and the women are gorgeous and dressed in their most elegant ball-gowns. Have you been to one?
Some of the most famous Mardi Gras symbols are theater masks, you know, the happy face and sad face masks that go hand in hand? Add the masks to the ball and you have...Tadaah...a Masquerade Ball. And one of my favorite scenes in a movie is in Phantom of the Opera during the performance of "Masquerade." The music is so grande, especially on surround sound...the costumes are so elaborate, so amazing...and the masks - oh the masks. Have you seen it? Have you heard the song? Have you read the words? I can hear it in my head...
(just FYI, I'm editing out some of the lyrics)
Paper faces on parade.
Hide your face, so the world will never find you!
Every face a different shade.
Look around -
mask behind you!
I know you know where I'm going with this, don't you? We all wear some kind of mask at some point in our lives, and maybe multiple masks at many different times. The paper masks mentioned above serve so many purposes, don't they? We hide behind something so simple, so easily destroyed, yet sometimes so hard to take off. We put on a different mask of different shades hoping nobody will ever see who we really are...and yet we see there's another mask behind us...someone else who doesn't want to reveal their true identity.
Take your fill -
let the spectacle
Stop and stare
at the sea of smiles
"Grinning yellows, spinning reds.Take your fill - let the spectacle astound you!" We can be so impressed with and so distracted by all the different masks we see and even the ones we wear. "Burning glances, turning heads. Stop and stare at the sea of smiles around you!" WHAT IS REAL ANYMORE?! We can't see what's behind a mask...not the one we are looking at on someone else ...... and not behind the one we see when we look into the mirror. "Burning glances...stare at the sea of smiles around you!" A sea of FAKE! Whose smile is real, and who is hiding a burning glance?! Who are you hiding your burning glance from?! Who are you faking out?
You can fool
any friend who
ever knew you!
Run and hide -
but a face will
still pursue you
Shadows, lies...you can fool anyone! Have you gotten so good at wearing your mask that you can fool any friend who ever knew you? Are you so good that you can fool yourself?! We can run and try to hide, but the option to put on the mask is still there. It's a daily effort to keep from wearing a mask. It's easier to put one on and go.
How many of us use those masks instead of revealing our true selves to others. We would rather hide behind a façade, put on a mask, focus on what others want and expect from us, instead of looking to God and His word for how HE views us and who HE created us to be! As one author said, “self-understanding leads to the fulfillment of your God-given destiny. Discerning your true self is inextricably related to discerning God’s purposes for you. Paradoxically, the more you become like Christ, the more you become authentically yourself.” After all, we WERE created in His image!
Really…the mask is easy! Did you get that? The M-A-S-K is E-A-S-Y!!!
It’s the journey to uncover what’s behind the mask that is hard. Are you willing to journey? Are you willing to uncover what you've been hiding behind and who you've been hiding?
We can't control if and when others wear a mask. We can't control how many insincere people cross our paths. We can't force someone to take off their mask. We can only control if we wear a mask! If we’re going to claim to trust God, then we need to trust what His word says about us. And He says we are "fearfully and wonderfully made."
I hope you will accept the challenge of beginning the journey to uncovering or rediscovering the authentic, beautiful, unique woman that God created when He so diligently created you!
Thanks for being you ....