Today’s guest post is by Elyse Fitzpatrick, author of two new books, Found in Him: The Joy of the Incarnation and Our Union with Christ and Counting the Days, Lighting the Candles: A Christmas Advent Devotional—and you can get both for 35% off! Fitzpatrick has authored 18 books, and has been a women’s counselor since 1989.
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
When we were children, it was fun to play hide-and-seek. I still play it sometimes with my grandchildren, except we play a version of it called “sardines.” This version is played at night, in the dark, with one person hiding and everyone else trying to find them. Then, once they’re found, they’re joined by the one doing the finding, until nearly everyone is all packed like sardines into the closet or a bathtub or under a couch (or some other way-too-small secret hiding place) trying to be very, very quiet, and trying not to laugh. The worst feeling in the world is to be the last person walking through a dark house calling out, “Guys? Guys? Where are you?” and knowing that everyone is together someplace snickering about what a dolt you are.
Most of us enjoyed playing hide-and-seek as children, but as we mature, the game becomes more intense and the feelings of isolation and shame become more serious. We’re not playing at this anymore and now the stakes are terribly high. Will someone actually come searching for us? Will we be welcomed in? Will we be loved? Will the people we care about still love us once they see who we really are? These are the questions that dog us and force us into hiding. I can’t let anyone really know me, because if I do , they’ll see what an imposter I am and I’ll lose their love. These are the anxious thoughts of adults who are still playing hide-and-seek.
John’s words in 1 John 1:7 must penetrate our hiding places, piercing into all those places where we’re still pretending to be something other than what we really are. The Holy Spirit is calling each of us out, calling us to walk out into the light as he himself is in the light. He’s calling us to put aside all of our fig-leaf identities, all of our really, I’m okay, really I am, protestations, and step out into the light that exposes us for what we are, yet welcomes us as beloved daughters and sons.
We are sinners. That’s why John assures us that God knows who and what we really are no less than three times in the opening paragraphs of his letter. Three times in just three verses, the Holy Spirit switches on the lights and drags us out of hiding. We are sinners. He knows all about it, but we’ve been sought and found. We don’t need to be afraid or hide like Adam did. God knows us and loves us still.
Open yourself to others
Of course, the truth is that we’ve all been playing hide-and-seek since that fateful day in the Garden of Eden when the Lord called out, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9) and the man admitted his fear, his guilt, his shame, and his hiding. We’ve all been in shadow ever since, trying to adjust our fig leaves so that we won’t be embarrassed. To one extent or another, we’re all ashamed, and we’re all trying to cover ourselves up. We’re all posers. And this posing doesn’t only affect our relationship with the Lord. It affects our relationships with everyone we know.
We all know what it’s like to be with posers—people who never let you in and never let their guard down enough for you to really know them. It makes deep fellowship utterly impossible. That’s because the only way for us to experience true relationship—the only way we can walk transparently and vulnerably—is when we are walking in the reality of the need for our blood-drenched cleansing. When we’re walking in the light, letting others really see us—warts and all, we’re able to admit our sin and guilt; we’re able to be who we really are: really great sinners with a really great Savior. We’re able to confess our sins, to stop pretending to be better than we are, to say to others, “I’m just like you. Let’s run to Jesus together.”
Step into the light
How do we get there—how do we walk into the light? We walk into the light by remembering the gospel: you were hidden but he sought you out. He came to save sinners, his enemies, the weak, the foolish, and the naked. He was shamed and abandoned; he let himself hang in humiliation for you, so that you no longer have to pretend or hide the truth about yourself from others. Because his Father hid his face from him, we can walk out into the light. The darkness of Calvary is over; all that we know of shame and guilt has been obliterated by his work. The sun has risen.
So let us walk out of hiding and shadow and darkness into the light knowing that everything that ever needed to be said about us has already been said. We are loved, we are forgiven, we are righteous, we are cleansed. You can be known because he already knows you even better than you know yourself and yet he loves. He is the Lord of light . . . let us walk as children of the light.
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Learn to come out of hiding and find yourself in Christ: download Fitzpatrick’s new book, Found in Him, for 35% off.
Today’s guest post is by Elyse Fitzpatrick, author of two new books, Found in Him: The Joy of the Incarnation and Our Union with Christ and Counting the Days, Lighting the Candles: A Christmas Advent Devotional—and you can get both for 35% off! Fitzpatrick has authored 18 books, and has been a women’s counselor since 1989. “But […]