Nakedness is not a bad thing. We come into the world unveiled before Him, humanity's exposure to the Earth in it's very first breaths took place in exposure, and all of God's creation thrives unashamed in His glory. The trees, the flowers, the rocks-- everything cries out for Him, unashamed, knowing that He is their creator. So, why is it that we cover ourselves so much?
Spiritually speaking, we do this because we are afraid.
Fear is rooted in the false mindset that God is not inherently good. In seasons where we let fear dictate our thinking, we let the fear drive us to believe that He isn't trustworthy and that He will never complete the things that we think He has been saying to us, what He says in scripture, or what He says through people. Sometimes, we are afraid of what He thinks about us.
In addition to the mental chaos, we aren't only afraid that God isn't who He said He was, we are also afraid of people. We are afraid of what they may think, we are afraid that they will hurt us, and we are afraid that we are not good enough for them. In that same place, some of us are even afraid of ourselves. We don't trust our own decision making, we are afraid of leadership, and we are afraid of voicing our own opinion.
I am in an exposing season of life right now where fear is very literally being ripped out of me. To be frank, I really don’t like it. Everything in me wants to run and hide somewhere in isolation, or I have inclinations to cover up and be short with people and the Lord. Stiff arming and self sufficiency is never the answer, I can attest to that over and over again. Being fully exposed before God and others is exactly what I need so that I can be full with Him and full with people.
For me, letting go of fear looks like being vulnerable with people when I don’t feel like it. It means letting others who are wiser than myself look at me and call me into higher and deeper places. It means expressing exactly what I am feeling and what the Lord is speaking to me no matter the audience. It means being unapologetically myself in my relationship with the Lord during worship, during prayer meetings, and in meetings with people.
In recent months, I have found myself with waterfall tears covering my face just about everyday due to transitions that are taking place in my life and the lives of the people I care about most. On the opposite side of the emotional spectrum, I have also found myself in the same predicament thanking the Lord for every single miracle, delivery, obstacle, and revelation that we have seen together this past year. Then, there have been times of compete joy and excitement for what He is doing in the moment and what is to come. I have trembled in tears, I have trembled in holy laughter, I have trembled in passionate anger, and I have trembled at the glory of His presence over and over again. I am coming to realize that my emotions are very very good and they expose me to what is happening deep within my spirit. However, they are in submission to me. I get to dictate what I believe is true in the midst of them. Yes, the days are unpredictable, but at least I am not numb anymore. Over and over again, I will say yes to fear being exposed within me and being unveiled before the Lord.
Love is worth the risk every single time.
Let Him be the anchor in times like these. No matter how I am feeling, all I want is Jesus and every single thing that He is, even if that means dying completely to myself. I choose to trust that He is who He said He is. I choose to believe that He is good. I choose to let Him guide my life with the Spirit inside of me. I choose to trust myself, what I say, the decisions I make, and the people that the Lord put in my life to help guide me. I am no victim.
When I let go of fear, I find myself in peace and completely rested in God. The truth is the anchor that stables me, and when I feel like my clothes are being ripped to shreds, I know He is standing right beside me and is whispering, “everything is going to be okay, it doesn’t matter what they think.” I just know that I can’t hide, because no one will be able to see me. People won’t be able to know me. Recently He told me this when I had several conversations with people that initially intimidate me. He said, "Let them look at you. You have things to offer them.” Wow. What a humbling moment to know that I have things to offer the people that I aspire to be like one day. I can also look at the people who have hurt me with the same eyes and know that I am a mess just like they are and probably even more so.
While He is teaching me exposure, He is also sweetly guiding me into wearing that royal crown that He bought for me a very very long time ago. Slowly, He is replacing my nakedness with a dress, sparkling with jewels. I Never take it off. It’s my identity. Royalty is what I am called to walk in no matter where I am-- the gas station, jittery joes writing this very blog, or praying over people at Wesley. I have keys to Heaven, a crown of beauty, and a royal dress that was made by Him.
He is inviting you to put it on as well. Ask Him what He is giving you instead of what is keeping you from the depth of who you are. Ask Him what needs to be exposed in your spirit. I promise, He is more than willing to take the grave clothes you put on every morning. You were created to be free and wear the finest of fragrances and fabrics. Let Him free you. Let Him clothe you. Let Him be the one to tell you who you are.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. “ Isaiah 61: 1-3 NIV
Author | Emily Helton