January 17, 2013 by Chris French
Let’s face it. In our culture some people wear masks. They hide who they really are behind a mask of what is acceptable to the people around them. Of course this happens in the church. She is made up of people and we have a disturbing talent of disguising our real life as something that is pleasing to God. Who do we think we’re fooling? Most of the time these masks are like the ones bank robbers use of the Presidents. We may not be able to tell who you really are, but we know that mask is a fake. Even if you do fool us you WILL NOT fool God. You think he won’t see thru the facade on the Day of Judgment? He’s going to look at you then and say, “Wow! You sure do look like my Son. Welcome to your hard-fought reward.” My mask isn’t going to confuse Him! He sees thru it now just like most of my friends in the church do. Why not let it drop so you can stop working so hard to keep up appearances and actually start doing the work of the Kingdom?
As a struggling masked man myself I can tell you that life is so much easier after you drop the mask and not just for you. You understand the toll your facade is taking on you, but have you ever thought about the pressure it puts on those around you who are trying to live wholly devoted to God, sans mask? Your life drags these people down. I see your habitual, willful sin, but then I see you at church claiming to love my Savior. That’s puts me in the position of always being the strong one. Sometimes I’m weak too, but I can’t depend on you to be strong for me. I know you would come to my visit me if I was in the hospital, but will you pray for me on a daily basis? I know you’ll play games with me and have fun, but will you watch my life and let me know when I’m offending God or my brothers? Can you do this with credibility, grace and compassion?
The only way a masked man can help me out of my sin is for him to let the mask fall by kicking the sin out of his life. Then he can tell me how I’m offending God. Remember the picture Jesus painted of the guy with the 2×4 sticking out of his eye trying to help a man get an eyelash out of his eye (Matthew 7.1-5)? I need to take care of my own sin before I can help you out of yours. That eyelash is a problem and I need it out of my life, but that 2×4 is obstructing your vision so badly that you can’t see me hurting. All you’re interested in is not getting caught in your sin. To help me you’ve got to drop the mask.
Do you know how unplanned retreats used to start when armies faced each other in battle? One guy at the front lines decided that the sacrifice he was about to make was too great and he ran. Other people saw him and they followed him, exposing their backs to the enemy. They were easy kills then. If you’re living a double life you’re running from Satan. You’ve decided that the sacrifice Jesus asks of you is too great so you run from Him. That doesn’t sound catastrophic until I follow you. Because you have taken away my fire for God I slowly start making compromises too. Now we’ve both got our backs to Satan and your efforts have been redoubled by my betrayal. Now together we’re leading more people away from God. That’s how retreats start. First with one person, then another sees and follows, then another…and another…and another. Eventually the whole army of God could have our backs to Satan. Then we’re an easy kill.
You don’t be the first one to retreat! You stand strong and stay passionate about your relationship with God. Become a rallying point for the people in your circle. If they see you fighting against the enemy they will follow! Stay in the trenches and wait for help. It’s coming.