One of our goals for this first week of First Seek is to prepare. We want to prepare our hearts and minds and will to be open to a season set apart for communal fasting, worship, and prayer (note: you can sign up for your fasting week(s) here). We are repositioning ourselves to encounter God.
HONESTY IS THE FOUNDATION
Choosing to live openly and honestly is foundational to experiencing fullness of life in God. God doesn’t seem to engage with our facades. He doesn’t speak to, love on, heal, deliver, or empower the false self we try and portray. Rather, the Spirit faithfully pursues who we really are, drawing us out from the walls we’ve built up around our hearts.
1 Peter 3:10 says, “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.” When the Bible talks of honesty, it isn’t simply talking about God’s heart for us to speak truthfully, but also that we wouldn’t believe or live out lies. There is no life in trying to appear as something we’re not. Abundant life comes with communion with God, and God always meets us where we are (actually) at.
Assess your life today. Are you living honestly in every area of your life? Are there are areas where you are trying to portray yourself as something you’re not? Where might you be deceiving yourself? Are you coming before God just as you are?
Honesty is at the foundation of being with Jesus (upward), becoming like him (inward), doing what he did (outward), and walking with him in community (withward). God is not asking you to clean yourself up before you go to him. The Sprit invites you to come as you are, that you might encounter the steadfast love he has for you, and his transformative power to make all things (even you) new.
Take a moment to reflect on the importance of being open and vulnerable. Allow the Spirit to illuminate any ways in which you are valuing appearance above reality before God or others.
1. Meditate on the importance of honesty. May Scripture help you make honesty a core value.
“Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.” 1 Peter 3:10
“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” James 1:26
2. Assess your heart. In what ways do you value appearance above reality? Where are you working to try and appear as something you’re not. Ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate any ways in which you need to live more honestly.
3. Ask God to reveal his love for you even in your imperfections. Allow his love to fill you with the courage to be honest today. Rest in his unconditional love for you.
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
May you find new peace and joy today as you walk more and more in the light.