When you think of hiding, you tend to think of hiding an object, or hiding something that you are doing, and that is true, but it’s not the only thing that can be hidden.
The same thing is true of seeking! It can go either way, but it’s really important which way it goes! You can hide things, and you can seek things! It is very important what you hide and what you seek!
We are the ones who determine which way it goes. Our decisions determine which path we will take. Which path our children take, our friends, co-workers, and most importantly – our marriage! We have a choice! We make decisions everyday regarding our selfishness, our sin, our conversation, our our complimenting, or our complaining.
3:1 If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
3:2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
3:3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
So, what are you hiding? What are you seeking?
Sometimes, what you are seeking, leads to what you are hiding. Example: hiding pornography – some go to great lengths to cover and hide sin.
Jesus thought it was important enough to ask this question!
John 1:38 And Jesus turned, and beheld them following, and said to them, “What do you seek?” What are you after?
See, you can hide your sin, or you can hide yourself!
You can seek wrong, or you can seek righteousness!
You can go either way, but know this . . .
. . . what you do, does affect others! No doubt!
You can believe a lie, or you can believe the best.
You can comfort a person, or you can contaminate them!
You can speak healing, or you can speak hypocrisy!
What you say, and what you believe, does make a difference!
Let’s talk about lip service:
You can say that you love someone, and still leave them; that’s not God’s love!
You can say you are here for someone, yet be so distant that they can’t hear you! That’s not God’s way of helping!
4:1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; (let’s just look at it in terms of a marriage ministry)
4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. God has great sight! He sees the heart! There is no hiding from Him!
17:6 I have called upon Thee, for Thou wilt answer me, O God;
Incline Thine ear to me, hear my speech.
17:7 Wondrously show Thy lovingkindness,
O Savior of those who take refuge at Thy right hand
From those who rise up against them.
17:8 Keep me as the apple of the eye;
Hide me in the shadow of Thy wings,
Psalm - Chapter 91, known as the protection Psalm
91:3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
91:4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings
shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. (something surrounding the person)
You stay hidden and strong because of great trust in the Lord!
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. You can Seek God!
We should be seeking Him, and His Kingdom! A lot of the problems we have, and bad life situations we run into, would be completely eliminated if we would just do this! Seek Him!
No doubt, opportunities to sin and participate in wrong-doing will present themselves to you continually, but they do not just leap onto you and overtake you all at once. That’s wrong thinking.
This is equally true for women and men!
There is a progression to doing the wrong thing and the right thing! It’s step by step.
Seek – attempt or desire to obtain something. You don’t just start seeking sin. it all starts with a . . . .
Peek – to look quickly at something, or not very long. Just a glance is all it takes to get the ball rolling. But in order to peek, you first have to . . . .
Sneak - to move about in a stealthy manner. You know you are in trouble when you have to conceal your actions, but you only get to this point because you are . . . .
Weak – liable to break or give way under pressure. Spiritual weakness. You are supposed to be strong and courageous, but weakness comes as a result of a . . . .
Leak - to lose the contents of something. You had it, but you let it slip away and dry up. You chose not to stay full of God, to stay spiritually in tune, full of the Word and Prayer. Sin and wrong-doing starts right here!
But remember, you can stop hiding your sin, and start hiding yourself. You can stop seeking selfishness, and start seeking the Kingdom.
Your marriage is a ministry. It’s an example to your spouse, to your children, to your church, to your co-workers, and to complete strangers.
We live in a world full of Distractions, and if you are not watchful, you will find yourself setting a poor example!
- iPad, receipts, billing, texting, forms, medical stuff, car problems, etc. Everything can be going on, except the Word of God. But that’s what you need the most!
You have Influence, and you are an Example!
John 13:15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. (He has shown us how to do it)
1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (He has told us to do it)
1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: (He has told us to do it the same way He did it)
Hebrews 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. (He has warned us about doing it incorrectly)
When something or someone gets your attention, and you choose to take your eyes off what God has for you.
When you leave what God has for you, to go investigate something or someone else. Separation begins here!
When you begin to believe that this new thing you
discovered, may be better than what you were originally
doing for God. Separation continues.
When you have decided that the new thing is better, and you abandon what God had for you originally.
When your choice to move away from God’s original plan for you, has now resulted in a holding pattern, causing a delay in it’s fulfillment and a blockage in your life. And Others!
When you completely abandon God’s plan for you, and
choose to walk a different path altogether.
- Think of three specific ways you know you tend to seek the wrong things.
- Recognize and think about how this affects your spouse and your family.
- Determine this month to hide yourself, and put great trust in the Lord.
Nothing Safe About Secret Sin
Jesus taught repeatedly that sin bottled up on the inside, concealed from everyone else’s view, carries the very same guilt as sin that manifests itself in the worst forms of ungodly behavior. Those who hate others are as guilty as those who act out their hatred; and those who indulge in private lusts are as guilty as actual adulterers Mathew. 5:21-30
Here are three reasons secret sin is especially bad.
1. Because God sees the heart.
The Bible tells us “God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” 1 Samuel 16:7
No sin . . . not even a whispered curse or a fleeting evil thought is hidden from the view of God. In fact, if we realized that God himself is the only to see or hear our secret sins, we might be less inclined to write them off so lightly.
Not only that, secret sins will not remain secret. “The Lord [will] bring to light the things hidden in the darkness” 1 Corinthians 4:5 Jesus said, “There is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms shall be proclaimed upon the housetops” Luke 12:2-3 Those who think they can evade shame by sinning in secret will discover one day that open disclosure of their secrets before the very throne of God is the worst shame of all.
It is folly to think we can mitigate our sin by keeping it secret. It is double folly to tell ourselves that we are better than others because we sin in private rather than in public. And it is the very height of folly to convince ourselves that we can get away with sin by covering it up. “He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper” Proverbs 18:13
All sin is an assault against our Holy God, whether it is done in public or in secret. And God, who beholds even the innermost secrets of the heart, sees our sin clearly, no matter how well we think we have covered it.
2. Because sin in the mind is a fruit of the same moral defect that produces deeds of sin.
When Jesus said hatred carries the same kind of guilt as murder, and lust is the very essence of adultery, He was not suggesting that there is no difference in degree between sin that takes place in the mind and sin that is acted out. Scripture does not teach that all sins are of equal enormity.
In His Sermon on the Mount Jesus was pointing out that anger arises from the same moral defect as murder; and the one who lusts suffers from the same character flaw as the adulterer. Furthermore, those who engage in thought-sins are guilty of violating the same moral precepts as those who commit acts of murder and adultery.
In other words, secret sins of the heart are morally tantamount to the worst kind of evil deeds, even if they are sins of a lesser degree. The lustful person has no right to feel morally superior to a fornicator. The fact that she indulges in lust is proof she is capable of immoral acts as well. The fact that he hates his brother shows that he has murder lurking in his heart.
3. Because hidden sin involves the compounding sin of hypocrisy.
Those who sin secretly actually intensify their guilt, because they add the sin of hypocrisy to their offense. It also produces an especially debilitating kind of guilt, because by definition hypocrisy entails the concealing of sin.
Hypocrisy therefore permeates the soul with a predisposition against genuine repentance. That is why Jesus referred to hypocrisy as “the leaven of the Pharisees” Luke 12:1
Hypocrisy also works directly against the conscience. There’s no way to be hypocritical without searing the conscience. So hypocrisy inevitably makes way for the most vile, character-damaging secret sins. Thus hypocrisy compounds itself, just like leaven.
Your secret life is the real litmus test of your character: “As he thinks within himself, so he is” Proverbs 23:7 Do you want to know who you really are? Take a hard look at your private life . . . especially your innermost thoughts. Gaze into the mirror of God’s Word, and allow it to disclose and correct the real thoughts and motives of your heart.
Great News! You can now listen to, or download the audio from the Conqueror’s Club meetings. Praise the Lord!
Just follow this link: http://www.calvarycathedral.org/archives/30
Well, if you have not yet heard, on April 14, 2013, Pastor Nichols introduced Miriam & me as the new leadership for the Conqueror’s Club Ministry here at Calvary Cathedral International. Miriam and I have been married for just over 24 years now, and we have 7 wonderful children. We are thankful for God’s blessings!
Conqueror’s Club is a ministry specifically designed to help, encourage, and build lasting and Godly marriages. God originally gave the vision of Conqueror’s Club to Pastor Nichols in 1992, and it continues to this day.
Needless to say, we are very excited about our new role, and look forward to the opportunity to help many people in the future. Pastor has also seen fit to introduce a great team of two other couples that will work hand in hand with us in this venture. We are very glad to serve along side of Susan and Phil Foster, and Jay and Lori West. This is a great team, all with a heart to really help people! We have known, and been close friends with these couples for a long, long time. They are good and Godly people!
There will be great meetings, great times of fellowship, and great times of encouraging and building marriages that go the distance.
We are workers together!
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NASB)
Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.
Be encouraged that God is looking out for you! He has great plans for you, your spouse, your children, your friends . . . everyone! He made the supreme sacrifice for the whole world. According to 1 Timothy 2:4, God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” It’s time to make a new commitment to God, and really seek His face. It’s time to find out from Him, how He wants you to participate in this great end-time harvest.
This is the move of God that God has given us – it’s right now! I have read about the Azusa Street revival and the Welch revival and many others, but I don’t live on Azusa Street, I live right now! It’s one thing to remember the great things that God has already done for us, but it is also important to cooperate with Him right now. Make sure that you take time to be thankful to God for what He has done, but also make sure you look to Him to find out what He is doing right now.
God continues to have great plans for you and your family. Make every effort to jump in and actively participate with His plan.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.