By Becky Jones
(This is the second post in a four part series, refer here for post one)
Every year one of my family’s favorite Fall traditions is to go to the State Fair of Texas. With a gallon of hand sanitizer in tow, we have scientifically perfected the route we take as we walk around the Fair! We never stray from this route. Ever. For 10 years, we have started and ended in the same place every time and we have only varied the routine in the middle on a rare occasion. We have refined this route to allow us to cool off indoors at just the right time, ingest copious amounts of fried food without getting sick and still be able to ride a few rides with little to no lines. And our number one rule: Do Not Get Sucked In By The Carnies!! So you can probably imagine that when our kids started to get a little older, like most things in parenting, we encountered a bit of a power struggle. Those lovely little people we call our beloved offspring did not care about our routine; they did not care we had a flawless system in place; and they absolutely did NOT care about our #1 rule. Their eyes ONLY saw giant stuffed animals that would require a U-Haul to be carried out of the park and would cost me roughly the price of my left kidney to win.
So against all our better judgment one year, we decided we would break our rule and allow our daughter to play a game that claimed, “everyone is a winner”. Before handing over my money, I made sure the Carnie and I were on the same page. We had a plan set in place. I was forking over way too much money for a prize that cost a quarter to make and he was well aware of which prize my daughter had her sights on winning and would ensure it happened. All was good. Until it wasn’t. I’ll go ahead and spare the ungodly details where I might have lost my ever lovin mind and wanted to punch him in his soul. Instead, I’ll just leave you with the heartbreaking picture of my 6 year old daughter leaving the Fair that day empty handed and in complete hysterics when she realized that, in fact, not everyone is a winner. As we walked to the car my husband, Shane pulled my daughter aside and told her he was so sorry for what happened and that the next day he would take her on a date and to the toy store. There was a toy my daughter had been begging us to have for a while so in that moment Shane decided he wanted to help relieve the blow and hurt by getting her something he knew her heart truly desired. So the next day, he took her out and to her favorite store to get a toy she’d been dreaming of.
My daughter, almost 3 years later, STILL talks about that moment at the Fair. It was a defining moment for her and for me, too. Was she upset she walked away without a stuffed unicorn? Sure. But at the heart of it all, this was the first time she realized not everyone is trustworthy. And let me tell you, that is a heartbreaking realization for anyone. But you know what else she learned that day? Her Daddy WAS trustworthy! Not only did he heal her broken heart but he gave her bigger and better than what she thought she lost. It wasn’t really even about him buying her a toy, but when she was devastated by the cruelty of this life, he was there ready to show her that he could be trusted with her desires and had so much more in store for her than she actually believed possible.
I’m learning, like most things with God, living Unmasked is a process and there’s an order to it. I’m willing to bet when most of you start thinking about being Unmasked and living a more real and authentic life, you first assume it has to take place with people. Since people are definitely not always trustworthy, then being unmasked seems to be extremely difficult for most people. But what God has been showing me is that in order to be unmasked in our relationships with one another, we must FIRST learn to be unmasked with God. Sounds simple enough, right? We assume that since God knows everything anyway, then by default we are Unmasked before Him. There is no need for us to actually expose anything to God because He knows it already, right? But God is so desperately in love with you and is in relentless pursuit of your heart; he has gone and will continue to go to great lengths to capture it. Therefore, he wants YOU to expose your heart TO HIM because you recognize and return that love. He doesn’t just want to know you because He’s God and knows everything. He wants to know you because you are equally just as captivated by Him as He is of you. He wants you to choose to unmask before Him because you know He loves you and is trustworthy. The entire foundation of being Unmasked starts with belief and trust!
If you don’t trust God with your heart, you won’t be able to trust others with it.
By definition, to believe means that you accept something as truth. But you can believe in something and not trust it. Trust is actually an act of reliance based on your acceptance of your belief. Belief is what your heart and mind tell you is true – Trust is taking that belief and turning them into action.
You have to first believe (accept as truth) that God is ALL he says he is and believe YOU are all God says you are! Then, you have to ACT upon that belief by living out trust in God and being all he created you to be. Once you learn to trust in the character of God and believe the truth of who you are, then your ability to be real and authentic in those beliefs becomes easier. Being unmasked feels safe because you are vulnerable and authentic before someone you fully trust. But when you lack trust and belief in who God is and who he says you are that’s when you feel the need to become something else to compensate your unbelief. If you aren’t trusting in the Character of God, then you believe the lies of the enemy, which causes you to cover up the real you and replace it with a counterfeit. Thus, becoming masked!!
Yes, living Unmasked means I’m no longer pretending to be something I’m not but it also means I no longer believe God is less than who He really is!
You will be able to live out a real and authentic life before others when you discover the truth of who He is!! Because you are found IN HIM and were created in His image then if you want to know who you are, get to know Him! It is our view of who God is that will ultimately change our view of who we are and our view of who we are will determine how many masks we wear. Its this vicious cycle – What do I believe about the character of God? What lie of the enemy am I choosing to believe? And what do I believe about myself? Your answers to these questions will greatly affect the status of your masks.
Are you willing to get real and unmasked right now? Would you admit that while there are many attributes and characteristics of God you have no problem believing, there are some you struggle with trusting? Yes, to know Him is to love Him but do you trust Him is the question? I’m willing to bet there is an insecurity you feel about yourself or your situation or life circumstances and it affects your acceptance and trust of His character! We often have no problem believing in God’s grace or love or patience. Those are the feel good character traits of God. But, when we don’t see the Character of God being displayed in our circumstances the way we want, we often find them harder to accept and trust. We struggle with trusting the sovereignty of God most because we simply don’t understand it. And can we trust what we don’t fully understand?
Are you praying for healing for yourself or someone else and you don’t see it taking place immediately? Does that mean He isn’t a healer? Or when your finances are out of control or you’re out of a job and you desperately need provision but none is coming your way, does that mean He isn’t a Provider? When your circumstances are not even remotely close to anything good and you don’t understand WHY something is happening does that mean He isn’t good and in control? NO! And you know why?
Your circumstances do not define the Character of God. The Character of God defines you in your circumstance!!
We don’t always have to understand or make sense of our circumstances to trust God in the middle of them. Jesus says in John 16:33 (MSG) “I’ve told you all this so that TRUSTING me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.”
Friends, we WILL have struggles and difficulties in this world. Living under a mask and pretending is not going to make them go away. But putting your trust in a God who loves you to the deepest parts of who you are can help you survive them. I give you permission to get real with God. It is okay to unmask your current situations before the Lord. It’s okay to reveal to the Lord your current unbelief and mistrust in His character. He can be trusted! When we know that He offers us ALL of Him, we will then offer ALL of ourselves! It’s a revelation of his unconditional love and letting go of your fear of man that will remove your mask – believing and trusting you are worthy enough to be loved just as you are.
My daughter found out at the age of 6 not everyone in this world can be trusted and it was a devastating revelation. But the greater revelation came when she discovered her Daddy could be trusted. What revelation about God’s character do you need today so you can begin to trust Him enough to live Unmasked?
“And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” Eph. 3:18-19 (NLT)
Meet Becky Jones
Becky and her husband, Shane, and their two kids live North of Dallas. Becky is one of a kind (in the best way). When she is not writing, speaking, or leading at her local church she is getting her daughter to her next dance class or battling the next level in Star Wars with her son. Fun and laughs will come if you are around Becky for 5 seconds but make sure you stick around because she is a deep well with a passion for pursuing God's real heart for herself and others. I asked Becky to launch our first blog series with her study on being unmasked and I could not be more thrilled she said YES. Join us for the next few weeks to not only be encouraged but also given the freedom to have honest conversations with yourself, the Lord, and others. You will not regret it.