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Hidden Things

In my experience, there are basically two kinds of hidden things. We will try to hide the sin we have committed. We will also try to hide the wounds that come from sin committed against us. The burial ground for both of these is our human soul, the part of us God designed for us to manage our day to day lives through thinking, deciding, and experiencing emotions.

Why are there hidden things? Generally, anytime anything is hidden it is because of fear.

We hide things because we don’t want the hidden things seen. We are afraid to have them seen.

“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ So he said, ‘I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.’” (Genesis 3:6-10)

When Adam and his wife had sinned, they hid themselves. In this case THEY, as a couple, were the hidden thing. Adam told the LORD God they hid because he was afraid.

Think about that.

They hid from a Being Who is all-knowing and Who is everywhere all the time. How can we hide from God? We can’t.

“…the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:12-13)

We can, however, hide ourselves “from the presence of the LORD God” – from the sensation of His nearness. Satan, who tempted them to sin in the first place then tempted them to choose the EXACT worse thing they could do about it: hide from the one Being Who could cleanse them.

Whether it is a case of sin we have committed or sin committed against us, it ALWAYS results in a wound being formed in our soul. That’s why the devil tempts people to sin; he enjoys harming humans. This is also why Father God warns us about sin. He loves us and wants to prepare us and protect us from harm.

This is what Jabez was asking for in his famous prayer:

“Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, ‘Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!’ And God granted him what he requested.” (1 Chronicles 4:10 - NASB)

The devil, who relishes our pain, always hopes to maximize damage and the pain it causes. That’s why after successfully inspiring someone to sin he then moves to phase two of his plan: tempting us to HIDE the sin or the wound caused by sin.

I’ve come to believe that the human soul (which is invisible) often behaves much like our physical skin does. Skin has nerve endings in it; this is how we feel pleasurable physical sensations and physical pain. Sometimes a place on our skin will remain hypersensitive to heat after we are burned.

The human soul also has “nerve endings”, if you will; this is why we feel good and bad emotions. Sometimes our souls will remain hypersensitive to anything similar to what harmed us. Perhaps a parent harmed us in the past and a teacher or coach will do something that reminds us of that and we will flinch and recoil from that person.

Physical wounds can cause scars to form some of which can impede range of motion and/or physical sensation. It seems something similar happens with the soul causing us to lose flexibility in how we think, decide, and feel emotions. Scars, in the natural or in the unseen areas of our souls, can cause us to limit how we operate or feel ashamed that they exist. We’ll sin or be sinned against and will become afraid of what others think…so we hide the evidence.

They become hidden things.

When we are wounded in the physical we sometimes have to have the wound cleansed. It's the removal of unhealthy tissue made unhealthy by whatever wounded us and that, too, hurts. I think the cleansing of souls is sometimes similar. It hurts. But, unlike the wounding, which was destructive, this is a restorative hurt.

This is a good thing because it allows a person to heal. It will be hard but will be well worth the discomfort.

Satan never tempts a person to disclose his sin nor to reveal the wounds left behind by someone else’s sin against us. He always tries to guide us in the most destructive course. That’s why he tempts people to sin in the first place and that’s why he tempts the wounded to be ashamed of the wounds left behind by others.

Sometimes, the devil uses pride to keep wounds hidden. He will use fear to cause us to choose to hide the wound because we will be afraid that someone else might judge us to be weak for having been wounded in the first place. Satan will try to convince us to be our own “god” by inspiring our flesh to rise up and try to be an all-powerful self-protector.

This never works and the resulting “soul limping” causes us to fear more, be more ashamed, and redouble our efforts to keep things hidden…kept under wraps in the darkness of our souls.

Paul told us that it’s not people and things with whom we fight; rather, it is invisible beings: “…we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

Our enemy LOVES the darkness; he loves things hidden in the darkness. He knows that what Jesus says is true: “…he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going.” (John 12:35) The devil loves the idea of us stumbling around, not knowing where we are going.

So, how about we take the hidden things and unhide them? How about we pull them out into the light…Christ’s light?

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10)

As Christians, we are not designed nor intended by God to function well in the darkness. Darkness is no longer our realm.

“…you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” (Ephesians 8-11)

God wants us to expose the “hidden things” so He can cleanse them away. Paul goes on:

“But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: ‘Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.’” (Ephesians 13-14)

As you read this, do you sense there are hidden things in your life? MANY of us have these because the devil has been busy in our lives.

Do you want to be free? How do we go about doing this?

The first step is always to admit to God that we have things in our souls we wish to have Him address. This requires humility. It takes humility to speak to pure goodness and tell Him: “There is something wrong inside me.” We can always simply invite Him to take a peek and tell us what He sees:

Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.” (Psalm 139:23-24 - NASB)

Then, its good to find someone we can trust to respect us, to see us in terms of who we are eternally in Christ (and NOT in terms of what we did or of what was done to us), and to keep what we share confidential.

The term “one another” shows up 37 times in just Paul’s letters alone. God knows which of these can be trusted. When we share what we have done or what has been done to us that hidden thing is pulled out from the darkness, where it infects our souls, and thrust into the light. That’s why James says this:

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” (James 5:16)

...and this:

Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.” (James 5:13-15)

(Unfortunately, we have to also consider that since the ways of the world have saturated the Church, we cannot presume that just since a person has a title like “elder” or “pastor” he is worthy of our trust. Even though there are many righteous and trustworthy people in church leadership, many people appointed to posts today in Christian organizations are chosen because of how they benefit the organizations financially. So, it is VERY important that we consult the Lord before opening our hearts to anyone.)

When we DO practice this spiritual discipline of confessing our sins and revealing the wounds in our souls we must consider how free we want to be. Do we just want a taste of freedom and healing or do we want to be completely healed?

My experience has been that the more comprehensive and revealing we are the more complete our restoration will be. Therefore, I encourage people to dive into the deep end of the pool with the Lord, totally depend upon Him, and allow Him to heal our souls.

We are only free to advance with the Lord if we are also free not to do so. We have the right to resist Him and cheat ourselves out of all He desires to do in us and for us. But, we do NOT have the ability to keep things hidden from Him. He ALWAYS remains ALL-KNOWING.

“…the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:12-13)

My thought is that since He already knows and since we belong to Him (therefore, so do our sins AND our wounds), we might as well give them to Him to do with as He sees fit.

I’ll close with what the resurrected and ascended Jesus told Paul as he was being born again:

“…rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.” (Acts 26:16-18)

Just after this, Paul’s eyes were opened, he was turned from darkness to light and from the power of satan to God, received forgiveness from his sins, and began to harvest his own inheritance from God. Paul and the others who were the first Christians were commissioned to minister those things for us. Our cooperation will allow ourselves to experience the healing Jesus has always had in mind for us.

And, our story does not end there. Our restoration and freedom will benefit others because we will become walking, talking billboards which boast of what God has done inside us. First century Christianity is still at work in this day.

May you be inspired by what has been written to submit yourself to the power of a loving God in this way. Amen.

Pastor Mike McInerney

Mike McInerney Ministries, Inc.

© October 16, 2021

(for use with permission)


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