Thursday, January 14, 2010

"Authenticity" - The Key to Unlocking True LIFE

What does it really mean to be authentic.. Why is so difficult for us to let others see the "real you". I have been pondering this subject for a while now and ran across some teaching from the radio that inspired me to dig a little deeper into who I am..and does that match what people know me to be..

I know for many years of my life, this was an easy question to answer...I mean I was duplicitous..I lived a duel life..I had many secrets tucked away that no one knew about, and I projected the image I wanted everyone to have of me..As I think back on this season of life, I am horrified by the standard to which I lived..Heck there was no standard...I simply was a fake..A big ol "Pretender"..I was Ok with the idea of having everyone around me believe I was something I wasn't..and I became very skilled at hiding this other side of me..I was articulate enough to argue a position I did not live out or believe because I knew it sounded good..and more importantly it was what others wanted to hear..I was a master in the art of deflecting..turning any negative argument against me on to that person who was pointing the finger..and forcing them to look at themselves and not me..and that secured my hidden side from others..even those closest to me..

As I think about the kind of life this left me with, I found I was simply hiding my sin away from those who desired to shine the light on it and the better I got at deflecting and projecting, the more I believed my own lie..I lived by the adage that "what they don't know want hurt them"..Here is what Struck me..Who is THEY..? Who was I hiding it from..? or better yet..who was I NOT hiding it from..? Yes that would be I reflect back on this time in my life, I can see how utterly blind I was and how shallow and cold of a man I had become..I was lacking authenticity.. I was trying to manipulate everyone including God Almighty..How foolish is that..but in those moments, I honestly believed I was getting away with it..and God allowed me to sink deeper into this pit until I reached bottom..and for those of you who know what bottom is...let me just say it brings shivers and chills to my entire body to think about the desolation and loneliness and anxiety and stress that enveloped my life..Just an awful state of being..and then as Psalms 40:1-4 states..(which is my life verse). God heard my cry's and pulled me out of the desolate pits, out of the miry clay and placed my feet up on a new secure foundation in Jesus Christ and he put a new song in my mouth a hymn and a praise to God..

See what God did was he broke me down and forced me to shed this double life, this duplicitous state of living and He allowed me to choose..It was either my way or His way..My way was killing me and His way offered me a way out..but that meant I had to slay myself and my sin and destroy my pride and self sufficiency and allow God to rule and reign and to be Authentic with Him.. His path for me was as clear as a bright blue sky...I had to stop pretending to be and BE..I was no longer allowed the option to tuck away sin..I had to root it all out and start anew..To get on solid footing with Him and that meant opening up myself in every area and allowing His Grace to replace my wickedness..I could no longer project who I was..What God did was he showed me just how sick and twisted I was and then He revealed His way..I was able to see how a life lived for God was what I had yearned for all along..What I saw was this open honest relationship with Christ where I could express my deepest fears and worries and challenges and He would take care of them for me..As long as I was Honest with Him..As long as I agreed not to pretend I had it all figured out and that I desperately needed Him..I cant begin to explain the transformation that took place in my life when I was truly authentic with Christ and that spilled out in my life to those who were close to me.. The humility God gave me to be who I was instead of who I pretended to be gave me a chance to know who God is..To experience a relationship so fulfilling and so sufficient I suddenly realized that I no longer needed to pretend...I know longer cared about what others thought of me..whether they approved or disapproved..I was much more concerned about what God thought of me and He kept telling me over and over..Son I love you..Cant you see.. I know what is best for you if you will just get out of the way and allow Me to have My way. I have plans for you and a work to perfect in you!! I want to be LORD of your life, not just your Savior..and all this time I blocked this with my phony life, my pretending, my lack of authenticity..God was so eager to reveal Himself to me but I had severed the lines of communication with my pride and sin that I was unwilling to let go of.. God opened my eyes to a whole new way and my Heart had been transplanted with a new one..just as He promised..I just don't see things as I once did and my heart is open to an overflowing conduit of grace and mercy being poured out by God..and my challenge now is to be as Authentic as I can..To share everything with Him, even all my struggles with the flesh..and realize He knows my struggles..He knows my weaknesses and He has an answer for ALL of it..He is the bread of life, to which we are to not just eat of but to feast on.. I am constantly checking my motives and my desires to be sure I am in line with God and His will for me.. The question to myself is this..Do those who know me or see me "know me"..Do they get to see and experience the real Eddie Bailey..Am I ok with exposing my weakness to I OK with exposing my utter dependence on Jesus Christ..AM I afraid of what others might think.? My desire is to be and to live exactly what I am and who I am and to be genuine..My relationship with Christ has taught me many things over the last few years but most importantly, it has taught me that Christ is enough, His death was enough and He is sufficient for me and I don't need anything else but Him..and if that is true of my life then those around me who depend on me or need me will get everything they need from me because it is not me, But He who lives in me...

If you are not experiencing the true Joy and Peace that God can provide you with...Check to see if you may be pretending..projecting an image unlike who you really are..If you are missing something or have this huge void in your life..Maybe it is because you have yet been unwilling to slay yourself so God can reveal Himself to you in all His splendor..Get Authentic with God and leave no secret hidden...and an amazing thing will happen to you that mere words simply cant articulate..If a camera could watch you 24/ your darkest and deepest moments..would it be OK for the whole world to see? If one was able to read you mind, would you allow them repeat everything you thought..? If one could measure your heart, would you allow them to reveal what they found..? Just know that GOD can do all these and until you are willing to confess your true self to Him and stop pretending He doesn't know..You will never experience EL Shaddai..Why on earth would you cut yourself off from the giver of life..the one who knows you better than any..and who only desires the absolute very best for you..Open up your heart and soul and mind and let God clear the blockage so His Grace and Mercy can be experienced the way I can attest to..You will not be disappointed...There is nothing on this earth like it..

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