There are Three Steps
- Acknowledge My Veil
In 2 Corinthians 3:15 Paul reminds us, “a veil covers their hearts.”
What starts out as a superficial covering becomes a spiritual condition. Behind the veil its dark, there are secrets, its lonely. We ache and wonder does anyone care about me? We turn to drugs or pornography for some comfort but there is none to be found. We are not honest with ourselves or with others. It’s time to acknowledge, I’ve been hiding behind a veil.
Its time to stop the charade when someone asks, “How you doing?” “Oh, we’re fine.” “How’s your marriage?” “Oh, it’s fine.” “How are you doing in relationship with God?” “Oh, it’s going great.” And the reality is, there are so many parts of you that you have not shared in months or years. You’ve got the veil on. You’re playing the part. You’re playing the role. You’re play-acting. What is that? Jesus would call it hypocrisy. The veil that covers the face eventually covers the heart. Acknowledge the veil.
Some people are so used to showing the fake self, they don’t even know who the real self is anymore, because “I’m this person for that group of people, and this person for that group of people, and this person for that group of people.” And then we’re just living for likes. “Do you like the “me” I’m showing you?” “Do you like this picture?” “Did you like the caption?” “Do you like my shirt?” “Do you like these earrings?” “Do you like my new hair?” “Did you like my car?” “Do you think my kids are good enough?
And all this time, we’re living for likes, and we are longing for love. Because until we show who we really are, until we know and are fully known, we’re always going to be longing for something more. Here’s the second step.
- Develop Face to Face Relationships and be Authentic
When we’re always filtered, when we’re always showing our best side, we may impress people some. They might be impressed. But we’re not connecting. The difference is this – don’t miss this. We connect with people through our weaknesses. We may impress them with our strengths, but we connect through our weaknesses.
You’ve done this before. You’ve met somebody, and you think, “They’re so perfect, I don’t like them at all. They have everything together.” Then you get to know them, and you realize, “Oh, they struggle here, and they’re not perfect. I like them!” Why? Because we connect through weaknesses.
So often, we’re trying to impress the world with, “Here’s the ‘me’ I want you to see,” and yet, we’re longing for something more, because we may impress people with our strengths, but we connect through our weaknesses. This happens best through face to face relationships
We cannot state how important it is to have face to face relationships, to learn, pray, share and encourage one another. We had an entire message in February called “Friends with Benefits.” We talked about the impact of face to face relationships. The fact that you’re presence is powerful. Here’s a link to that post. Face to face relationships are the best place to remove the veil. We encourage all attenders and members to be in a GROWTH GROUP! Why? Because if you don’t remove the veil face-to-face sometimes, you’re always going to be longing for something more. We put the veil on, we post something, and we secretly hope, “Did you like it? Did you like it? Did you affirm me? Did you affirm me?” And yet, we still feel empty, because we’re not being totally real with anybody, and vulnerable in the way God wants us to be, and the veil continues to stay on.
- Let Jesus Affirm Me. Only Christ can remove the veil.
2 Corinthians 3:16: “Whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.”
If you keep turning to everyone and everything else for affirmation you still won’t have the affirmation you desire. But when you turn to Christ, you don’t even have to remove the veil, because He does it for you. When you turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
As you KNOW Christ… you’re not getting your approval from their likes, but you’re getting it from His love!
You are no longer living for the approval of people, but you are living from the approval of God! You recognize, I am acceptable to God, through Jesus. I am the righteousness of God, in Christ. He accepts me! He loves me! He forgives me! He gives me peace and purpose!
When I realize that He is all I have, suddenly I realize that He is all I need. I don’t need approval from someone else, because I’ve got approval from Him! Dwelling within me is the same Spirit that raised Christ from the grave.
My identity is NOT in how many followers I have. My identity is in WHO I am following, and I am following the Lord Jesus Christ. I have no need of the veil. The veil can be taken away.
2 Corinthians 3: 17 says this: “17 …Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. I’m free from guilt and condemnation. I’m free to be me! I’m free to be the me God created me to be!
And then, when we do that, guess what happens? 18We are transformed, not into the person that we think they want us to be, but we are “transformed into His image, with ever-increasing glory.”
How do we get unveiled? When you turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away, “and we … with unveiled faces” are being transformed into the image of Christ, not for the approval of people, but for the glory of God, because we are not called to elevate self, but to die to self, and follow Jesus, to give Him glory in all that we do. And that’s how we follow Jesus in a social media, selfie centered world. It’s time to turn to the Lord.
If you want true authenticity from Christ, your identity is in Him and Him alone, you want Him to remove the veil that you can be, truly, who He created you to be, loving and being loved as you really are.
Let me pray for us: God thank you that where Your Spirit is, there is freedom. I pray for freedom from the bondage of who’s following “me,” and who liked “my” pic, and who commented, and who retweeted. God, we thank You that You’ve got a life much deeper and much more meaningful than that, that our identity is not in the approval of others, but our identity comes from the approval of Your Son Jesus. God, help us to turn to You and live for you. We know you will remove the veil. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. Amen