14. Coming to Grips with God’s Grace
In Psalm 51, David poured out the innermost thoughts of his heart for inspection before God. All of the sins, the fears and the hurts suddenly sprang forth from his lips as he revealed them to his God. That experience changed his life, and he became an altogether different person. It is after this, that he wrote many of his sweetest Psalms. The praise from his life dropped from his lips after he released the innermost being of himself for inspection by his Lord.
There is something within us that desires to keep things within ourselves a total secret, but on the other hand, we desire deeply to tell someone who really cares and will totally understand. It is as though we are afraid to really open our hearts to someone’s inspection, yet we hunger to really trust someone enough that we could open up our hearts. We desire to have someone who would really listen, someone who is truly interested. We desire to totally share with someone our innermost self, yet someone who would really understand us and never think the less of us, someone who would not make us feel foolish, someone so selfless that they would totally concentrate on those things in our lives even at the expense of themselves. It can be said that there are actually two people in all of us, the person within and the person without. We seldom release that person within us and few really know the true being that dwells inside of our hearts.
Sometimes, we hold back as long as we can until we almost explode and then we seek release with a psychiatrist, psychologist or an analyst. We may even share it with a friend, relative or pastor; yet far too often we feel threatened and foolish and sometimes even turn against those with whom we have shared these things out of our selfpreservation. Sometimes we find we were most at home being hidden. The strangeness of opening that which is within us is awkward. We feel insecure, so we run back to the shelter of secrecy. Opening up that which was in our innermost being scared us when we realized the fear, turmoil, and confusion that existed. So quickly we close it all up so that we do not have to face the ugliness of it all. It is possible that we have hidden the inner man so long that we do not know how to open ourselves up and find him. Oh, the anguish that results when this takes place; it often leads to the destruction of relationships, especially our relationship with the Lord. God is there. It is God’s desire for us to open up with Him and share everything about us that He already knows. By sharing it, there is something that happens within us as we release all the pressures and pour them out to Him.
When Jesus spoke to the woman at the well, she was filled with many secrets, hurts, confusions and fears. First of all, she was a Samaritan and the Jews had a history of hating the Samaritan people because they were halfbreeds. She was a woman, and in those days no man spoke to a woman in public. She was filled with past disappointments, sins and failures. Five marriages had failed, and she was living with a man that was not her husband. When Jesus came into her life, He knew all those things about her and He let her know that He knew them. When she ran back into the town and shared with the people what Christ had done for her, she said, “Come, see a man which told me all things that ever I did.” She had found precious release from all of those innermost things being revealed and she released them into the hands of the Lord. The relief was overwhelming.
Jonah had run from God. He was filled with anxieties and fears, but there in the belly of the whale he began to recognize all of those things that were within. He prayed, pouring out his heart and releasing all of those innermost anxieties before his God. Jonah then went on to preach the greatest revival that has ever been conducted, and yet it took three days in that whale to bring Jonah to the point of pouring out all that he had to God.
Jacob came to a place in his life where he was forced to open up the innermost things of his heart to God’s inspection before he could become a prince with God.
Moses opened up a heart that was full of fears, questions and feelings of inadequacy to God. God turned them into something that He could use and allowed Moses to deliver His people out of Egypt.
Perhaps none of us will ever draw close to the Lord in a special type of relationship unless we are really willing to share all of the innermost secrets of our life with Him. In a sad sense, we have failed to really enjoy the relief that would come to us if we would do what He has wanted us to do all along. Share everything. There is a tendency for man’s pride to prevent him from pouring out all of those things that dwell in his innermost self, even with God. Are we afraid that God will not like us? Are we scared that God will find out something about us that He does not already know? Perhaps nothing would enhance our relationship with the Lord like sharing everything within our innermost being.
God does not want us to have any secrets from Him. Have you ever noticed how open God is in His Word to those who are walking in His Spirit? Friends have no secrets. They tell their thoughts, their fears, their anxieties, their dreams and hopes to one another. God wants to be our friend. You may say that He knows it all anyway. It always seems imperative to God that His men pour out their hearts to Him in a personal sharing of their innermost beings in order that He may totally bless them. Something seemed to transpire in the lives of people when they opened up and shared it all with God. There was a greater closeness with God than they had known before.
God wants us to trust Him enough to tell Him everything without any fear or reservation. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart.” We oftentimes do not share our innermost feelings with someone, because we do not trust them as we ought. How sad that we can not even trust our God enough, to reveal all those innermost thoughts and know that He will understand. Have you ever wanted a friend to open up to you and share the things that were within his heart that seemed to be troubling him and yet, he could not muster the trust to reveal it all to you? Oh, if only you could have helped him. If only he could have trusted you enough to give his heart to you totally. How it must hurt our Lord when we do not trust Him enough to share everything with Him!
Sometimes things confuse us. Sometimes doubts assail, and sometimes fear prevails. There are times when we are filled with thoughts that we do not understand, thoughts that seem farfetched, and we do not know how to deal with them all. Our God is the answer. No one ever came to the Lord sharing with Him the things that were in his heart ,but what God did not carefully try to deal with those things that were poured from the heart. He listened to the disciples on the road to Emmaus, and then He expounded until their eyes were opened. He listened when the Apostles spoke to Him, and then He carefully dispelled the doubts and fears that existed. He cares.
God wants the right to conform those things within us to usefulness in our lives that will bring Him glory. There are times when the things that are within us could be used to accomplish great things for God. We need to simply release those things to His control and He will take them and make them bring glory to His name.
God desires to be the one who listens, cares, understands, unselfishly sympathizes, and relieves the pressures of all of those secret, hidden things within us. Tell Him everything; He is listening. Tell Him your hurts; He cares. Tell Him your problems; He understands. Tell Him those things within that hurt; He sympathizes. Tell Him your delights; He thrills. Share with Him the innermost things within you; He loves you and understands. What a delight to know that we have a God with whom we can share everything that He already knows! The sharing releases it from within us. He carefully listens and understands.
Picture Jesus with the apostle Peter. Peter had failed Him terribly. He denied Him three times. He had forsaken and fled. He had left Him and gone fishing. Christ had found him naked. Christ sat down with Peter and shared with him, delving for innermost thoughts. Did God cast Peter aside? No. He used him to preach one of the greatest sermons ever preached, and three thousand people came to Christ. Perhaps it was because Peter quit hiding his inner self from God. Christ can come into our lives and change the outside, but the great key is the walk of sharing. It is when God can get inside to the very depths of our soul. The relationship with Him will be its fullest and sweetest and our lives will be the most filled with the peace of God that passeth all understanding.