I would love to hear from you. Be respectful, authentic – your own experience. Testimony always builds up our faith, individually and corporately.
I believe we are all getting the picture on being hidden in plain sight. Before I write on some new topics, I want to share with you below some great closing thoughts from my husband Marvin.
I had something happen to me when my job took me on a short-term assignment in Atlanta. One day, I felt that God was leading me to visit a church in the Atlanta area and that He would show me which one as I stepped out in faith and just started driving. So, I got in my car and started driving. I felt God say to get off at a certain exit and go to the church that would be right there when I got off the freeway.
Much to my surprise, I exited the freeway, stopped at the stop sign, and directly at an angle to me was a church that was scheduled to have a meeting within fifteen minutes. As I pulled into the parking area, God gave me a word to give to the Pastor of the church. God also told me that I could not give the word unless the Pastor directly recognized me.
I got out of my car and entered the church. I sat in the middle aisle seat in the third row. Maybe I did this subconsciously so that I would be somewhat assured that at least the Pastor would see me. Let me also say, that as I entered the church, no one greeted me or even said hello. I sat there as a new guest waiting for the service to start.
The worship started and the Pastor came out on the platform. He began to pray specifically for certain things to happen. These were the exact words God gave me to speak to the Pastor that day. I almost fell out of my seat. I wanted to jump up shout, but I waited patiently to see what would happen.
The Pastor made eye contact with me several times. As much as I wanted to make myself seen by going forth, all I could do was sit and wait to be recognized. That never happened. No one even asked if there were any visitors that day.
Now I guess you could say that since there must have been over three hundred people in the service that day, it was easy for the leaders and the Pastor to be focused only on their agenda, never listening to God that perhaps He wanted to do something different. I may agree with you but before you make that final statement, let me add something.
Again, remember, I was at a church in the Deep South (Atlanta, Georgia) that I never knew existed until I got off the freeway. I seated myself in the center aisle seat of the third row directly in front of the pulpit. If being in that position was not enough to be seen as a first time visitor this next fact might be enough to show you how someone can be hidden in plain sight.
Now, I have already said that there were over 300 people in this meeting. Well, out of those 300 people, I was the only light-skinned (white) person in the congregation. I was a white male sitting in an all black congregational meeting in the Deep South. To put it in an old saying: I had to stick out like a sore thumb, yet I was never recognized as being in the meeting. I was in plain sight but hidden from being seen. I was not able to give the answers to the questions being asked in the prayers.
Driving in my car back to my residence, I asked God, “Why was I hidden in plain sight”? God said, “You weren’t hidden. You were in plain sight, but the leaders were blinded because the Pastor had taken ownership of something that I (God) had only lent to him. He was expecting the answers to come in way that he felt they should come. He would not relinquish the pulpit to another.”
Marvin’s example brings a keen awareness that this has happened to us more times that we care to think about. So what now? We see the problem but what now? Well, there are lessons I learned during this season that have changed my life. Here are a few of them:
- Wisdom is a most precious commodity today and in the days to come. Wisdom to know when to speak, when to be quiet, when to let things slide, when to confront, when to rest, when to work.
- My source is in Christ Jesus. In Him I live, move and have my being.
- Being alone is not the same as being lonely! Get out of the mix. Unplug. Get away from people. Be quiet in the presence of God.
- Don’t ever be swept up in a massive amount of information as it dulls the senses. Purify your media diet. Restrict your diet to that which gives you life and enhances the person God created you to be.
- Relationships will blossom during this time but this time, they will grow in depth because the real you is coming forth, not the you that you thought you were, others thought you were, etc. It’s such a good thing.
Those are just a few things. It’s a good day………….a very good day.
How can I be hidden in plain sight? Isn’t that a contradiction? God sees all and knows all. Yet, people don’t. I am not hidden from God. I am hidden in God in Christ.
For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:3 NKJVS)
His hand hides me in the midst of people. Strange but true. The ways of the kingdom are contrary to the wisdom of man. In other words, God seems to do things that we don’t always understand. That’s a good thing. I am never hidden from God’s sight. He knows me intimately through and through.
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well (Psalms 139:13-14 NKJVS)
Knowing that God sees me makes it a bit difficult to reconcile why a God that loves me beyond measure would set me in a hidden place. It does not make sense does it? Yet, I see so many gifted, anointed people just sitting and waiting while the chosen few seem to get ahead, pass us by, get lifted higher and higher in being seen, build bigger ministry platforms, and have great favor among the people. Many followers run here, there and everywhere wanting to be part of something bigger than themselves and they see that they can receive that from these ministries. This all seems to be a bit askew to me. This story comes to mind.
The story is told of an occasion where St. Thomas Aquinas was walking with a prelate through one of the grand cathedrals of his day. Referring to a coffer filled with precious coins, the prelate remarked, “Behold, Master Thomas, the church can no longer say, as St. Peter, ‘Silver and gold have I none!’” St. Thomas was apparently quick with his retort, “Alas, neither can we say what follows, ‘In the name of Jesus Christ, rise up and walk.’”
My father, raised during the depression of the 1920’s, used to tell me. “Honey, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” So what about today in the world at large and in western Christianity? The middle class gets smaller and smaller and smaller. The rich are getting richer and richer and richer. The poor are getting poorer and poorer. One calls it income inequality or an unfair distribution of wealth. Confirming this reality is a book I am reading called, Plutocrats. The rich are building their own kingdoms amidst the reality of increasing poverty, holding numerous passports AND paying homage to no country. In fact, they create their own countries among themselves. For whatever it is worth, I can see some similarities in what is happening in the world and in the church at large. Why don’t you give it some thought? It seems to me that these iconic ministries, formidable church structures are creating their own kingdoms, enjoying the wealth, prosperity and fame it brings to them. They create a kingdom among themselves. There is so much to say about this. Let me go on.
Amidst the grandeur of what is around us in Christianity, it seems good to get back to simplicity in Christ. In this transition before those who are hidden are pulled out into leadership, many stay hidden in plain sight. What does that really mean for me? I am choosing to submit to God’s way for me in this season. I can tell you that I tried to get out of this hidden state but no matter what I tried or did not try, I stayed hidden in plain sight.
Over and over, the gifts in me, any talent within me, the anointing of Holy Spirit, purpose, and passion was passed over in a myriad of ways. Choices had to be made. I could cry from the rooftops, hand out resumes to every conceivable ministry or church, and force people to see me. Tried some of that. Didn’t work so I was more frustrated
So I did the opposite. I sat back and served. I was a good girl not rocking the boat. Again, despite my best efforts to conform to the church’s standard at large, I stayed hidden.
Perhaps you are wondering: What’s the difference? Why all the tension? Aren’t you making this harder than what it really is? What’s the big deal? Just get out there and do something.
Do we realize that as we mature in Christ, that this is NOT an option? In the process of maturing in Christ, it is no longer an option to choose our way, whatever that looks like and however we can get it to work. Maturity brings with it a conforming to the image and the hand of God for my life. I don’t want just anything. In this season of my life, I want ME, the best me in Christ for this next step of the journey. What is God up to?
Well, it is twofold. He is teaching me to walk in the simplicity of Christ in complete trust so that His glory will be seen in my life, not me. He is teaching me to trust Him for His timing and purpose. And, at the same time, He is preparing his church at large, the Body of Christ, to look past the externals, the big names, etc. to open their eyes to see that there are many filled to abundance being passed over right in their midst. He is working on the church or the Body of Christ (whatever you want to call it – Christendom) to accept ME and YOU for who we are, not trying to conform us to the current Christian standard or trend so that community and authentic Christianity can be built true to form and fashion in Christ.
Some Christian leaders can have people sitting in their midst, precious, creative, full of wisdom and grace AND what do they do? Nothing, Absolutely nothing. They proceed to take the same path that they always have, not willing to change or to see. Christians seem to want to grab hold of a sure thing, be part of some existing ministry or movement, rather than move into something creative and new and fresh. OR others want to stay in the same rut, the same way that they have been doing it for many years. There are problems to numerous to focus on. One thing is clear. Great shifting is taking place, great change is upon us and God is moving in our midst, His way. For that I am grateful for all that is happening and will happen in my life.
When I am hidden (and it is for a season) I must discern the times. Discern = to separate, to perceive, to recognize. To discern the times, I look at this season through the eyes of eternity. I perceive its purpose in my life. I separate the truth from the lie.
Eternity’s sound: I am hidden in plain sight to prepare me.
Earth resounds with a lie: I am disqualified, hidden forever in obscurity because, let’s face it, I can’t cut it.
Hiddenness is a good thing. It’s a place to breathe, to rest and to gain a clear perspective. All around us, there is a tension between what heaven says and what the earth realm says. In the earth, tension is rewarded, busyness, business, and moving, constantly moving. In the eternal, rest is the greatest commodity. Resting and hearing the heavenly directive to move as Holy Spirit opens up the path. I choose the latter way, even if it hurts at times.
Discernment is critical in the season at hand. How do I perceive all of this? Being hidden in plain sight. Is what I am going through from God’s hand or someplace else? Is it a time of preparation or provocation from the enemy? Well it’s both.
I am reading Steven Pressfield: Do The Work. He talks about ‘resistance’. The resistance that comes from the universe itself each time we undertake to live a creative life: it’s all around us. I prefer to call this resistance by a name: the devil. Do what you like with the term or concept. Many may laugh at this or discount it but that does not negate the reality of evil to try to subvert and destroy our destiny in Christ. To a Christian, the enemy is real. His purpose: to steal, kill, and to destroy.
The enemy ALWAYS seeks to get you out of God’s timing.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10 NKJVS)
Jesus knew this and discerned this. He stayed in sync with God and in the timing of heaven. Yet, the enemy was ALWAYS, in some form, attempting to pull Him out of His eternal path. Jesus often said, “My timing has not yet come.” Stay in time with the sound of eternity and we will reach our destination.
Hiddenness move into our time to prepare us. This preparation runs side by side with the provocation of the enemy, which I blogged about in the last post.
Don’t give in to the accusations, which only serve to hinder your forward movement in time. In the midst of being hidden, while being prepared for a moment of breakthrough into greater responsibility and authority, remember we have to focus on the big picture that is before us. We then take steps, day by day, one at a time, to get to that place in the Spirit that is ordained for us to walk out in the earthly realm. How many get out of sync because they want to break out, come out prematurely? Not a good thing.
There is much preparation being done for breakthrough before breakthrough. That is why I can declare breakthrough and not yet see it. Behind the scenes is where so much is going on. I have to believe that. I do believe that for my God is faithful.
That is why I must discern the time, the right NOW that is leading me away from the past into the next step, the future. It is not a good thing to get bogged down in what happened in the past. I can look at the reality of what happened in the past and take it personally as an indictment against me and the reason as to why I am standing in this hidden place. I place condemnation upon my life because I am being chastised for what I did or did not do in the past.
Hiddenness in plain sight is a promotional time for me, even if I do not quite get it or see it. It is. Even when the accusations hit strong and hard, even when I am at the edge of not being able to take being passed over one more time. What keeps me going? It is Jesus and my love and passion for Him and His plan for my life. I submit to His restraining hand…totally blind and perhaps in the dark in my own understanding about the time. I submit out of love. No other reason. I love Him and I know He loves me. It is in the hiddenness that His love reveals itself to me, strong and sure. His love. Not as I understand love to be, but a love that is sure and real. A love that prepares the way in front of me (even in the darkness) in the midst of provocation and says, “Keep on walking.”
Thanks for following me in this blog. I am writing as I am walking and seeing, one step at a time. I don’t know where this is heading but I trust Him. Will I look like a fool if nothing works out and yet, I am writing all of this? Well, that may be one way to look at it but I can’t look at it that way. I know it will work out and this testimony will build all of our faith.
Question? Comments? I would love to hear from you. Are you hidden in plain sight? In your job, ministry, day-to-day life? How does it make you feel? Do you see it as a time of preparation or a time of disqualification? Comments?
Trying to force myself to be seen at the same time that God’s hand was holding me back me for a season is not wise. A growing inner tension within my being left me increasingly tired. But, it’s not me to quit without a fight. God was happy to oblige but the funny thing is that I was the only one fighting. Kind of like boxing into mid-air, wearing myself out along the way, while all the time God waited for me to give in and just rest in being hidden in plain sight.
Amidst the whining, the complaining and the fear, God could have given me what I wanted just to shut me up and to teach me some lessons, like a good Father does. Thank goodness, He just waited patiently as His child (me) wanted her own way in her own time. My continual cry:
“Oh God, release me, pleeeease! I can’t take it any more! I hurt. My heart hurts. What do you want from me?”
Lesson learned in hindsight: My sense of timing is never God’s sense of timing. In this season, I learned to walk in a daily learning curve where day by day, I simply rested in the perfection of His plan for me, His way.
One more thing.
These times of internal preparation while being hidden are also times of provocation by the enemy who loved to harass me. (God on one hand placing me in obscurity and the enemy on the other, continually harassing me.) He loved to tell me that my life was being wasted and forgotten. He maligned the character of God and then had the audacity to wait for me to agree with him.
God can’t be trusted.
God has left you in this place to rot.
You can’t cut it and have been disqualified.
It’s the same old garden trick: “Has God indeed said?” (Adam, Eve, the snake – Genesis. Read it. It’s good.)
Flustered, totally frustrated, whining, crying, shouting, I was worn out, and sick of myself. What now? How could I believe that God, who I thought I knew, would place me in this painful season? Is this love? My accusations hit a crescendo. I leveled all kinds of charges at God for a while. And, when I was not accusing Him, I walked in a void, unable to see His hand in all of this hiddenness. I truly believed that somehow, in some way, God failed me.
Being hidden in plain sight was indeed a time of provocation but it was also a time of preparation. My hiddenness had a purpose but I failed to see it from heaven’s perspective. How could I when I was accusing God of not knowing what was best for me? The revelation began to unfold and then here comes this blog topic, which I continue to explore. God’s ways are not our ways; they are so much better but not always easily understood, at least not for me and definitely not in a place of being hidden in plain sight.
I repented (complete change of mind, change of heart to see and to know). I fell for the enemy’s line: “Has God indeed said?” (The ultimate accusation spoken by the snake in the Garden. It still works today for many of us.)
What went wrong? Thinking God’s ways were my ways. Not truly understanding Him, knowing Him. My being hidden in plain sight had a purpose, yet I failed to actually see it through an eternal perspective.
At that place of total submission in the midst of not truly understanding, God says, “Are you done yet?”
And I say, “I’m done.” I look at Him, sheepishly and somewhat askew. “Am I still hidden?”
And He says, “Yes.”
And I say, “Okay. But…….”
He interrupts my need to know and says, “I love you. You may not understand this now, but it’s good for you. Trust me.”