“For all of our faults and flaws are in full view to you.
Everything we want to hide, you search out
and expose by the radiance of your face.”
Psalm 90:8 TPT
Honestly, I don’t like being naked–I kind of think most adults don’t. Now, toddlers are a completely different story! Toddlers LOVE to be naked! To them, one of the best moments of the day happens right between bath and bedtime when they streak at full speed through the hallway to their room, all while giggling at the top of their lungs. As a parent, nothing brings you more joy than hearing your child giggle in sheer delight. So what happened to us–when did condemnation and shame overwhelm our sense of childlike joy? The truth is that we need to stop partnering with condemnation and shame. We must be willing to expose our hearts to Jesus and allow Him to do the deep healing that we desperately need to truly be free to pursue the destiny He has for us.
Several years ago, I began having these encounters with Jesus: it was the two of us dancing in a ballroom, while our eyes were locked on each other. Yes, it was a beautiful picture–straight out of Disney (minus Mrs. Potts)! One day, I found myself encountering Jesus outside on this little hill surrounded by beautiful pines while everything else remained the same–Jesus and me dancing with eyes locked on each other. I thought it was just the two of us until I spotted something out of the corner of my eye. I found myself turning away from His gaze, which had just been holding my heart completely entranced, to see a carnival swarming with people at the bottom of the hill.
Immediately, I came to two realizations: 1. I was completely naked and 2. I was in full view of the entire crowd! I turned back to Jesus–somehow expecting Him to understand why I was wanting to run and hide. (You know, an “Oh, sorry, I didn’t realize they were down there.” would have been nice!). Instead, His eyes were still fixed on me; somehow He was taking every part of me in with those eyes! This beautiful moment was quickly turning into a nightmare! “Jesus! I’m…I’m naked!!! Can’t you see that?!?!” At that moment, I began questioning what kind of God have I been serving. I mean, come on, how could He just stand there and stare–beholding every bit of me–with such love and adoration? He stood there just smiling for what seemed like an eternity until He finally broke the silence with a chuckle. “Oh, Nicole,” He spoke, “You’ve always been naked in my presence. In my presence, I cover you.”
In that instant, I knew that our whole relationship was about to change and go down a path I had never been on. To be naked before Jesus seriously frightened me, but true intimacy requires nakedness. This was the road He was inviting me to walk down with Him. This journey was going to require me to be vulnerable so that He could heal the deep wounds, wrong mindsets, fears, shame, offenses and do the deep work in my heart and soul that only He could.
When we think about nakedness, we think about shame, fear, wounds, hidden things, but let me tell you that none of those were created by our magnificent, master Creator. What true nakedness is it’s vulnerability, take risk (huge risk!) and sacrificing our flesh. It’s about being willing to lay every part of our lives on the altar; then asking Jesus to come bring the fire and burn away every impurity that separates us from Him. David prays it best in Psalm 5:3 TPT (The Passion Translation):
“At each and every sunrise you will hear my voice
as I prepare my sacrifice of prayer to you.
Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on the altar
and wait for your fire to fall upon my heart.”
You see, friends, Jesus is not put off by any fear, offense, condemnation or shame that has us bound. Instead, He is drawn to our brokenness because in our weakness, His strength abounds. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that our weakness becomes a portal for God’s power. I love that! Our brokenness isn’t something to be hidden, but it’s something that we should expose so that God’s power can bring the victory! If you think about it, that sacrifice isn’t really much of one since nothing is hidden from His view anyway. He sees past the exterior shell straight into our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7) and knows the struggles and hurts that we try to keep hidden from the outside world.
Those things we struggle with were never meant to be buried or banished to the furthest recesses of our hearts. So why doesn’t God just deal with them? Easy, because He wants to be in relationship with us! If He dealt with our issues without our willingness to partner with him through the process, it would make him a dictator or tyrant instead of the loving Father that He is. Good fathers discipline in love and value maintaining relationship through the conflict. Plus, since God doesn’t live confined by time, He is willing to wait as long as it takes for us to ask for help to expose and uproot those weeds that ruin the garden that God is planting in our hearts.
This process was not at all easy for me–I made God wait for almost 42 years before I was even willing to entertain the idea of getting naked before Him–but giving myself permission to be real with Him was the very first step to freedom! The risk was huge, the shame was overwhelming, the condemnation was screaming at me that I was crazy, but I knew that I had to expose my heart to Jesus and allow Him to bring healing to those places that were hidden. I let Him in and my life has never been the same. I haven’t arrived nor do I have all the answers. I’m simply a girl that has fallen so madly in love with Jesus that I have to share Him with the world, and it all started by learning to enjoy being naked in His presence.
PRAYER: Jesus, I love you. Thank you that you want relationship with me. Thank you that you are willing to wait until I am ready to deal with those dark things that are hiding in my heart. Thank you that you’re not asking me to do this alone–I know you will help every step of the way. I willingly surrender my life and ask that you come in and encounter me today. I may not be ready to get completely naked, but help me get there, Jesus. Woo my heart until every wall falls from the power of your love. I don’t want anything between us. Amen.