I hope your weekends have been going well. I told you I would share notes from the conference I was going to this weekend.
Bridge Church hosted their annual Women’s Conference this weekend, this years title; Unveiled.
What a powerful time in the presence of God Almighty! He is so incredible, in He and He alone is their fullness of joy, love beyond measure and contentment.
Pastor Amy Linkus, Pastor Diana Rivera and Pastor Tangie Callahan spoke on what it is to be unveiled, unmasked, naked before the Lord. The notes you will see below are a compilation of this weekend, and I hope that they will be a blessing to you.
We began on Friday night with Pastor Amy Linkus,
Genesis 2:25 Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.
Can you imagine what it would have been to live in a time before the fall of man, to feel literally no shame? Because there was no shame, it had never been introduced to them.
Then Genesis 3: 6-11 The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. 7 At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.
8 When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man[a] and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. 9 Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”
11 “Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”
Can you imagine what His voice would have sounded like, having to ask, “where are you”? because His best friend, His creation, chose to hide from Him. We still hide; don’t we? We cover up what we feel is inadequate. As Pastor Amy shared, this generation is deceptive, attention seeking, and we love ourselves. We are looking for affirmation of who we are in others, and Jesus is the only one who can affirm us. He did that on the cross at Calvary. He took our filthy rags and traded them in for silk and lace.
We wear masks. I do. I found that out in a powerful way yesterday and today. I have so many masks on to hide the vulnerable parts of me, that I don’t know where they stop and I begin. They are attached to my skin, to parts of my heart, my emotions and when I remove them, there will be a gaping hole. A terrible, ugly disfigured gaping hole. There is only one who can fix that injury created by my hiding from God and others, and that is the blood of Jesus. Nothing should make me feel better than Jesus does. I don’t do Facebook, but for many people I hear that they will wait anxiously for a comment back to something they post. They are finding affirmation in others for something that God wants to affirm in them. That you are someone, that you matter. I do it every Sunday; I go in and I wear a mask that says my world is ok. Even when it isn’t, even when it so completely isn’t. I tell those around me that there is freedom and there IS, but you have to choose to walk in it.
We all go through periods of pain, or circumstances that we are not in control of. Yep, it happens to everyone. You are not alone, neither am I. During certain seasons of your life you will be able to move on after something life shaking happens to you; God’s power is made perfect in your weakness, but there are other times that your not able to just get up and keep going. During these times, getting out of the bed, can take everything you have. In these seasons, you need a recovery team. Find a local body of like minded believers, and let them help you carry the burden, let them help you recover. A physical surgery takes time to heal from; our emotions are no different. There is a healing period that must take place to bring freedom and peace. It’s not a weakness to need someone, it is a strength to recognize that you can come out of this with a God story to lead another person to the feet of Jesus for their own healing.
If you have children; realize that you wear masks in front of them as well. The church as a whole has become so great at using masks, that our sweet innocent children don’t stand a chance of being “real” if we don’t begin pulling these masks off even at great peril to us.
We want the mask to make us look better. I do not mean makeup! Although there are times that helps too! lol! 😉
We have to realize that we must be desperately naked before Jesus. God created us in His image, naked and He chose to send us to the Earth this way. Why? Well you can ask Him when you get there! I don’t have all the answers, just ask my husband!
When I walk around with my mask securely on, I am standing in everyone’s way. People want to see real. I don’t know if any of you watch Duck Dynasty. I personally love it. I am certain that all of what is shown isn’t off the cuff and just the way it happened, but there is something to watching people unashamed of a lifestyle of serving Jesus, and that realness has them at the top of television ratings. People are desperate to see you being real, being Jesus on the earth for them. Holding them close when they are hurting, and praying for them instead of talking about them.
Self-Righteousness is a sin. This was my biggin’ when I was younger. I was devoted to the Lord, but in such a way that I put people off to the gospel because I tried to be too perfect. People want to know that they aren’t alone. That there is someone who suffers with them.
Galations 3:27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.
We have to put Him on, every morning. and we have to take off the mask. We have to unveil.
When Christ died on the cross, the Bible says that the Veil in the temple was ripped in 2.
Specifically: Matthew 27 50 Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, 52 and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead.
The curtain: the veil. It was ripped in 2, and everytime we put a mask on, we put that curtain, that veil back together, rending Christ’s work on the cross, worthless.
Pray today that the Lord of Hosts would show you what masks you wear, areas of your life that you hide even from Him, the lover of your soul.
I’ll give you some more info tomorrow, or Monday. Be in prayer about this, if the church can get being real right… we can really impact the Earth.