Last time we came to an important understanding in this study of the metaphor that is nakedness before God and that understanding is that we are always naked before Him, for none of us has or ever will have secrets from Him, for He knows all.
A sobering thought for anyone.
Yet when we voluntarily bare all before God, when we take away our pretense, our pride and our coverings and come into His presence in humble submission, holding nothing back, amazing things happen, and we become “naked and unashamed”.
There is a very fundamental reason for this; actually it is a theological reason that is elegant in its simplicity: we were created for the purpose of intimate relationship with our Creator. What is all the more amazing is the fact that this is true of us both individually and collectively, and it is why marriage between a man and woman is used in Scripture as a metaphor to illustrate the relationship between Christ and His Church: It is the most intimate of all relationships.
Many times over the years, I have had the opportunity to speak with Christian leaders in academia, in well-known ministries and in local churches, and I have often been surprised that these leaders, as amazing as many of them are, focus on all of the wrong things. They focus on doctrinal points, which may or may not be important, or they may focus on traditions of corporate worship or worship style or preaching style… or they may debate the best kind of microphone to use in preaching.
Yet none of these things bring about an intimate relationship.
To be naked before God means that these kinds of things fall into their proper places, that we gain better perspective on what our priorities should be, for the highest priority of any Christian should be their relationship with our Lord, their intimate, bare-all-in-humility relationship with our Lord.
I’ve worked with a fair number of married couples who have marital difficulties, and almost without exception the ones who couldn’t resolve their issues failed for one of two reasons: Either they did not trust one another, or one or both of them lacked humility in some way. Of course this should surprise no one, for marriage is the most intimate of human relationships; it is physically intimate, emotionally intimate and it is mentally intimate. Intimacy of this kind requires complete trust, and complete trust requires a fair degree of humility, for one does not gain the trust of another by setting him or herself above the other. God created humanity for an intimate relationship, and when things went south, He was willing to go to extreme measures to redeem us; there He stands, arms wide open. Do we trust Him enough to run to Him and have a “naked and unashamed” relationship?
When all is said and done in this life, and we are on our deathbeds, the only thing that really counts is our answer to that last question.
Next time, I’d like to expand the scope of this discussion and transition from the abstract into the practical. In the meantime, please share your comments, observations and insight…