Jesus never tried to hide who He was, what He had said or done or to hide anything at all about His life. He lived a completely transparent life despite the ramifications. And we know He certainly bore some ramifications.
I believe transparency is very important to God because it is part of His character. It’s a reflection of who He is. Here’s a little story for you that brought me to a deeper understanding of this characteristic of God’s and why it’s so important that His people share and display His character. (Of-course this can only be done by Christ’s life in us).
Derek and I had been living with different church folk over an 8 week period until he got work and we could find our own place. He secured a job in our 7th week which meant that at-last we had an income and that meant we were finally eligible to apply for a rental. After two months I was eager to get our own home of-course and after some searching and applying, we were approved for what I considered to be the perfect house for our needs. I had brought this house before the Lord and had asked for His favour in letting us have it but also that if it wasn’t His best, that I would accept that we wouldn’t be approved and lay it down trusting Him for something else.
I had received notification via email from the real estate that our application had been fully processed and they were waiting on approval by the owners of the house. I was told that we should have an answer within 24 hours. So almost 48 hours later I still hadn’t heard anything. During these 48 hours and in particular the last 12, I was struggling to not give into anxiety because I was really keen to get settled in our own home.
I spent 48 hours or so going between faith and doubt, hope and letting go, obsessing and surrender, anxiety and rest. In the last hour I decided to have an afternoon sleep and was startled awake with a slight panic attack over the possibility of not getting the house at all. I instantly cried out to the Lord and cast my cares upon Him and rejected anxiety as not mine. I am in Christ and in Him is no anxiety! He is the Prince of Peace!
I turned to the Lord and asked “What do you want me to learn of You in this Lord? What are You wanting to teach me?” I remembered that God’s ultimate goal in using all things for my good, is that I would know Him more intimately. That’s really all God wants in anything, for us to know Him, to His glory. Having been reminded of that beautiful, simple and yet profound truth, I gave up the house. I said “God, take the house. It’s Your house. Whilst I still believe You are going to give it to us, I give it back to You”. While I was still speaking, the alert rang on my phone to tell me a message had just come through and I knew it was the real estate saying we’d been approved. And it was. Yay.
Now this is all very wonderful but you know, something just didn’t settle in me. Yes, God had given us the house. He had heard my prayer and I had gotten to that place of sweet surrender where the highest priority in my heart was to simply to know Him. It was a very important lesson and experience in Him.
However, I felt nervous. Why God? Why am I feeling so anxious still? Why am I not excited and settled with this? Why don’t I feel I can relax and now just make the moving plans in joy? Nothing felt secure and I had no understanding as to why.
The next day (Friday before a long weekend) I received a call from the agency telling me they had just learned of a hiccup to do with our financial history and needed me to explain our history and they would then have to put our application before the owner all over again who may decide to not approve us in light of the new information.
Sink. There it was.
Well I provided a full explanation of-course and was happy to do so but with the knowledge that as the agent had explained to me, it was possible the approval may be revoked. (Just for the record, we hadn’t tried to hide any information, it had simply not come up in the application process). I was a little confused that this had occurred after they had said almost three days prior, that our application had been fully processed? Anyway, this was the situation and I found myself feeling very uncertain, nervous and insecure.
As I write I am waiting on an answer from the real estate.
However, I can say to you in complete confidence that I fully expect that the Lord will grant the house to us again as a death and resurrection experience to give testimony to His Life, not mine. I feel I have been given the Lord’s faith now to believe so I have the sense of assurance, security and trust that I was looking for and that I knew I had been lacking.
Why am I now so confident? Well, I asked the Lord “Why Lord, has all this happened? If you’re giving us the house anyway, which I believe You are, why did I have to go through all this drama?”
God required full disclosure – and for at least two reasons.
Firstly, although we weren’t intentionally hiding our financial history because as I said it wasn’t asked for, God has a higher standard. God doesn’t want second best for us, His kids. He wants the best. He wanted us to have a fully clear conscience (perhaps this was the reason for my unrest) and enjoy the house knowing that in spite of our financial history, God had delivered. He didn’t want us to ‘get away with it’. He wanted full disclosure and He even made sure that the real estate came across this information after they said they had already fully processed the application 3 days before! This way we could never have a guilty conscience in the future or any future concern. This was an act of God’s love, grace and mercy toward us.
Secondly, God orchestrated this so that He could be glorified. With everything out in the open we could say that in spite of our history and the knowledge the real estate and landlords had of it, we were granted the best house we could have been given. We could never say we got the house because it was never part of the application that we needed to disclose certain things. We could only ever give all the glory to God. In this situation God actually affirmed our past financial decisions which we believe we made under His direction, God overruled the world standard of what was acceptable, God gave us favour with man, God granted us the most wonderful house to meet all our needs and then some and God did it all His way as a testimony to Himself.
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. 9“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9)
End Note: We got the house 🙂