Where Did I Go?
Posted on 11/07/2010 by Rev. Jennifer L. Faust
TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)
*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***
Public Prayer Requests:
please pray for bigtex Cuddihy, as he now has the flu, and is very sick, when he was young and had cancer and this lowered his imune system, so when he gets the flu or anything it takes a toll on him and it is hard for him to bounce back, but I believe in prayers so please pray for him, As my sl husband i love him, but more then that he is rl friend.
thank you and God Bless
-Shawna LittleBoots Cuddihy
Please turn around and click one of the offering plates by the doors, and give as the Lord leads.
RIVER OF LIFE
I've got a river of life flowing out of me!
Makes the lame to walk, and the blind to see.
Opens prison doors, sets the captives free!
I've got a river of life flowing out of me!
Spring up, O well, within my soul!
Spring up, O well, and make me whole!
Spring up, O well, and give to me
That life abundantly.
TAKE ME IN TO THE HOLY OF HOLIES
Take me into the Holy of Holies
take me in by the Blood of the Lamb
Take me into the Holy of Holies
take the coal, touch my lips, here I am
Take me past the outer courts
into the Holy Place
Past the brazen altar
Lord, I want to see your face
Pass me by the crowds of people
and the priests who sing your praise
I hunger and thirst for your righteousness
and it's only found one place
I LOVE YOU LORD
I love you, Lord
And I lift my voice
To worship You
Oh, my soul rejoice!
Take joy my King
In what You hear
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear
*** listen to the audio for the message introduction ***
Today's sermon is titled 'Where Did I Go?" That might sound weird to some of you. I'm not talking about where we went physically persay, but more so where we went, as in where we are hiding our true self. God created us in His image and most of us have done the hiding behind masks, trying to please everyone, and to be perfection kinds of things.
When someone asks us how we are, we say fine when in reality we aren't fine. We believe that as Christians our lives have to be a certain way. Everything has to be going perfectly. We have to be smiling always, we have to not complain or say what is really going on. We have to put the bad things under the rug and forget about them.
We can't tell anyone that our health is bad, our kids are in jail or using drugs, our marriage is falling apart, our spouse cheated, the car needs repairs, the house's mortage is due, our relative is sick or in need of money or needs salvation.
No matter what our life looks like to us, we are wearing this mask...we believe that people want us to wear it. We can't show our true self.
On my FaceBook status, I wrote "For some people it is easier to wear the mask and be who people WANT them to be than to be who they really ARE!" Each person was created unique. We should not try to be who we aren't, but people do that. They want to be who they aren't. They want to be prettier, thinner, smarter, etc etc. Not all these things are bad, but they want to be something they aren't or who they assume people want them to be.
Do you ever ask yourself where you went? I know a weird question, but under all the masks and doing the charades, don't you ever wonder where you went? You feel as if you are going around in a bubble or whirlwind because yourself is lost and you have no idea where you went.
Maybe the mask is your security. What if people don't like me the way I am? Maybe you have a mole on your cheek or acne on your face. Maybe your nose is big or your eyes are slanted. Maybe you have blemishes or blotches of red everywhere. Maybe you don't know how to be yourself anymore because the true you is buried so deep inside.
Maybe you don't know how to cease people pleasing. You don't want to anger anyone so you say 'yes' to everything. Maybe your parents or friends want you to be someone, but that isn't you. And you don't know what to do to get yourself back...from this sorry place you've been.
Maybe the pursuit of perfection has been foremost in your thoughts that you don't know where the true you has really gone. Perfection, to be always perfect and non-human, is your goal. And everyone around you must be perfect too or you drop them like they are garbage.
If you go down inside far enough, will you find where your true self went? Can you retrieve yourself before perfection, people pleasing, and your mask overtake you? Is there a way to release yourself into the reality so you can live the way God wants you to?
Are you finished with who you aren't and ready for who you are?
Let's image this...as if it were true...and it might just be real.
There's a table set for two. Jesus, nail scarred hands and all, stands beside it. You, with a visible mask and two lengths of chain hanging from your wrists, walk up to Him.
"Will you keep you mask and burdens of chain?" He asks.
"How do I give them up?" You whisper.
"It won't be easy. In fact, it will be painful at times and you will be hurt. In the end, it will be worth it, for you will be who I have made you to be," Jesus says.
And so...the transformation begins.
Jesus touchs the mask. "Will you give me that mask that shields your face and hides your true beauty? It blocks the true you from coming forth."
With shaking hands, you rip the mask off and cry in anguish. The pain has started.
Jesus takes the mask and casts it aside. He smiles. "There you are, my child."
You shake your head as He reaches for the people pleasing chain. "Please...it will hurt."
"Yes, but don't you want to please Me more?" Jesus asks.
You bit your lip and nod. With a hard yank, the chain is off. You cry out, your wrist is burning.
The last burden, perfection, snakes itself around you until you can't move.
Jesus pulls it off of you and throws it on the pile.
You crumble to a heap on the floor, in pain and hurt.
Jesus comes and wraps you in His arms. "My beloved, I did this to rid you of your burdens. Here, let Me heal your hurts." And He gently touches each one with His scarred hands. The pain and burning start to ebb away.
This is just an idea of what I think if we rid ourselves of our masks, trying to please people, and to be perfect would look like.
There are so many scriptures that we could look at that it would take years. Let's look at a few.
When we are wearing our masks that are invisible (some of us wish they are visible so that people couldn't see our faces), we forget that we need not worry about what people think of us. They might be able to make our life miserable, they can't kill our soul only our body.
Matthew 10:28 says "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." We need not be afraid of our fellow humans. Some will always say things about us, but if we remember that it is what God says that counts, we will live for Him alone.
When we are trying to please everyone, we need to remember Who we are to please more. In Micah 6:8 it says "He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?" These are the things we are to try to do, not to try to please everyone.
There is no way that you or I will ever be able to please everyone. We shouldn't even try really. Our focus shouldn't be on pleasing other people, but pleasing The One who deserves our focus, Father God.
Now, about perfection. Jesus says in Matthew 5:48 "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." He is not saying we are to be perfection, but perfect. The word perfect here means complete, maturity. It means we are to be mature in our faith. We can never be or have perfection. We are human. We need to be happy and glad for that fact. We need not pursue perfection until it takes over our lives and we are burdened with perfection as in my little story earlier.
God wants us to be able to be ourselves and live a life pleasing to Him and no one else!
Remember the Pharisees? They were people pleasers. They wanted to please people more than God. God wants us to please Him and Him alone, and to do that we need to walk with Him, have a relationship with Him, and to do His will. Everyone needs to please God...that means the Pharisees, you, and me also.
You need to remind yourselves that God created you to be you, not to be what everyone else things you should be; so the only way to plese Him is to be what and who He created you to be, not how others want to re-create you to be.
If you are carrying these burdens around, Jesus is the one you need to go to. 1 Peter 5:7 says "casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." And it is true. And when you cast those cares off of you, don't take them back again. Throw those masks and chains from you. You'll be glad you did. Your true self will start shining through and that's who God created you to be afterall.
If you need to take some time with God, casting off your masks and chains, come and do so. He's waiting for you. He wants to help you find your true self. He knows who you really are. He wants others to see you, too.
Remember, He loves you and wants only the best for you.
If you have never talked to God about becoming His child, He's waiting for you, too. Come. Come and make the best decision of your life. You won't be sorry. Jesus is calling...He's waiting.
You all are free to go. If you need prayer or counseling, please message me, Ben, or someone on the ministry team. After this time at the altar, we'll head over to the fellowship room. If you are able, please join us. We'd love to get to know you better.
May God bless you and keep. May He make His face shine upon you and give you peace. Have a great week.