The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Trusting God with Our Secrets

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As much as we’d like to think of God as the soul of discretion, the truth is that He’s a bit of a tattletale. King David went to great pains to keep his affair with Bathsheba and his murder of Uriah on the down low. But then Yahweh ratted him out—and in front of other people, too. How embarrassing.

When the king of Aram made secret plans in his war tent for how to attack Israel, Yahweh kept blabbing to the prophet Elisha. Elisha told the king of Israel, and Aram kept looking stupid on the battlefield.

When Sarah scoffed at the idea of having a child in the privacy of her own tent, Yahweh exposed her secret feelings to Abraham and any other servants who were in the vicinity. How embarrassing.

When Achan secretly stole some expensive goodies from a battlefield and buried them under his tent, Yahweh ratted him out to Joshua and soon all of Israel knew about Achan’s secret stash. As a result, Achan ended up stoned to death.

When Ananias and his wife Sapphira sold some land, secretly held back some of the profits, and then pretended to give all of the profits to the Church, the Holy Spirit ratted them both out to Peter and they were each killed on the spot.

So then, are our secrets safe with God? Not necessarily. But then again, do we really have the option to withhold information from God? No, we don’t. God already knows everything there is to know about us. So when we pretend to be keeping secrets from God, we’re just lying to ourselves.

What’s the big deal with secrets? Well, every human knows things about themselves that they don’t want anyone else to know. Often our secrets are things we are deeply ashamed of or repulsed by. Often we feel very uncomfortable even thinking about our secrets, because they make us lose respect for ourselves and they make us afraid that we’ll lose the respect of others. Secrets aren’t always about negative things. Sometimes they are innocent things, but we’re afraid that others could use the information against us. Maybe you know your militant father would make fun of you if he found out you were attracted to ballet. Maybe the bully at school would mock you if she found out who you had a crush on. Maybe your wife would throw a fit if she found out you were almost killed on the job last night. Maybe your father-in-law-to-be would mess up your engagement if he found out you were friends with his enemy. Maybe you’d never hear the end of it if your stepbrother learned what the kids used to call you in junior high.

Finding out that God already knows all of our secrets and that we can’t trust Him not to tell is tough enough, but the bad news doesn’t stop there. Angels and demons know our secrets as well, and demons love to blab. When demons thought that Jesus was trying to keep His Divinity a secret during His public ministry on earth, demons kept shouting out that Jesus was the Son of Yahweh whenever Jesus would come along to drive them out of someone. Today when demons are trying to get you to obsess over them, they flaunt their knowledge of your secrets through things like ghosts, mediums, Ouija, and fortune tellers. If you’re going to mess around with demons, you’d better be ready to have your most embarrassing secrets and fears broadcasted to the world. When it comes to dealing with nonhuman beings, you are at a major disadvantage because they know way more about you than you know about them.

So now what? It turns out our secrets aren’t that secret after all. Don’t we get any privacy? Sort of. Other people know us the least—they can’t read our minds, and they can’t see into our hearts. So unless they get a tip from a supernatural being or some blabbermouth on earth, we can succeed at keeping at least some secrets from other people. But this isn’t a very comfortable arrangement. How are we supposed to relax when we feel so threatened with exposure? Here’s where we finally come to some good news.

THE GOOD NEWS

When we focus on God, things always get better. The good news is that God loves us and He is for us. More good news is that He controls everything in existence. So even though demons would love to tell your wife all about your porn addiction, they’re not going to get to tell her anything unless God says so. God isn’t interested in wrecking your life, He is interested in helping your soul thrive. Your soul thrives by fully submitting to God and pursuing an intimate relationship with Him. To help that relationship develop, God may deem it necessary to drag a few of your secrets out into the light. But you can count on Him not to share anything that isn’t best for your soul in the long run.

HOW SECRETS HURT US

Our secrets have a way of imprisoning us. When they can’t get permission to share our secrets with the world, demons try very hard to torment us by making up a bunch of frightening what if scenarios.

If your husband ever found out about that abortion you had, he’d never forgive you.
If your dad found out you’re gay, he’d disown you.
If your partner found out how you betrayed him, he’d hate you.
If your wife knew the kinds of things you fantasize about, she’d leave you.

It’s pretty easy for demons to convince us that terrible things would happen if anyone ever found out what our secrets are. It’s also easy for them to convince us that God is rejecting us because of the things we’re ashamed of.

Do you really think you can pray with the same mind that thinks these disgusting thoughts?
How could God still love you after what you’ve done?

How do we protect ourselves from being hurt by our own secrets? How do we keep our secrets from coming between us and God? The key is honest communication. When we fear that we can’t totally trust humans to love us unconditionally, we’re right: we can’t. But the good news is that we don’t need humans to love us this way because we have God’s love and His love is far better. Contrary to what some like to say, God’s love is very conditional, but His conditions have nothing to do with our secrets. The only way we’re going to lose God’s love is by totally rejecting Him on a soul level for too long. When we refuse to submit to God on His terms, we end up hated by Him and thrown into Hell. But if we do submit to God, then we never lose His love.

Now there’s a difference between God loving us and Him liking us. At the present moment, God doesn’t like all of His kids. Some of them are really annoying Him because they’re acting like rebellious brats. So once you’re a Christian, how can you be someone who God really likes? Will God ever push you away because of your secrets? No, He won’t. God’s current view of you is defined by how your soul is currently responding to Him. If you sincerely want to please God, then God is pleased with you, no matter how many shameful secrets you’re lugging around. But while God is pleased with your desire for Him, He also wants to develop your relationship with Him, and that means you need to stop trying to keep secrets from Him.

You have no secrets from God. At first, this feels like a really uncomfortable idea. But think about it. No secrets means no surprises. No secrets means God won’t suddenly gasp in horror one day and say, “I never knew that about you!” No secrets means you are already fully known, fully accepted, and deeply loved just as you are. Really contemplating that truth can bring a lot of freedom to your soul.

Talking to God is very different than talking to another human. Because God already knows everything, you never get stuck with the awkward task of trying to verbalize uncomfortable feelings. When you can’t find the words in your conversations with people, they remain confused. When you can’t find the words in your conversations with God, He totally gets you. God doesn’t need you to put everything into words for Him because He hears what you were trying to say with perfect clarity. God never misunderstands you. God never gets squeamish or uncomfortable with certain topics. While you feel really awkward talking to God about your perverse sexual desires, He’s totally comfortable with the subject. While you feel totally ashamed talking about things you’ve done in the past, God isn’t losing any respect for you. With God you’re on solid ground. His love for you isn’t going to suddenly evaporate the minute you share too much.   Unlike people, God never gets tired of listening to you. In fact, He loves it when you talk to Him. He loves it when you talk about the big stuff and the small stuff. He loves it when you share your random thoughts with Him. If it interests you, it interests God. If it’s hard to talk about, it needs to be talked about.

God is the only One who is your totally safe confidant. God is the only One who you can count on to never leave you and to never stop caring. God is the only One who you can totally trust. Some humans will really love you, and some humans will really try to have a relationship with you, but humans can only do so good because they are bogged down with their own burdens, needs, and insecurities. What’s totally unique about your relationship with God is that He doesn’t need anything from you. He isn’t loving you in order to get something from you. He doesn’t need you to be strong or smart or brave or invincible. He doesn’t need you to have answers because He has the answers. He doesn’t need you to have a plan for tomorrow because He’s already got tomorrow taken care of. With God, you are free to be utterly dependent, weak and needy. God loves needy. It’s when you start trying to help Him that God gets annoyed. God doesn’t want your help, He wants you to embrace the role of His tiny, powerless creature who can’t even breathe without Him. It’s when you start relaxing with God and letting it all hang out that He gets excited. It’s when you stop trying to avoid topics in your prayers and when you stop trying to pretend you’ve got it more together than you do that God eagerly pulls you close and says, “Now you and I can really start getting somewhere.” God doesn’t want a distant relationship with you, but one that is close and personal. To get there, you need to be willing to be totally honest with Him.

The fact that God knows everything about you isn’t going to become a blessing to you until you fully engage with Him. When we shut down on God and say, “What’s the point in praying if He already knows everything?” we end up feeling depressed and distant from God. But when we spend time thinking about how God knows everything about us and we start sharing our heart with Him, then we become far more receptive to His great love for us.

“God, I feel so bad about not being there for my kids when they were growing up.” God already knows this, but you need to hear yourself saying it. When you open up the subject, you finally become receptive to God talking to you about it. There is a lot God wants to say to you about all of your secrets, but as long as you’re avoiding those topics, you’re also rejecting the help He wants to give you. Your secrets can’t come between you and God unless you intentionally build a wall out of them. So don’t go there. If a wall already exists, start taking it down brick by brick. God loves you and He wants you, secrets and all.

FURTHER READING:
What to Do When It’s Too Hard to Talk to God
Can a prophet of God read your mind?
Why pray?

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