But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7, ESV)
“Lord I pray that our congregation would be a group who didn’t hide behind a mask. A congregation that comes without pretense. A congregation whose only focus is using what you have put us through for your glory. We pray you bless our fears and insecurities and our misgivings. Lord, we also ask that you combat out egos, our selfishness and our pride. Help us to put aside ourselves for your glory. Bless Redemption Church in every way for your glory.”
One of the biggest trials facing the modern church is unfortunately the modern church. We have become obsessive about having the nicest building or the best band. We go to church with people who look like us, think like us, act like us and do the same things we do. It’s safe and it’s comfortable, it’s easy. We hide behind masks of fashion, cars, and neighborhoods but Christ has called us to so much more than that. Living a life on mission for God means showing the junk you have buried deep inside, having the faith that Christ will take what’s messed up in you and use it for His glory.
As God continues to grow Redemption Church I pray that we will become a people who look past outward appearances and socio-economic status. Simply put, we should not pre-judge people that we come in contact with and in return we must take our own masks off in order to foster that environment. Then, they will feel more at ease and more likely to let their guard down and be comfortable enough to take off their own masks. It is imperative that we are all real with one another and more importantly, with God.
I believe that sharing the trials God has put us through will be used for His glory, if we are willing to let it. People are often more at ease with someone who has been through the same situations or endured the same hardships. If we hide behind a mask we will never be real and share what the power of Christ has done for us.
For many Christians taking off the mask can be terrifying. I pray that as a body we show God’s grace and mercy as sinners begin to open up and let their true selves be seen and that daily we remember to dust off our skeletons and proudly display them for the world to see so that others might know they are not alone and that they too can have the glorious salvation we so enjoy!
Guest Blogger: Justin Wade
Justin is member at Redemption Church in Edmond, OK. He is married to Kristin Wade and they have two dogs, Conway and Rowdy. Justin is currently pursuing a degree in Industrial Safety Engineering when he’s not fishing or watching the Sooners. You can follow him on Twitter at @wadebythewater or read his other blogs at wadebythewater.wordpress.com
–January 12th is a very big day for Redemption Church! Thank you for praying with us! For more information about the launch of Redemption Church and how you can pray for us, please click here.