October 1, 2018
Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 3:18; “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”
I think one of the greatest human desires is to be known. Truly known. Fully known. The kind of known that penetrates our deepest insecurities and satisfies our craving for authentic connection. Being known in relationship is a key factor in our overall satisfaction even in the midst of a difficult life.
But are we truly known? Do we allow for that kind of exposure? Truth is, flesh will always fail. So why take the risk?
We take the risk because it’s in the free-fall of transparency where freedom is found, connection is conceived, and authentic relationship is born. But to achieve this level of intimacy, we must unveil.
The veil is iconic and has a long history. But in its most honest form and function, the veil is used to cover and conceal something or someone. The meaning mustn’t be lost in the context of our scripture verse where we are called to present with an unveiled face.
This approach to intimacy is not for the shallow end. It will require a deep dive into deep waters that often feel over our head. Now I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that every relationship will not warrant this kind of depth. But for those relationships that fit the categories of ‘must’ or ‘trust’ (Geoffrey Greif), we would be wise to consider investing energy into the practice of intimacy.
The concept of intimacy may be a struggle for you. It is for most of us. We are careful, aren’t we? Quick to be judge and jury in a matter where someone has personally violated our trust. We throw the proverbial rock instead of turning the other cheek.
Even so, we live in a world where broken people are all we have to work with. So how do we guard our heart and give it away in the same breath (Proverbs 4:23)?
The answer lies in our source of confidence. Our confidence to be transparent must first be in Christ before offering it to others. This posture protects us, and at the same time fosters the type of freedom needed to invest in less than perfect people.
Easier said than done, especially in a world where access to connect with others is at an all-time high, and our ability to engage in authentic relationship is at an all-time low. We feel known, but culturally we have adopted the social-emotional skill of playing it safe—only revealing that which has been carefully crafted for tweeting, texting, or posting.
Let’s face it, we are very complicated beings, full of emotional experiences that yank us like strings pulled from a puppeteer. We intend to go one way, yet react another. And this can be hurtful and confusing.
In light of our limitations, our only hope is to find true intimacy with God. Which takes us once again to 2 Corinthians 3. Given the very complex nature of this passage, and for the sake of brevity, the basic premise is this: before Christ, the veil represented limited intimacy with God. After Christ—the veil is removed; giving full access and intimacy with Him now and forever.
Before; after. Veiled; revealed. Limited; unlimited.
The significance of this transition is magnified in Matthew 27, and is no less than stunning. You see, the physical veil that hung in the temple was the barrier between God and His people, and the moment Jesus died on the cross, the temple veil tore from top to bottom (v. 50-51). Literally, split in half!
This revelation is paramount to our faith. This is where we see how Jesus came, not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17).
The tearing of the veil was a visual illustration of the old covenant of Law (limited access) being fulfilled by the new covenant of Grace (unlimited access). The overarching intention—intimacy. Christ died to know you, and to be known by you. It’s called relationship. The cost—redemption.
As it relates to our flesh and blood relationships, the unveiled face simply means allowing all pretense to fall away. Everything that impedes God’s glory from being reflected.
The reality—we bring emotional, spiritual, and a lot of relational baggage into each relationship along the way. It’s just a fact and the nature of being human. Yet, the greatest love stories, the deepest friendships, and the tightest family bonds are formed with threads of intimacy.
It has to start somewhere. Why not let it start with us? Maybe it’s time to forgo our fears and choose to engage. To ask the hard questions and really listen. To discern the voice of God in a matter and follow His lead. To unveil our hearts and be open to being known.
What are you waiting for? We are designed to love and be loved. Honestly, it might be our highest call of being human.
Lord God, make me a person who is patient and kind in love, one that does not keep a record of wrongs. Help me have a truly submitted heart so I can be free to know others and be known by them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
Take a good look at your relationships. Is there a relationship that is piquing your intimacy quotient? Perhaps, one that is calling you to dig a little deeper, forgive a little quicker, stretch a little farther?
Identify any hindrances that continue to block your progress. Turn to the Lord with an unveiled face and seek first your freedom in Him. Then you will find the freedom needed to know and be known.
Click this link to listen: Known by Tauren Wells
Hugs for a great week and remember, you are not alone. Be blessed. Be free. Be known.