April 8

1 Kings 14-16, Psalm 98

People are more comfortable going through life with a mask on, showing the world how perfect their life is. I see many patients on any given day. Typically, when I ask how their husband and children are, I get the scripted response of their perfect life. You know, her husband is great and just received a great promotion. Little Jimmy is the captain of the football team and is doing great in school. Little Susie plays ten musical instruments, does great in school and is loved by everyone. As soon as I honestly tell them how these high school years were very difficult for my own children and recant some of the difficulties my kids went through, the mask is removed. I then find out that little Jimmy, though playing football also has a drug problem, that little Susie seems to be unable to make friends, and that her husband seems distant and aloof. Whether in my office, in church, or for that matter anywhere, people are often in disguise. They want to appear to the outside world to be something they are not. Unfortunately, because of this along with the popular slogan of never speaking about "religion" in the public arena, so many walk around quietly unhappy with no apparent way out. This is not the life that God desires for any of us. We may be able to hide the truth from the outside world, but we cannot do this with God, as we read in Hebrews 4:12-13, "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."

We read in 1 Kings 14:2,4, "And Jeroboam said to his wife, "Please arise, and disguise yourself, that they may not recognize you as the wife of Jeroboam, and go to Shiloh. Indeed, Ahijah the prophet is there, who told me that I would be king over this people...And Jeroboam's wife did so; she arose and went to Shiloh, and came to the house of Ahijah. But Ahijah could not see, for his eyes were glazed by reason of age." So, despite her disguise and the prophet's blindness, we see what happened in 1 Kings 14:5-6, " Now the Lord had said to Abijah, "Here is the wife of Jeroboam, coming to ask you something about her son for he is sick. Thus and thus you shall say to her; for it will be, when she comes in, that she will pretend to be another woman." And so it was, when Ahijah heard the sound of her footsteps as she came through the door, he said, "Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why do you pretend to be another person?...".

Most people state that they are good people and will one day enter heaven on the basis of their goodness. Like the wife of Jeroboam, do we really believe that God cannot see through our disguise? Each and every one of us know our own sinful nature, which we might be very effective from allowing other people to see, but we cannot hide from an Omniscient and Omnipresent God. Rather than pridefully walking through life with the facade of perfection, we should all come broken before the cross and repent of all of our sins and enter into the only relationship with the power to save. Unless we are willing to remove our disguise before others we do not allow ourselves to be reached with the healing touch of another. As long as everyone follows the lie that it is impolite to speak of Jesus Christ in polite company we withhold the only remedy for broken lives. So, let us all remove those disguises, since God already knows the truth about us anyway, and experience the joyful life of faith that God so desires for us.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster