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Fear and shame will make you feel naked and exposed, but I have learned that it is what we fear the most that actually has imprisoned us.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’ He answered, ‘I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.’ (Gen. 3:9-10)
One of the most difficult things I have done is to learn to let my guard down. Even with my devotionals, it has been a concentrated effort on my part to let you into my life. Since my relationship with Christ has grown, I have learned to love people and open myself on a deeper level. It is still not easy. Like most people, past hurt and circumstances caused me to build walls I hoped would protect me. A part of that protection was hiding the true me for fear that I would not be accepted or loved, or that I would be found out to be a fraud, or to disappointment others. So I hid me. I protected me.

In the garden, Adam did the same thing, however because of different reasons. Adam was the apple of God’s eye, made in His image, and given dominion over the world. Yet because of the craftiness of the enemy, he ate the fruit that was forbidden to him. And in that moment, he felt shame, he felt naked, and he felt fear of the very Lord who loved him dearly. Therefore he hid. Why? Because of what he now believed to be true, yet was in fact not true at all.

If Adam would hide from God, who created him in His image and whose love formed him (Gen.1-26-27), it makes me wonder how many of us are hiding not just from God, but from others. How many of us are in hiding, believing a lie about ourselves and not the truth of how God sees us or even how others see us?

And what has that hiding actually cost us? It has cost us a life lived in fear of others finding out who we truly are, when who we truly are just happen to be people made in His image and formed in our mothers’ wombs (Ps.139:13-14).

Fear and shame will make you feel naked and exposed, but I have learned that it is what we fear the most that actually has imprisoned us. The more open I have become with my failures and my faults, it is then the more love I have received.

The need to protect yourself from exposure and shame did not start with you. It started in the garden, yet we have been hiding ever since. We hide, we lie, we shut down and shut out many with the hopes of protecting ourselves from being exposed and we fail to realize it is when we were the least covered, the most defenseless, that we received the greatest love.

I have a beautiful 4 month nephew and it saddens me to know the older he becomes, the more he will doubt the love that he has always had. He will eventually start to feel shame, to feel doubt, to wonder if he is good enough, smart enough, to fear and to hide all of the beauty and glory I see in him now.

That God sees…

But, those feelings don’t always have to be there. I know because they are not that way for me anymore, at least not like they were. They don’t have to be that way for you either. Stop hiding. Stop hiding from God and stop hiding from others. We can’t hide from the greatest LOVER ever know, nor the love He wants others to give to us, and why would you want to?

Live gloriously and not in fear!

At The Cross Global Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Shaniqua Rischer
Web site: Shaniqua Rischer
Passionate, Loving, Loyal, Engaging, Obedient, and Direct are words often used to describe Shaniqua Rischer. However, the words she loves to be known for the most are Christian and daughter of the Most High God. Shaniqua Rischer was born and raised in Dallas, TX, and is the youngest of three children. Her father was an educator and she grew up in a family where education was emphasized as the foundation for success. At the age of 22, Shaniqua dedicated her life to Christ and has been on a quest for a closer relationship with God ever since that time. "To live a life of faith and to be of service to all I meet is my ultimate desire" says Shaniqua.

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