Hiding Behind Religious Masks Does More Harm Than You May Realize

(Unsplash/Marcus P.)

Hebrews 4:13 says, "There is no creature that is not revealed in His sight, for all things are bare and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."

The enemy aggressively attacks the body of Christ and attempts to thwart them from a path of transparency, intimacy and devotion unto the Lord. This attack is oftentimes played out in the areas of relationships, personal purity and one's destiny.

Through the practice of hiding behind our religious masks, the dynamics of hypocrisy and self-centeredness can become commonplace in the life of a child of God. In essence, we learn to live wounded and therefore become open prey to the enemy's attacks.

A lack of transparency inevitably breeds weakness, frustration, lukewarmness, compromise, coldness of heart and even a total backslidden state. Those who neglect transparency in their lives usually end up in one of two states: No. 1 They become full of religious pride while living a lie, and No. 2 They fall into a vicious pattern of sinning and never fully repenting, or both.

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James 5:16a says, "Confess your faults to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed." Those who resist transparency end up trying to serve God in their own effort and strength, which is only a road to a religious charade (show) that is void of substance and authenticity, oftentimes leading to a state of spiritual and even physical sickness.

It is vital to understand that the grace (divine assistance) of God is only available to those who are willing to come to the end of themselves. Even in the lives of those who operate in the anointing, due to the familiarity of church life and ministry, we can find ourselves going through the motions while, at the same time, we are dying and decaying internally.

The truth is that we are all made of the same ingredients despite the level of spirituality and ministry we attain, and all of us must walk open, broken and humbly before God in order to access His needed grace. Here are some important steps to take.

— Brutal honesty with God, others and self. "If we say that we have fellowship with Him, yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth" (1 John 1:6).

— True repentance, more than remorse or guilt in the seat of one's emotions. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).

— Pursue God. We must deliberately give ourselves to prayer and intimacy with the Lord. "And without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Heb. 11:6).

— Embrace sonship. Acknowledge and accept who you are in the heart of the Father. "He predestined us to adoption as sons to Himself through Jesus Christ according to the good pleasure of His will" (Eph. 1:5).

— Resist the report of the enemy. Embrace the report of the Lord; you are more than a conqueror. "Therefore submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7).

— Embrace brokenness and dependence upon God. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:3).

For more on how you can thwart the enemy's plans to attack you, listen to Maintain the Flame on the Charisma Podcast Network.

Keith Collins is the founder of Generation Impact Ministries and Impact Global Fellowship. He is actively involved in itinerant ministry, teaching and writing. In recent years, Keith served as the president of the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry and as the director of FIRE School of Ministry, which were both born out of the Brownsville Revival in Pensacola, Florida. His recent book, Samuels Arising: Waking Up to God's Prophetic Call, is now available on Amazon, and his podcast, Maintain the Flame, can be heard on iTunes and at cpnshows.com. You can contact Keith via his websites at keith-collins.org or impactgf.org.

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