It is a New Year. I spent much of 2017 trying to figure things out. A quiz came up on my Facebook news feed today. My curiosity got the best of me and I attempted to answer the questions on the quiz to see if I am really an evangelical Christian. Doing the quiz, made me think. Even though I only got 88% on the quiz, I still passed. I did get a couple questions wrong. Like watching an episode of Veggie Tales meets the criteria. LOL! One of the questions, I guessed the name of the boy band who sang a Christian song. Got that one wrong. LOL! At the end of the quiz, I was congratulated because I could answer most of the questions correctly. Yeah! LOL! There was a disclaimer written at the end. It told me to - "now celebrate, but don't do anything fun because it will be sin." Ha! Ha! Was there some truth to what it said? Sometimes it does seem that anything fun is sin. I've heard this statement made, or one like it - Christians can't have fun.
The other questioned posed to me, "Are we not to be genuine?" What is genuine? Does being able to answer all the Bible questions correctly make me a genuine? No. If I can answer all the questions, but don't have love in my heart then I think I need some serious self examination.
I remembered this chapter I wrote some years back - at a time, when even then, I was trying to figure out how to be a genuine person while trying to figure out all the do's and don'ts. When it comes down to it, are we not all trying to figure out who we are, and what our purpose is in life? In a world of extreme cyber technologies, it is easy to lose ourselves in the fantasy world and become a fictional character to those we meet. Why do people do that? Is it because we honestly believe that in our minds that people won't like who we really are? People become a self projected image of someone they are not, in order to find acceptance. Isn't that all part of the masquerade party?
When Time Stands Still
by Rebecca Hickson
. . . Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 2 Corinthians 11:14 Is the world one big masquerade party? Daily we see people masquerade behind a mask of pretending imagery trying to be accepted by the status quo. Why do we think we have to hide our real identities and personalities behind a mask? Is there so much fear of rejection in the world, or just too much rejection? Why do we persist in the game? What does it take to be who God created us to be? Will the real John Doe please stand up? Without saying much babble, the direction I would point you to is to the Almighty Counselor, Jesus Christ. It is crucial that we as children of God know our identity in Him. By knowing, believing and having faith in Him, we can learn to accept the fact that God totally accepts us and we are exactly who God created us to be. He formed us in our mother’s wombs. Let us look behind the masks; remembering that the first mask we need to remove is the one we are wearing. Have you ever experienced relationships where it has taken more than a couple years before you get to know the person behind the mask? Perhaps years have passed and you realized one day that you never even knew the person you called your neighbour, brother, spouse or friend. The masks wear out over time and fall off. Have you ever experienced a broken relationship? The mask is off and your relationship has ended. You are left holding a mask full of questions and tears. We wonder what on earth happened, surprised by the mask of deception we never knew existed. When we try to build our relationships, it is important to build the foundation with real materials like honesty, love, reality and truth. Any imitation materials will not persevere the stormy weather ahead. If we look at an imitation flower compared with a flower filled with life, what might we notice? From a distance both look the same. Some imitation flowers look so real, you cannot tell until you touch or smell them. Nothing can replace the natural beauty of a flower, fragrant fresh with silky softness and vivid colours. Without the fragrance something is missing. They are beautiful on the outside yet fragrant less, never growing or spreading life. No seeds can fall from an imitation. Even sun and rain will not enhance its beauty. In fact sun and rain will only enhance the fraudulent reality of the emptiness held within a stem without roots. Without growth, without life, it is dead. In the same way God’s light will eventually reveal the things in our lives, which are imitation. Truth will always uncover the lie. We frequently hear on the news about horrendous crimes committed. People are left in disbelief of the offender. We cannot believe our neighbour could have done such a crime. After all, he was such a nice guy. We are left shocked. I always wonder, did anyone ever really take the time to get to know the person behind the mask? Maybe he had been crying out for such a long time. No one noticed, or cared enough to help or listen to the cry behind the mask. Does that make us accomplices to the crimes?
The originality of these masks began a long time ago in the Garden of Eden. God had created everything perfect and it was all very good. The first mask maker was Satan, who was also in the garden. Satan the devil gave Eve the first mask as a lie. He told Eve what God had given her was not enough. She needed more. Eve swallowed the lie along with the fruit from the forbidden tree. Today we are still swallowing Satan’s lies. You have to be funny. Your nose is too big. You are fat and ugly. You will never be able to succeed. They will not like you if . . . And on and on the lies go. Satan wears the craftiest mask of all. The bible says that Satan masquerades as an angel of light. He would like nothing better than for us to wear his masks and be like him, deceiving and being deceived. We have not lost. There is victory in Christ Jesus. We can learn from the mistake Eve made and we can learn from the mistakes we make. It is time to take off the mask and be who God created us to be. Allow God to change us into His image. In the changing process learn to accept and praise God for who we are in Christ Jesus. In Christ, we are so much more than the surface appearance. Behind every face is a beautiful spirit and soul that God loves so very much. He is waiting to shine out and shine in and melt off the masks of deception. He wants to end the masquerade party. Jesus never hid behind any mask. He made no false pretences. Christ lived truth all the way to the cross, the grave and back to heaven. Praise God. Be real! Be free! Be all that God intended us to be!
What does the Bible say?
When Time Stands Still
The Mask CHAPTER 34
1. What are the names of Satan? (Deuteronomy 13:13, Matthew 10:25, 1 John 3:8, 12:30, Luke 8:30,)
2. What are some characteristics of Satan? (Genesis 1, 3:1, Job 1:6-12, 2:1-6, Revelation 12:10)
3. Who are you in Christ Jesus?
4. One of the main ways Satan tries to attack us, is in our thoughts. Study these scriptures and write down how we can battle and defeat Satan and his tactics. (2 Corinthians 10:5, Romans 12:1-2, James 5:16, Psalm 150:6)
5. Read Revelation 12:11 and write down the key way in which we can overcome Satan?
Remove the negative thoughts and replace them with the word of God and His truth. Prayer is important because your relationship with the Lord will grow in intimacy and His power will strengthen, protect and free you. Praise is also a big weapon against Satan.