Are You Ready for Your Secret Life to be Exposed?

The Lord continues to speak to us about His soon return and coming judgment. As I’ve been praying the past several weeks about whether to post this note from years ago, He’s surrounded me with confirmations about Him seeing all that is done in secret and that all will give an account for their lives. In the past months, He has also been repeatedly emphasizing that He wants His people to hear, understand, and act on the truth that we must “crucify” the flesh in order to be led by His Spirit. Live Ready.

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What are you doing in secret? Do you have a hidden life others don’t know about?

God has promised that one day every hidden thing we’ve said or done will be brought out in the open.

There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs. Luke 12:2-3

 
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:13 

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Verses like these may cause some to break out in a cold sweat. Truly God sees everything and the things that are done in secret WILL eventually be brought into the light. This does not only apply to what some consider “big” sins; Jesus revealed we will even give account for every idle word spoken (Matthew 12:33-37) and that our thoughts, motives, attitudes, and desires are not hidden from God (Matthew 5-7; 15:17-20). For many these truths may still evoke shame and fear, but they don’t have to.

If we have received Jesus as our Lord and Savior, have turned from willful sin, and are now truly following and living for Him, these promises can be a comfort and encouragement rather than a cause for fear. By the power of His Spirit in us, we can live in such a way that when God turns our secret lives inside out for all to see, the result will be reward rather than reproach.

We have renounced disgraceful ways (secret thoughts, feelings, desires and underhandedness, the methods and arts that men hide through shame); we refuse to deal craftily (to practice trickery and cunning) or to adulterate or handle dishonestly the Word of God, but we state the truth openly (clearly and candidly). And so we commend ourselves in the sight and presence of God to every man’s conscience.  II Corinthians 4:2

 

I have fought the good (worthy, honorable, and noble) fight, I have finished the race, I have kept (firmly held) the faith. [As to what remains] henceforth there is laid up for me the [victor’s] crown of righteousness [for being right with God and doing right], which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me and recompense me on that [great] day—and not to me only, but also to all those who have loved and yearned for and welcomed His appearing (His return). II Timothy 4:7-8

In Matthew 6, Jesus tells us a few facets of the secret lives God desires us to have:

… when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:3-4

… when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:6

… when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:17-18

We should understand these verses in balance with Matthew 5:13-16, which reveals that there are also many aspects of our Christian faith that are not meant to be exclusively hidden in privacy, but lived out as a light in a dark world for mankind to see ~ the defining issue being the motives with which our public deeds are done (these hidden motives will be brought to light – I Corinthians 4:1-5). Though no amount of good works could ever be sufficient to save us (we can only be saved by grace through faith in who Jesus is and what He has done for us), true faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior will produce a life of loving, following, and living for Him. If this fruit is not present, neither is true faith (Matthew 25:31-46, James 2:14-26).

For those who faithfully give their time, talents, finances, and lives for the Lord and His Kingdom without seeking acknowledgement and praise from men, who wholeheartedly seek His face and His will through His Word and Spirit and in prayer and fasting, and who guard their hearts, eyes, minds, and mouths even in private ~ choosing to think, speak, and act in ways that honor Him ~ the fact that what we do in secret is seen and heard by the Lord, and will be brought out in the open, can be a source of comfort and joy, rather than a source of fear (Malachi 3:16-17). Though none of us will ever be perfect, when our hearts are perfect toward Him, this will be our aim and we will continually come up higher in Him. As we walk with Him, His light exposes any shade of darkness we need to repent from (so we can turn away from any wrong thought, attitude, word, or action and turn back to Him and His will), and as we do, His blood continually cleanses us from all unrighteousness (I John 1).

We don’t follow the Lord for the rewards. We follow Him regardless of the cost because He is our Lord; we belong to Him and love Him. But what a blessing to know He desires to reward us. Though surely some of the rewards for the kind of secret life He calls us to will only be given in the coming age, I don’t believe we have to wait for judgment day for every reward He has promised (Mark 10:29-30). Just as secret sins eventually produce a visible harvest of destruction in the lives of those who continually commit them, I believe our secret acts of love, obedience, and faithfulness also eventually produce a visible harvest of reward in this life, as well as the next (Galatians 6:7-10). The greatest reward we can receive from developing the secret lives God calls us to is the priceless treasure of intimate relationship with Him (Philippians 3:7-21) ~ coming to know Him as our ALL in ALL.

I pray we will all live in constant awareness that the things we do in secret are on display in full view of the Lord, and will eventually be exposed openly as well, and will live in such a way that this truth brings comfort and hope instead of fear. If we knew Jesus was returning tomorrow, is there anything about our lives we would suddenly find the desire and strength to change today? If so, we need to examine ourselves to see if we are truly in the faith, truly abiding in Jesus (John 15, II Corinthians 12:19-13:11). He tells us that if we’re truly in Him, it will be evident by the fact that we follow Him and do His will and do not willfully or continually practice sin (Matthew 7; 24:36-51, Hebrews 10:19-39, I John 2-3). When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, He calls us to turn away from (repent), renounce, and remove from our lives anything contrary to His will and to follow Him. As we walk in relationship with Him, we will develop secret and public lives marked by faithfulness and passion for Him, His Word, and His Kingdom, that produce the fruit/character of His Spirit, the power of His Spirit, and a confident anticipation of reward ~ especially the reward of truly knowing Him (Galatians 5:16-25, Ephesians 5:1-17, II Timothy 2:19, I Thessalonians 4:1-8). He never calls us to do anything He does not give us the grace/power to do by His Spirit in and through us (Titus 2:11-15). We should live transparently before Him, knowing He already knows all and is always ready to help us overcome in any area of struggle (Hebrews 4:12-16). He never allows us to be tempted beyond what we can bear (I Corinthians 9:24-10:13). He is always present with us and in us to empower us to crucify our flesh and live by His Spirit, that we may live our public and private lives in the light of His truth, rather than the darkness of sin. Whether in public or behind closed doors, our entire lives should display His glory.

 Copyright, Laura Jewell Tyree

Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also]. For whoever is bent on saving his [temporal] life [his comfort and security here] shall lose it [eternal life]; and whoever loses his life [his comfort and security here] for My sake shall find it [life everlasting]. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life {his soul} [his blessed life in the kingdom of God]? Or what would a man give as an exchange for his {soul} [blessed] life [in the kingdom of God]? For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory (majesty, splendor) of His Father with His angels, and then He will render account and reward {recompense either good or bad} every man in accordance with what he has done. Matthew 16:24-27 

 

So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. II Corinthians 5:9-11 

So brace up your minds; be sober (circumspect, morally alert); set your hope wholly and unchangeably on the grace (divine favor) that is coming to you when Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is revealed. [Live] as children of obedience [to God]; do not conform yourselves to the evil desires [that governed you] in your former ignorance [when you did not know the requirements of the Gospel]. But as the One Who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all your conduct and manner of living. For it is written, You shall be holy, for I am holy. And if you call upon Him as [your] Father Who judges each one impartially according to what he does, [then] you should conduct yourselves with true reverence {reverent fear} throughout the time of your temporary residence [on the earth, whether long or short]. You must know (recognize) that you were redeemed (ransomed) from the useless (fruitless) way of living inherited by tradition from [your] forefathers, not with corruptible things [such as] silver and gold, But [you were purchased] with the precious blood of Christ (the Messiah), like that of a [sacrificial] lamb without blemish or spot. I Peter 1:13-19 

 

Behold, I am coming soon, and I shall bring My wages and rewards with Me, to repay and render to each one just what his own actions and his own work merit. Revelation 22:12

 

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