Transparency. What is transparency? The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of transparency is a plastic sandwich bag. A plastic sandwich bag is transparent. Transparent means to allow light to shine through something so that it may clearly be seen. Transparency means to be able to see the whole thing clearly. Transparency is the literal word but I believe vulnerability is a much more relatable word.
Vulnerability is something that I have been learning for the past several years. This is something that I feel God has been teaching me ever since I decided to go all in. I believe that when it comes to God if we want to go all in, we must become vulnerable. We must master this idea. We must learn that to live the life we all desire to live, we must become vulnerable before God.
Vulnerability paves the way for change.
I believe that that the Bible is true and that God breathed on the words of these pages and so I take this book and everything in it very seriously. I believe God gave us this book for inspiration, example, and guidance. This isn’t just a suggestion of how we should live our lives but rather a blueprint to experiencing all that God created us for. As I believe God speaks to every issue we may ever face on this earth, there is a story in the Bible that speaks directly to the issue of being vulnerable before God.
In Luke chapter 6 Jesus is in the temple and he sees a man with a deformed hand standing in the back of the room. After noticing the man Jesus speaks to him:
“Come and stand in front of everyone” Jesus says. So the man comes forward.”“Jesus then tells the man to hold out his hand. So the man held out his hand, and it was immediately restored.”Luke 6:9-10
First and foremost, Jesus is straight calling this man out. He notices a man with a deformed hand who is intentionally standing where not that many people can see him and he calls him to the front of a crowd of people. Jesus noticed this man’s issue and wants to bring it in front of everyone. It says Jesus saw his hand so it must have been out visible, but I can imagine as he came before the people he probably shoved his hand in his pocket to prevent people from seeing his injury, his issue.
Jesus doesn’t stop there. He then proceeds to tell this man to take his hand out of his pocket. After Jesus had already brought embarrassment upon this guy, now he wants him to pull out his deformed hand so everyone can see it.
Put yourself in the shoes of this man. You are listening to Jesus talk and you have this issue that no one knows about. No one knows this dark and terrible part of your heart. Nobody knows the thoughts that you think, nobody knows what you do when nobody is looking, nobody knows about this one area of your life, and you stand in the back of the room just like this man. You feel that if people would discover the “true you” that you would be exposed and your secret would be out. You think that if this one specific issue was discovered by God that you would be done, your life ruined.
What if I told you that God already knows? What if I told you that God is already aware of the deepest parts of your soul? What if I told you that Jesus knows your deepest darkest secret. What if I told you that Jesus knows the very thing you try to hide from everyone else, yet loves you more than anyone will.
God is completely aware of every thought that goes through your mind, every word out of your mouth and everything you take part in. He knows. And loves you greatly despite your flaws.
Jesus tells the man to take his deformed hand out of his pocket and let everyone see. If I was this guy I would be like, “Jesus, my man, I’ll see you later! The whole reason I put it in my pocket was so that people wouldn’t see it and now you are telling me to take it out? Are you crazy?
The man Jesus was speaking to listened and took his hand out of his pocket. He exposed his issue in front of Jesus. He brought his deepest darkest pain into the light of Christ. He took a step of faith and trusted that Jesus knew what he was doing and took his hand out of his pocket. However, being vulnerable brought about a result that was not expected by anyone. I can imagine the man was preparing himself to be humiliated by the crowd for how his hand looked and for this thing that he kept hidden for so long. He was preparing to be embarrassed in front of his very neighbors.
God has a way of blowing our perceptions out of the water. He has a way of doing the unexpected. The man experienced healing as soon as he revealed his injury before Jesus. The man’s deepest pain and shame was healed the instant he removed his hand from his pocket.
The man’s step of faith was met by the healing power of God at this moment.
I wonder how much this man’s vulnerability could help us? I wonder if we had the faith to come before God exposing our darkest secrets how much healing we could experience. Notice, however, that Jesus did not reach in the pocket of this man and pull out his injured hand for him. Jesus commanded the man to pull out his hand. Jesus told this man that he had to initiate the movement and take the step of faith in revealing the very thing that held him captive for so many years. Jesus called him to pull his hand out of his pocket.
The level at which we chose to be vulnerable is the level at which we will experience the grace, healing and restoration power of God.
Jesus is calling us to do the same thing as this man. Jesus is telling you, along with myself and all believers to come before him with a spirit of vulnerability. He tells us that we must bring our issue into the light in order to be healed. We must initiate the conversation with God. We must bring before our father the deepest parts of our soul believing whole-heartedly that he will meet us there with healing and restoration.
In 2 Corinthians Paul is honest with the reader about himself and what God has taught him about being vulnerable.
“I am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.2 Corinthians 12:10
When I am weak then I am strong. The moment we take the humble spirit of showing God our weakness, our issue, our deformed hand, he will make us strong. If we can get past that initial moment of thinking we will be exposed, God will give us supernatural strength.
At the beginning of the year, my church takes part in a week of prayer and fasting. I joined in and fasted for 7 days. On day 4 or 5, one of my leaders and good friend asked me if I had heard from God. I said no not specifically. He then went on to ask me what I wanted to hear from God about, which left me silent. I was like “well I’m not really sure.” He then said, “how are you expecting to hear from God if you don’t know what you want?” As we talked I discovered what my heart truly desired. After coming to terms with what I genuinely desired in my heart, God spoke to me about that very thing. That same day. Within the hour. He granted the deepest desire of my heart. He gave me that peace that my soul longed for. He healed my heart in the specific place that I wanted him to. All I had to do was become vulnerable and bring to God what I wanted. I had to overcome the embarrassment and belittlement from the enemy, that this wasn’t a “big-enough” issue to bring to God.
I tell you that to encourage you to let God in on what is going on in your heart. Be vulnerable, reveal that deformed hand or that desire deeply ingrained in your heart to the Lord. When you are vulnerable to God you are granting him permission to perform a miracle in your life. When you open your heart up to your father who already knows what you are walking through, you allow your heart to be healed and restored like never before.