We had received an invitation to a fancy dress party and, without wishing to offend anyone, I simply did NOT want to go. In fact I got so mardy that, when asked the question "What are you going dressed as?" my answer was as direct as the question, "The invisible man!" I can't claim to be the most enthusiastic person on earth when it comes to parties and, quite honestly, when the issue is fancy dress I would rather run a marathon than get dressed up to go to such a party.
So, I hatched a plan. All it needed was for my wife to go on her own and, if asked where I was, she could tell everyone that I was there as the invisible man. All she had to do was pretend to talk to me and pretend to hear my reply. If, by any remote possibility, I was awarded a prize at the end of the evening I could simply make an entrance from the garden in my everyday clothes and state that people needed to see me collect it so that they would know there was no deceit attached. I could see it working. I thought it was a brilliant idea.
However, I eventually came to see that it was neither brilliant nor original as my mind went to the first man, Adam, who tried to make himself invisible in the Garden of Eden. He must have thought he had hatched a good plan as he hid when he heard God walking in the Garden. Did he really think God would be taken in by his plan just as I thought others would be taken in by my plan?
That set me thinking. Over the years I have walked with Jesus I have come to realise that no brilliant plan of mine will hide the truth about how I feel or about any aspect of my life from Him who sees all that there is to see about me. The truth is that I am acceptable to God in Christ. But what does that mean?
Well, I go back to Adam, in the Garden, trying to hide from God. The point of Adam's feeble attempt to try and disguise what he had done was not that it was a brilliant idea. It was that it was seen and known by God but that the consequences of what effect it had on Adam were covered by the grace of God as He provided the skin of a sacrificial animal to cover Adam's wrong-doing. All Adam had to do was to put on God's provision. Adam had tried to hide from God rather than run towards Him to receive His embrace, forgiveness and acceptance.
Go on then I will be honest and not try and hide anything from you. There are hidden things in my life that do not please God. I know; you are taken aback in total surprise,shock and disbelief but it's the truth. They are things that are not seen but have consequences. However, the glorious truth is that they are covered by God's grace as I put on the Lord Jesus Christ, God's perfect sacrifice, to make me acceptable to Him (Romans 13:14).
Even the Apostle Paul had a struggle in this invisible inner area of his life where there was, at times, conflict between the flesh and the Spirit. What a beautiful lesson he learned when he saw that Christ alone was his salvation from the consequences of such a struggle. (Romans 7:13-25) and how grateful I am that his lesson learned was recorded for our appreciation and benefit.
I am still not sure why I dislike fancy dress parties so much but there is something of which I am very sure; I know that I am accepted by a most holy God (even though He knows me right well). I don't have to decline His invitation to draw close to Him because of the things in me that do not please Him. I am free to accept His invitation to feel His embrace because I have put on Christ. He looks at me and sees Jesus. Because I have put on Christ I know that I am enveloped in His identity. Now there's a thought!!
Romans 13:14; But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.