I'll never forget when I heard these words, "The mask is coming off".
It was at the height of COVID in May of 2020 and there was so much talk about wearing masks in public. There was fear in the market place over this disease but the fear I felt in public was the fear of someone saying something to me because I was not wearing a mask. I've never worn a mask in a public place since the start of COVID and I'm still not. The only place that refused my business for lack of a mask here in Texas was Goodwill.
I had little to no idea what it truly meant. I even crafted my own opinion as to what I thought God was going to do by revealing this word to me. I tried to make the connection, prophetically, between the spiritual mask and the physical mask.
Masks in the Bible are likened to an actor on a stage. Hypocrites. Someone trying to hide behind the truth, their true feelings and conceal their insecurities, lies, and hatred.
Most of us, if we are being honest, have something we are trying to hide, even if we are trying to get rid of it and don't want it. We still don't want anyone to know our struggles. We care too much about what other people think of us and this usually starts at a young age.
"Smooth talk can hide a corrupt heart just like a pretty glaze covers a cheap clay pot. Kind words can be a cover to conceal hatred of others, for hypocrisy loves to hide behind flattery. So don’t be drawn in by the hypocrite, for his gracious speech is a charade, nothing but a masquerade covering his hatred and evil on parade. Don’t worry—he can’t keep the mask on for long. One day his hypocrisy will be exposed before all the world." - Proverbs 26:23-26
My husband and I were about to share some hard and heartbreaking news with our family. I knew that what was being revealed was going to cause a lot of chaos and confusion. We were being exposed and God was helping us to be honest with our very real struggles and admit our weaknesses.
I just wanted to be honest but my being too honest was going to get me into more trouble than I was prepared for. I knew what we were doing didn't make sense in the natural. All I could pray at this point, just like Jesus on the road to Gethsemane was, "Your will be done!" Over and over and over again. It was like nothing else could come out of my mouth. I was at the end of trying to find solutions. I was at the end of trying to figure it out. I was at the end of trying to pray the right prayer. There was nothing more I could do but let God have it and let Him have His way. It truly felt like total surrender.
The taking off of the mask was for me more than anyone. I thought it meant people were going to show their true colors. They did, but, instead, God was revealing to me my true Identity. This was about dying to myself and just like any kind of death to the flesh, it was going to be agonizing and painful. God was going to use the actions of others to teach me who I could trust, what I've looked past, and to start trusting my instincts again.
Like any other prophetic person has been through, my soul was being purged in the wilderness.
There is a verse in The Passion Translation that was so timely.
"And at times you were publicly and shamefully mistreated, being persecuted for your faith;" - Hebrews 10:33
The footnotes read that this could also be translated, "so that you would become seers or develop vision".
My spiritual eyes were being opened in so many ways. I've been a seer all my Christian life but the veil that was being pulled back now was different. I was seeing on a whole new level because of the persecution.
There was one moment in particular that first stood out to me and let me know I was on the road to recovery. It was very unusual because I wasn't sure why I was discerning what I was hearing. I remember sitting there listening to someone explain their situation and all I could think was the advice they were given was terribly wrong!!
The tricky part was, the advice was from someone who had seriously hurt me. It also sounded good, but I knew it was coming from personal experience and not godly wisdom. So, I had to analyze my heart. I was a little taken aback. Was I secretly hoping this person was wrong just because they hurt me? Was this coming from the bitterness I felt towards them? The more I thought and prayed on it I realized that I wasn't wrong. I wasn't in some twisted and jealous way trying to make something out of nothing. It was real and I was learning to separate the pain from reality. I realized my discernment and vision were being sharpened through this valley I felt like I'd never get out of.
This happened many times, not just once, and most of the time it was a revelation of bad roots (like bitterness, unforgiveness, fear, mother/father wounds) that were causing certain behaviors in people's lives around me. I continued to question and pray through what I was hearing from the Holy Spirit. Why would He need to reveal this to me, anyways? I already didn't like what was going on, this would only seem to feed the fire, wouldn't it??
I don't know, but I do know this. I took those dark roots to Jesus and prayed over God's people. As much as I didn't want to and as angry as I was, I knew God didn't want these things in His people's hearts. Every single one he revealed to me were roots in Christians. He judges his house first. It was my job, at this point, to pray that God would send them help to set them free from what they were trapped in just like he has done for me.
It wasn't easy and the right words were hard to get out. Sometimes I had to stop and just vent to God and tell Him how much I hated this. But I knew I'd never regret praying for someone and I've always heard that the easiest way to forgive someone is to start praying for them. So that's what I did.
Someone once told me that God is in the business of exposing. He's not going to sit idly by and watch His Bride be destroyed. He will tear apart the things we have set above Him in order to save the man. God's judgement is about saving us. It's His love for us when we've gone too far.
It's not easy but it's ok to let people see who you really are. It's also ok to admit what you discern or feel is going on in and around you. What's not ok is to tear someone down. We are called to tear down strongholds, not people. Jesus was authentic and truthful with people he encountered yet it was always in perfect love. He didn't lie to them or try to hide his true feelings. He prayed for them and knew who He could invite into His personal circle.
Scripture tells that even Jesus was skeptical of His own believers.
"But Jesus did not yet entrust himself to them, because he knew how fickle human hearts can be. He needed no one to tell him about human nature, for he fully understood what man was capable of doing." John 2:24-25
The Bible says in Proverbs 10 that hiding hatred makes you a liar. It's in our own weakness that Christ is strong in us. When I've been most broken at what's in my own heart is when I've see Christ move the greatest on my behalf.
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