When you understand who God is, you stop feeling the need to keep your hidden side from others.
Levi Lusko is the founder and lead pastor of Fresh Life Church in Montana, Wyoming, Oregon and Utah. His latest book is The Last Supper on the Moon: NASA’s 1969 Lunar Voyage, Jesus Christ’s Bloody Death, and the Fantastic Quest to Conquer Inner Space (Thomas Nelson).
Did you know what we call the far side of the moon is always hidden from our view? Even though it spins, the moon does so in such a way that it keeps its far side hidden. Craters pockmark the far side much more than they do the side that we can see. I find it extremely symbolic that the moon, like so many of us, keeps its most damaged side out of sight. The wounds you carry around inside and show to no one are not only where the most damage has happened; they also are where your greatest potential strengths lie. As they say, the cracks are what let the light in.
Our hidden side is damaged, it’s complex, it’s secret. We show it to no one. But when you understand who God is, you stop feeling the need to keep your hidden side from others. You’ll step fully into the light. Then, and only then, will you discover that God is not afraid of what you are hiding. He has a plan to address what is sinful, mend what is broken and fill what is empty. And he has a plan to use all of you—not just the curated parts you currently feel comfortable letting the world see, because he already knows about your hidden side.
We learn who we are by first discovering who God is. God didn’t make a mistake when he fearfully and wonderfully made us in his image. One of the main ways of coming to a place of living abundantly is by understanding our true identity as believers. I firmly believe that identity determines activity. You will never wake up knowing what you are supposed to do until you have a firm grasp on who you are in Christ. Instead, you’ll live with torture, be it the torture of shame, or self-imposed isolation, or debilitating fear.
Everybody is struggling to some extent. And don’t interpret that struggling as a bad sign. Even Jesus, who knew that he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead, was troubled and agitated in spirit (John 11). He wept, groaning and trembling. He broke down the truth to Martha, but still broke down when confronted by the hardship and reality of ministry on this fallen planet. When confronted with the pain, in John 11:41-42, Jesus lifted his eyes as he prayed to the Father. So if you are struggling, you are in good company. Just make sure you, like Jesus, lift your eyes to the Father.
The least selfish thing you can do is take care of your own soul. Say no to the world. Turn off your phone. There will always be more messages to write, more people to minister to, but you can’t take care of other people for the long haul if you’re not taking care of yourself and resting in your true identity. So prioritize your Sabbath, your family vacation, your date nights, time alone with your kids, doing things that fill your tank up. You can’t keep cutting down trees if you don’t take time to sharpen your saw.