No More Hiding
Updated: Feb 22
("God's Mission Protocol" Series 2, Post 11)
*Please note that I am not advocating that the color black, or that wearing black, is evil. In my life, God wanted to address a deeper issue, the fact that I wore black mainly as a means to hide. God sees the heart.
My closest looks a lot different than it did this time last year. Nowadays it is filled with colorful shirts, whereas last year it was filled with mainly black shirts. I wore black almost every day. I wore black because I was self-conscience about my body but mostly because it is a comfortable color to wear for an introvert, at least this one. Wearing black made me feel like I could hide and not stand out. This brought comfort.
Last year, as I stood in church wearing a black shirt like usual, a lady came up to me and mistook me for a teenager in our church whose dad had just passed away. What came to my mind next was how maybe my black shirt made her think of me as one in mourning. I didn’t know but I did think that this encounter was odd.
Later, God spoke. He said:
Shine Susan. Radiate My love. Shine bright. You will shine Susan for you will no longer be able to hide. Hiding isn’t from Me Susan. I have never called anyone to hide. On the contrary, I call My people to stand firm, to be steadfast, and to let their light shine before men. No more hiding your light under a bushel. This is about to be a thing of the past for you, My star. No more hiding. Out! Come out! Out! Come out! Come out Susan. Come out! Come out! Like Lazarus Susan, come out! Take off those burial clothes, your cocoon and come out! Be free to shine. You are free! You are free! Come out and live, live life to the fullest. Shine. Come alive. Your new day is now. Now Susan. Now. Now My love. Stop wearing black Susan. I command you to stop wearing black. No more hiding. NO MORE HIDING. Put yourself out there My love. Remember My Son. I transformed Him and His clothes became a radiant white. Put away your black Susan. That girl’s father is no longer living but your Heavenly Father is very much alive and wants to shine through you. Put away the black Susan. I want to give you color. Let yourself be noticed, whatever it takes. It is time Susan. Time to shine, even through the clothes you wear. Shine Susan. No more darkness, even in your clothing.
About a week ago, I was going along just fine when all of a sudden something changed. I was at my weekly faith group meeting, excited to be there, ready for fellowship, when all of a sudden, bam! A series of people’s actions and comments, started to make me feel unliked and discouraged. I struggled for several days after that with one of my biggest struggles in life, especially as an introvert, with feeling unwanted, unimportant, and with wanting to hide away. I have never been one to make friends easily and I have never been that one person in the room that people are drawn too. This has always been a major area, or major button, that Satan likes to push and use against me. And well, even though I recognized that I must have been under a Satanic attack, the struggle was already on the move.
A week later, trying to counterattack and press through, I sent out an open invitation for people in this group to meet me at a coffee shop, an invitation that several accepted. That morning however, after ordering my coffee and choosing a prime place to sit, one by one through text message, everyone who originally agreed to meet me canceled and I was left sitting there alone. As you can imagine, this definitely didn’t help the situation any. In fact, I held back tears all day after that, struggling, like I said, of wanting once again to hide away, to just ignore people, and this faith group, mostly as a way to protect my heart. That afternoon, as I picked up my daughter, things got worse as she ran to me bursting into tears herself. When I asked her what was wrong, she said, “No one wanted to play with me today,” after which I thought to myself, “No one wanted to play with me either.” At this point, out of the mouths of babes, I knew Satan truly had been on the move. And, it’s one thing when he attacks me but quite another when he attacks my five-year-old daughter.
My husband, knowing me well and having been in this battle with me before, put it perfectly. He said to me, after hearing me talk on and on about wanting to hide away and about how if I went to church the following Sunday that I just wanted to wear black and sit on the back row, “That is what Satan wants because he wants you and your testimony, your witness, to be ineffective.” The voice of truth.
After that I began to truly give all my thoughts of hiding away, of skipping church, and of wearing black and sitting on the back row, to God. I knew that He was the only One that could turn my situation around. I gave the battle to Him and asked Him to redeem the moment. And He did, for over the next few days, I ended up getting several text messages from my church friends that began to soften the ground of my heart, or of my personality instincts, so much so, that when Sunday came around, I was willing to go to church. At first, I was tempted to wear black, but chose not to because I remembered God’s words. I also knew that I needed to go because of how hard it seemed Satan was trying to keep me away, especially since my car battery even died the day before.
Well, I made it to church, not wearing black, and not sitting on the back row. I got out my journal and faithfully expected God to speak, although I struggled with feeling like an unworthy vessel due to the previous events, but nonetheless God spoke. He said:
Write these words down Susan:
I speak because I AM. I am I AM. There is no other reason. Susan, you are not worthy, never have been, never will be. I speak therefore I AM. I AM therefore I speak. I am the Word, the Giver of very life - your life, all life. Life. I give life. Breathe Me in Susan. Stop right now and breathe - breathe in life. I am the breath that gives life - all life. I am the God who rights all wrongs, who brings redemption to all and any situation. I WILL ALWAYS redeem your moments, every moment the enemy has stolen, attacked, and robbed for his glory. His glory is temporary and fleeting. Mine however overcomes - ALWAYS. Mine is everlasting. Renew - I bring renewal. Breathe it in. It is always available to you. I long to make all things new. I will make your life and all lost moments in your life new - now and always. Breathe. Stop and breathe. When you do, Satan’s hold is short-lived. His power limited and fleeting. Cast all your cares upon Me and breathe. Fall into Me and know that I will always catch you. Redemption. Redemption. Redemption. I am your Redeemer. I redeem. I am always redeeming - always. This is an ongoing process/promise. As long as life endures My redemption will be available to all - always. Don’t take this gift for granted while the sun still shines. A season of great grace has been upon the earth for a long time but this will not last forever. Therefore, My people get to work. Stop, breathe, fill your life with My ongoing redemption and then GET UP AND GO AGAIN, for there is SO MUCH work to do. And My people you need to live this process daily because I choose to use you for a time such as this, a time like no other when Satan is truly on the loose. He will constantly cause you to feel unworthy, isolated, and like a failure BUT REMEMBER TRUTH, that you are Mine and that you have My redemption. You have this gift because in My designed plan I chose to use you My broken vessels to do the work. Although broken, through My redemption, through the Blood of Jesus, you have all you need to RISE and SHINE, to shine Christ’s light for the world to see. Though I am coming soon, I am not coming until this process is complete, My holy design in which you My children defeat the enemy through the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of your testimony. Experience Christ My people and then make these experiences known. Shout them out. Don’t hold back. There is power within the Word (that is Christ) of your testimonies. Satan knows this. He knows what is meant to defeat him and therefore he is ready to fight against this process. He will distort truth, language, identity, worth, stories, and your inward eternal identity in Christ. He will try to seclude you, to cause you to want to hide away in an effort to make you and your testimony useless. He has tried hard to seclude you, to cause you to hide away from the world in an effort to thwart the Word within you, but rise above. Stop. Breathe. Let Me redeem you. Then get up and go again. Never, NEVER, stop testifying. Know Me and then make Me known. Open your mouths My people. Open them wide and speak the Name above all names. Shout it out. Don’t hold back. I have experiences waiting for you to testify about. I am ready for you to experience Me anew. A GREAT season of experiencing Me anew is upon you. I am about to pour out My Spirit like never before for it will be these experiences that will be your strength for the battles ahead. Get ready to have your storehouses filled. The storehouses that Joseph helped Egypt secure will be nothing compared to the storehouses of faith that My Spirit is about to fill within you, My people. Get ready. Breathe. Sit at My feet. Empty yourselves of yourselves and the way you think things should go and open yourself up to new, to new beginnings of truly divine order.
At this point the worship leader was inspired to say, “It’s God’s breath in our lives that even allows us to be here this morning, God's Spirit within us.”
New. New. New. My people I promise you new. No other Name in Heaven or earth can offer new, new beginnings. Remember that things grew darker for Joseph, all of Egypt, and the surrounding lands, for a great desert came, a great famine but THEIR STOREHOUSES WERE FILLED. They were prepared and as I provided for them and prepared them for the darkness that was upon them, will I not do the same for you? YES - a resounding yes. It has already begun - a great awakening. Call it what you will - a great awakening, revival, a move of My Spirit – its purpose is to fill those storehouses. It is to give each of My children a reservoir of faith that they can tap into in order to gain strength for the battle ahead. This is the purpose and power of a testimony. A testimony is a reservoir of faith that you can tap into when fear, frustrations, and trials come upon you. My very word, the Bible, is a reservoir of faith. Do you not tap into this Reservoir of Faith to gain strength for your battles? My Word is made up of people’s testimonies, of their experiences of Me. SEE IT FOR WHAT IT IS and through this revelation know that I want you to experience Me the same way and testify to this JUST LIKE THEY. Aren’t you glad they experienced Me and then made these experiences known? Because of their faithfulness you have Me, you have THE WORD. My people you are within the times of Jude and Revelation and even though your stories, your experiences of Me are not written within the Bible, doesn’t mean I don’t want them written, shared, available to defeat the enemy. Arise. Arise and shine. Arise and shine and TESTIFY. It is time to testify to the TESTIMONY. I AM THE TESTIMONY. Experience Me and make Me known. It’s time. It’s time. It’s time. Amen and amen.
What came to my mind next was Joseph in Egypt and how God didn’t stop the famine from coming. He didn’t stop harder times from befalling His people. Instead, He prepared them for it. He used Joseph to prepare them for it.
After that my pastor said, “Good and bad, God uses it all, to be His witnesses.” God has said that to me before many times, that He uses everything. Good or bad, it doesn’t matter. God uses it all for His glory and for His end. We need to remember this. My pastor then shared a verse that greatly stuck out to me. 2 Corinthians 4:7 says, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” Another translation says, “earthen vessels.” God puts His treasure, His Spirit, His very Being, in us clay pots, or earthen vessels, for a reason. We are weak and easily broken, but God chooses to use us anyway, like He said to me, by His design.
This verse led me to instantly think about my personality, or what I would categorize as my character flaw or personality disorder. I don’t know what it is, but like I mentioned before, there just seems to be a wall or something about me that prevents people from warming up to me. With this thought, I started to pray that God would take away “this wall” but then my pastor read 2 Corinthians 12:9 and I found my prayer shifting course. Within this verse Paul says about his “thorn” or weakness, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” God taught Paul that he should boast about his clay pot or earthen vessel because it allowed God to be the One to get the glory through his life.
What then came to my mind is something else God said to me last year, a prophecy over my life. He said, “You will connect with people Susan. You who do not connect, will connect. I will connect through you.” For over a decade God has called me to be an inviting woman, to be someone who shines, who invites others through her testimony to know God and to make Him known. This is God’s desire for me, His calling on my life. It is obvious however, as you can tell, that if God is ever going to actually invite through me, or shine through me, this weak, broken, clay pot, earthen vessel, that He is going to have to be the One to do it. But it is comforting to go back and see that He did promise to do so. He said, “I will connect through you.” He will definitely get the glory because it won’t be me at all.
My pastor then began to talk about Steven’s face in Acts 6:15. People “saw that his face was like the face of an angel.” My pastor talked about how his face must have glowed, similar to how Moses’ face once also glowed. This made me think of God’s previous message through me “It’s Time to Glow,” where He called us to glow from a deep-seated faith. I found myself then wondering if I ever do actually glow or shine Christ’s light through my broken life, and in that very moment a note card was flung over my shoulder and landed in my lap. It said, “You have that “glow.” Missed you on Wednesday night,” referring to my faith group meeting. “Wow,” I thought to myself, “Maybe God’s process is working. Maybe He truly is shining through this clay pot after all.”
My pastor then asked, “What do people see when they look at us?” He then said, “We need to shine.” He then read Matthew 4:16 which really stuck out to me. Wow. A true game changer, hearing this verse in a new light. It says, “the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” What came to my mind is how this describes the reason for Jesus’ birth. He came to be the Light of the world. What came to my mind next is how God wants us to give birth to the Word of our testimonies. Essentially, don’t be afraid of the darkness, the darkness around us, and that God says is coming, for Christ comes to and for the darkness. He exists to shine in the darkness, for the darkness, always has and always intends to. In our darkness and for our ever-darkening world, He exists to shine. He came into the world to shine, even being transformed by God to shine as bright as possible within His earthen vessel, and God wants to use Christ to do this once again. This time through us earthen vessels. God’s divine plan was for Christ to defeat Satan once through His life and testament on earth, through His Blood on the cross. And it is God’s continued divine plan to defeat Satan once again, this time through His life and testament through us, through our stories. It is time to rise and shine. It is time to be Christ’s transforming light within the darkness.
God will have His way, His perfect process, which like He mentioned, includes us. We are unworthy, and broken, but because of the Blood of the Lamb, God will use us anyway. He will use us to defeat the enemy. We are Revelation 12:11. We are God’s Wonderful Web of Wonder, His Stars, aligned, covered by the Blood of the Lamb, testifying to the transforming Light of Jesus Christ. No more hiding. Let us instead rise and shine oh Bride of Christ. Shine! Amen and amen.