Vulnerability to others will increase our strength together
First up, we have an Enemy and he is so strongly against us that he is termed ‘the accuser of the brethren’. He aims to make us feel so ashamed that we withdraw. However, in Rev 12:10-11 there are three things we can do to overcome:
1. Know and declare that the blood of the New Covenant (the Lamb) has cleansed us from all unrighteousness.
2. Remember and declare what God has done for us personally as well as the testimonies of others, including those in the scriptures.
3. Recognise that we have already died. When we reckon ourselves dead, we can overcome the fear of death and loss of reputation (face).
We must be very careful not to become the accuser of the brethren ourselves! Our judgements of others can be what keeps them in the prison of shame. We can’t even know our own hearts, let alone judge another person’s heart.
Adam and Eve had no secrets between them, they were transparent in their relationship, as God had made them. They were naked and not ashamed (Gen. 5:25). They were vulnerable to harm from each other, but trust held the relationship together.
After their sin, fear brought shame. They sewed fig leaves together for a partial covering and hid (Gen. 3:10). This is self-righteousness: man’s attempt to cover his sin. God killed a lamb and covered their sin with the blood of the sacrifice, pointing to Jesus. This also points to covenant relationships, the deepest level of trust and accountability.
Jonathan was the rightful heir to Saul’s throne, but he saw in David a king and so he took off his own royal robe and placed it on David. This is how we are to judge people, by their godly destiny, not the flesh. He gave him all his weapons and in so doing said, I cannot defend myself against you and if anyone should attack me, you have my weapons, it is up to you to fight for me (1 Sam 18:1-4).
This is covenant, two become one. Jonathan made himself naked, so to speak before David, in the safety of a covenant relationship. We are all members of the body of Christ, by covenant, we are blood brothers and sisters. Love is the glue that holds us together. There is healing and strength in this mutual vulnerability.
The Holy Spirit brings us to Godly sorrow or conviction of sin to lead us to repentance. This is different to worldly sorrow or remorse that leads to self-pity and victimhood. Just confessing a sin will relieve the heavy burden but stopping short of true repentance will not bring redemption. We don’t wear our heart on our sleeves, confessing to just anyone but to those we trust with our tender hearts (Jas. 5:16).
We all have weaknesses. By being appropriately open, our weaker areas can be covered by our friends and two can put ten thousand to flight! We are in days where life and death may hang in the balance of who knows where we need more protection. Our enemy wants to divide and conquer.
Together we are much stronger!
Mal Cotton 16.5.21