Seeking God #4 – Hiding in Fig Leaves

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The goal of today’s message is to get us to let down the guards that we put up that keep God out.

The Lord wanted me to tell you to stop approaching him and each other in silly disguises.

Genesis 3:7 (ESV) 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

Just as faith extinguishes the arrows of the devil, fig leaves deflect when God tries to reach you.

Until you remove your fig leaves, you will never experience the fullness of God’s redemption.

  • When we feel shame for our sin…
    • The Woman at the Well
      John 4:16-21 (ESV) 16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.
  • When we feel shame for our lack of fruit…
    • Ananias & Sapphira
      Acts 5:1-11 (ESV) 1 But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2 and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? 4 While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. 6 The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him.
    • 7 After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” 9 But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” 10 Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.
  • Proverbs 25:14 (ESV) 14 Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give.
  • Marketing. Fake it till you make it:

    • Mark 11:12-14 (ESV) 12 On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. 13 And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.
  • When we are hiding our true motives…
    • The Pharisees we Boss at This
      Matthew 22:15-18 (ESV) 15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words. 16 And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone’s opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances. 17 Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 18 But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites?
    • Faith Unfeigned
      2 Timothy 1:5 (ESV) 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.
    • This is the Politicians Go-To

So how do we get free of this? How do we let down our guard? How do we lower our guard so God can rush in and fill us to overflow?

  1. Get Honest – Know the Truth
  • Our lives, especially to ourselves can become so common that we truly believe them ourselves. 
  • John 8:31-32 (ESV) 31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.


Look into the mirror of the word. & Guard Against Self Deception

  • James 1:22-25 (ESV) 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
  1. Let God change you from the inside out.
  • Matthew 12:33 (ESV) 33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit.