Unseen Study ~ Chapter 3

“God was winterizing me. His intention wasn’t to leave me fruitless – God loves fruit. He hid me so that I would find Him in the hiddenness. So I would come back to my roots, so I would see His eyes on me in the hiding.” – Unseen pg. 55

Isn’t it amazing how God uses some of the most difficult things, moments, circumstances in our lives to draw us closer to Him? I can even look back and see how He prepared me for an upcoming hardship and led me through it with such care. It’s in these moments that we grow the most, that He reminds us again of who He is and who we are in Him. “God hides me to show me His kind eyes toward me – gentler than the taskmaster I am toward myself (we are hardest on ourselves). And He hides me to tell me my story – to remind me of Himself, the author. It is the greatest story my skin will ever know – God, in me, radiating through me, making glory for Him on the earth. – Unseen, pg 56

Mary was so in love with Jesus, she understood that He loved her and saw her like no one else did or would. He sees us, friends, in all of our mess and weakness and He desires to help us know Him and His precious love for us. He wants to deepen our roots in Him so we will rely on Him when the hard things come.

As I was studying the For Your Own Pursuit scriptures I found great comfort in John 11, it’s the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Two things I want to draw attention to, even though there are many things to glean here. Verse 4, “But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Everything points to the glory of God, all things, everything we go through, for His Glory! I think if we would keep that the forefront of our minds our perspective would change. God has a greater plan than we can ever imagine or comprehend. Next, Martha, verse 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.” We are all striving to be a Mary, to love Jesus so extravagantly but face it…most, some, ok…me, I am usually a Martha in the context of working and doing but this verse tells me that He loves me so much even in spite of my doings. Now Jesus loved Martha, He loved her just as much as He did Mary and Lazarus. His love for us doesn’t change because of what we do, we cannot earn His love, we cannot work hard enough to gain His attention. What grace! One more thing about this passage and Martha, Martha’s faith – verse 22 “But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you” She had faith that Jesus was who He said He was even if she didn’t understand what all that would mean (raising her brother from the dead!)

At the end of the day, I long to be like a Mary, loving Jesus so beautifully, wastefully. But really, I just want to love Him like Christy…a Christy that would lay her life at His feet, would have strong faith in who He is, who would waste herself and everything she is just to be known, loved and hidden in Him. He has given each of us a story, and just as Mary’s story would be told through the ages because she so deeply loved Him, I desire my life would reflect who He is and that people would know I loved Jesus more than anything. But most of all that I would love and know Him more. “He hides me to tell me my story – to remind me of Himself, the Author.” – Sara H.

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Unseen Study ~ Chapter 2

“Could it be that God has made me with a desire to be seen and to be celebrated, but my desires are merely displaced?” – Sara H.

It’s a weird thing…I’ll share my own experiences here…I have had the desire to be made much of, celebrated, acknowledged and then when it happens I feel awkward, somewhat embarrassed, but at the same time been disappointed when I went unnoticed. Huh? How does that even make sense? There has been a significant shift in my life in not caring about being seen and I am hoping this continues in even more powerful ways. When people look at me, hear my name, anything at all…I long for them to think of Christ, for Jesus to be high and lifted up and it to be nothing of me.

Seen and celebrated, known by the King of kings, to bring Him glory! We were made for Him. “We forget the beauty of the Creator-eyes turned toward us, the ones that saw the inception of our lives and loved what He saw. We’re still hungry for the thing for which we were made: to be seen, to be known, to be celebrated, to participate in something much larger than ourselves. But too often we settle for lesser things.” – Sara H. (Page 42) We settle for lesser things….the like on facebook, followers on instagram, twitter, Snapchat…the list goes on and on. We are longing to be noticed by someone and in our longing we rely on the accolades of others when we really just need to be reminded who notices and loves us the most – Jesus.

Mary and Martha…oh boy, I am such a Martha; working, striving, trying to outdo, blah blah blah, distracted and busy when I really just need to sit at Jesus’ feet.

But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:40-42

The good portion, the good part… “Mary was so confident in God’s love for her that she sat at His feet and listened. She wasted herself on Him. So often in our scurry to serve, we forget our starting place, the one thing that is needed.” – Sara H. (Page 48-49) Makes me think of Revelation 2:4 where it talks of abandoning the love they had at first.  My first love is Jesus, the good portion, the best part of my life! Help me, Lord, to abandon my desire to be seen by the world and long to be noticed by You alone. Help me with the feelings I have when I remain unnoticed and remind me that I am noticed and loved by You.

That Beautiful Waste

God has this wonderful way of revealing to me what I need before I even know I need it. For instance, this study…this very topic of being hidden, He has been working on my heart for a while about taking a step away from some things, meaning I would be hidden by the world’s standards and spending more time with Him…always more time with Him. And this book! I knew I wanted to do another online study because it makes me grow but I hadn’t considered this one…after I read the first chapter, many months ago, I stopped and had so many things I wanted to write down for myself and then my book laid there without me picking it up until recently. And then I knew, here’s where God wanted to do a work in my heart…more of Him, less of me…hidden in Him, unseen by anyone else.

Let me bare my soul here…I am a people pleaser, it is difficult for me to overcome. Page 19 in Chapter 1, Sara says “I’d been driven by a passion to see lives change, but I also craved the validation I received when my life made a notable impact on someone else’s”. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the ministry I have been called to and know this is where God wants me but it’s the add on things to be noticed, admired, etc that are my sin and need to be removed. The motives behind why I say yes to certain things needs to be laid at the foot of the cross and not picked back up. Page 28, “To hide in Him rather than perform for Him, to shift my attention from branches to roots, from my visible work for God to my unseen life in God”. I am and have been thirsty for more of God, my roots need nourished by Him and I can’t expect that to happen if I’m constantly working to please God instead of BE with Him.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1

One of these revelations of hiddenness came to me at Nehemiah Fest last September. On stage singing, in my heart knowing that I am not a performer, I am a worshiper and I need to remove some of this (performing) out of my life. And as I tend to chastise myself over my missteps, God has given me a great gift in reminding me that His grace is for me too. Thank You, Lord! Page 33 “God doesn’t banish us to this hidden place. He invites us. And finding God in the secret can teach a heart to sing.”

I love the story of Mary of Bethany, pouring the oil on Jesus’ head. A beautiful waste. She didn’t care what people thought, the snide remarks, the rebukes…she recklessly showed her love for her Savior. As we continue this study, let’s continually ask ourselves the question on Page 35: When no one else applauds you, when life is hard and makes no sense or simply feels like drudgery in the still quiet, will you hide yourself in Me? Will you waste your love on Me, here?

*Italics – Unseen by Sara Hagerty

Unseen Study ~ Chapter 1

It’s finally here! Time to begin this 8 Week Study. Let’s get started…

Have you considered hiddenness before? I’ve noticed plenty of sinfulness in my life over not being seen and as God has revealed it…it hurt. But this is part of our journey, this is how we grow in Him, this is part of sanctification. And as much as it hurts, it is necessary if we want to become more like Jesus and closer to our King. So as we read, study, pray…let us not simply check our boxes that we have completed each task, let us instead dig deep into the Word, praying that God will reveal our sin, our need for His work in us and the need to be hidden in Him. Let us be honest so we can grow. Yep, I’m asking of all of you, myself included to be all in, real, genuine in this study.

“To truly know God in the ache of hiddenness requires us, first, to acknowledge the ache and not placate ourselves or one another with the quick answers. (Quick, pat answers can be the enemy to lasting growth or change in God.)” – Sara Hagerty

“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”  But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

Prior to cracking this book, how have you perceived Mary’s one good thing, the good portion? Ponder this…

Now,

Now, read Chapter 1 and study the Scriptures at the end of the chapter under “For Your Continued Pursuit”

Unseen ~ Book Study Launch

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Every heart longs to be seen and understood.

Yet most of our lives is unwitnessed. We spend our days working, driving, parenting. We sometimes spend whole seasons feeling unnoticed and unappreciated. So how do we find contentment when we feel so hidden?

In Unseen, Sara Hagerty suggests that this is exactly what God intended. He is the only One who truly knows us. He is the only One who understands the value of the unseen in our lives. When this truth seeps into our souls, we realize that only when we hide ourselves in God can we give ourselves to others in true freedom—and know the joy of a deeper relationship with the God who sees us.

Our culture applauds what we can produce, what we can show, what we can upload to social media. Only when we give all of ourselves to God—unedited, abandoned, apparently wasteful in its lack of productivity—can we live out who God created us to be. As Hagerty writes,

“Maybe my seemingly unproductive, looking-up-at-Him life produces awe among the angels.”

Through an eloquent exploration of both personal and biblical story, Hagerty calls us to offer every unseen minute of our lives to God. God is in the secret places of our lives that no one else witnesses. But we’ve not been relegated to these places. We’ve been invited.

We may be “wasting” ourselves in a hidden corner today: The cubicle on the fourth floor. The hospital bedside of an elderly parent. The laundry room. But these are the places God uses to meet us with a radical love. These are the places that produce the kind of unhinged love in us that gives everything at His feet, whether or not anyone else ever proclaims our name, whether or not anyone else ever sees.

God’s invitation is not just for a season or a day. It is the question of our lives: “When no one else applauds you, when it makes no sense, when you see no results—will you waste your love on Me?”

The above is from Sara Hagerty’s website.  I cannot tell you how much I need this study and I am excited to be vulnerable and bare my soul with each of you who choose to participate. I am in a constant state of “do this and do that”, my head is continually thinking of what I have to do next, it is difficult for my mind to be still and then I chastise myself and ask the Lord for forgiveness once again for my misused time.  If you are constantly thwarted by distractions and the busyness of life, join me as we share our hearts and precious minutes together.  I am eager to grow in my relationship with the Lord, to be seen by Him and unseen by the world.  ~ Christy

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