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Speaking of Spades

Persistent suggesting thoughts and pervasive secret fantasies sometimes tend to worm their way into the un-renewed crevices of the mind. Cilnette Pienaar finds out that, when left to sprout, these thoughts can grow into full-blown idols guarded by strongholds of insecurity, pride and shame.

Let's just say that I've quite recently become rather aggressive about brutal honesty and truthful accountability.

Especially when it comes to persistent suggesting thoughts and pervasive secret fantasies that tend to worm their way into the un-renewed crevices of my mind that, when left to sprout, have previously grown into full-blown idols guarded by strongholds of insecurity, pride and shame in my life.

John 1:14 says that "... we have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." Now, I have always been one for running into the grace revelation of Christ. Where I am accepted, no matter what. Time and again I stumble, fall, mess up, and miss it, but messing up now propels me to God. I'm over hiding naked behind trees in the garden. And He never chases me away. Ever. This revelation of immovable grace has been the key to victory over various struggles in my life, and has led me into ever-expanding freedom and security on so many levels. I am aggressively standing on grace in faith, and the Lord is continually showing me that nothing can separate me from His love ... this I do know, and I continue to walk it out.

Yet, despite my experience of His forgiveness and consistent love, there are areas of my life where I am still not walking in complete freedom the whole time. Where insecurity creeps in un-announced to hold me back from expressing who I am - the person that I have learnt to love and enjoy, actually. I keep digging at the same "roots", getting rather discouraged that after a thousand confessions and a million "I am so sorry, Lord's" things still seem to show very little progress... Thus, strongholds of wrong thinking about my true identity, leading to unhealthy actions, leading to various degrees of bondage. Or just plain stubborn disobedience. The age-old story.

The reason why I am so persistent about this is because I am completely convinced that Jesus paid the full price for our full freedom. Meaning ... I do not have to settle for just walking in victory over depression if I can also have victory over the shame that lust brings or the isolation and loneliness that self-centeredness results in. Or whatever your battles might be.

This struggle for complete freedom from insecurity was highlighted in my life recently when I was confronted again with the secret thoughts of my heart that were not aligning with my communicated intentions. Since we are calling spades what they are ... I was being a very religiously appropriate hypocrite about my intentions in a friendship with a guy. Jesus says in Luke 12:3 that "... what you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs." I sort of had an experience like that when someone (that I might perhaps also have a too high esteem of) told me in a brief conversation on the topic of Lordship, that the root of insecurity often is a false sense of security in something that might be an idol in one's life ... Enter irony. And hectic conviction.

The reason why I still feel insecure around certain people ... or guys, if we are calling spades what they are, is because I am harboring thoughts about them that are not in line with the Word of God. And because I have not aggressively dealt with those thoughts, secretly holding on to the idea of what someone represents, those meditated "ideas" have become "idols", stemming from a false sense of security in a relationship in my head that does not exist in truth ... Great. Now what?

From my experience in worship teams and student ministry leadership I know that almost every girl at some stage in her church-journey falls in love with the youth pastor / worship leader / insert leadership position here ... it's just how it is, and not unnatural or even wrong, if the said brother is single. We should however stop thinking that our "secret" crushes are harmless if they grow into "soul - ties" where that person / idea actually then becomes an idol ... if we are calling spades what they are.

I think that an idol is anything that we lift up our souls to for fulfillment, even if it is for a legitimate need or want. Psalm 25:1 starts by saying "To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul..." Loving God and getting rid of idolatry is about looking to Jesus for the filling of our souls, and not to anything or anyone else.

There are too many instances where a spirit of manipulation and lust has gained entry into a church, especially attacking the leadership, through people who have stubbornly failed to recognize the idolatry in their hearts. This freaks me out. Because my own actions at some stage felt like they were partly governed by an unhealthy need to impress a specific person to the point of almost looking for any valid reason to have to get close to him, catapulting into the exact opposite where I spent so much effort in trying to avoid him because I was afraid that I might have wrong motives. This sucks. It is not the freedom of relational purity that I believe Christ wants in His body. And it is more prevalent, especially when it comes to worship leaders and pastors, than what we would like to acknowledge. If we are calling spades what they are ... ladies, he probably isn't your husband. "The mind will justify what the heart has chosen," I heard the other day. You are probably recognizing his anointing and possibly something of Jesus. Don't make it more than that, especially if you are not in a happy place with your own husband or if your relationship with your dad was broken. God is the giver of good gifts. He will fulfill your relational needs with what He has for you, in His time. "Turn your eyes upon Jesus," she says, more to herself than to anyone else. "And speak to your truthful accountability friends," she adds emphatically.

The solution at this stage for me is just that: brutally honest accountability. Over the past few weeks I have been drawing my friends around me to have embarrassing conversations, only to find that most of them are battling the exact same thoughts, sometimes even over the exact same people or situations. We have now decided to, instead of harboring secret romantic thoughts about our brothers, pray for their protection. This is just one area where we need to be seriously truthful. There are many others.

In our communities of fellowship and spiritual families, let's just call a spade a spade so that we can learn to really love, appreciate and enjoy one another, without the additional agendas. This is now my mission.

The only way to walk in freedom is to walk in the sometimes brutally revealing and intensely embarrassing, but always healing, light of the Truth. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, but I think He might be more jealous of my affection than what I thought. I can only have His complete freedom if He has my complete affection.