Changing What You Can’t See
We seek self-protection, adopting the attitude, “What we can’t see can’t hurt us.” So not true!The great ship, Titanic, believed by most everyone to be invincible, tragically sunk while on its maiden voyage across the Atlantic. On a dark night at sea, neither the latest technology nor its navigators could foresee what was ahead. You know the story: an iceberg, ominously sitting in wait, tore into her hull, sinking the ship and taking the lives of so many on board. A night of worry-free celebration and merriment became one of immense terror and loss. But if you know the story, it wasn’t the ice mass sticking up out of the water that caused the greatest damage but instead what was lurking just underneath the surface, resulting in this vessel’s first and only voyage.
Icebergs are like that. Their greatest mass is hidden, beyond view, underneath the water. Life can be that way too, can’t it? The biggest challenges, hurdles, and strongholds we face can at times, many times, go unnoticed. It was the Spring of 1994 when this became most real to me. My life with Jesus had been characterized by ongoing growth and life change; in the early years very rapid growth and in the years leading up to 1994 steady growth, but still obvious to myself and to others. In the winter of ’94 it felt like I had hit a wall. I had hit walls in the past but usually in a fairly short time moved beyond, under, or over them. This time was different. Things were not getting better, easier, or more understandable. I had talked to some friends and to my wife. I asked her if this might be a good time for me to get away for a few days and just be quiet before the Lord, allowing Him to speak or reveal what He wanted. Nancy wanted the man she knew and loved back so she eagerly agreed, almost packing my bags for me (not really). So off I went to Mount Hermon Retreat Center, located in the beautiful, serene Santa Cruz Mountains in California.
I arrived, checked into my cabin in the woods and began my time of retreat. The cabin seemed to be located where no human had ever set foot, or at least it felt this way. By about 3 pm every afternoon the sun’s rays were kept from penetrating through the trees until the next morning. Evenings were quite scary, filled with noises like lions and tigers and bears, O my! So I began my time of retreat reading the Scriptures, singing songs of praise, and sitting quietly to hear the very distinct voice of the Lord. In between these times of worship, I would travel the area, spend some time on the beach, and take walks, just quieting myself down. It was a very special and unique time; unlike any I’d experienced previously. So, you would think by now I would be experiencing a breakthrough of some kind; tunneling under or climbing over the wall that had been holding me back; but this wasn’t the case. The wall remained, the breakthrough I was hoping for hadn’t arrived and it was Saturday morning, just a couple of hours before I would be heading back home. What would I tell Nancy? How about my friends who had been praying for me during this time away? I couldn’t come back empty handed, could I?
I got up before the sun had broken through (this was not hard to accomplish), had breakfast and sat down in my place before the Lord. I was expectant, but not over-expectant, that something would take place that morning. After time in prayer and quiet I opened to Psalm 19. At that time, I was reading through the Psalms daily, so it must have been the 19th of the month because that is where I opened. I began to read, “The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of his hands… the law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul… the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever…”, and then I arrived at verse 12a, “Who can discern his errors? Forgive (clear) my hidden faults.” What? These last nine words jumped off the page at me, in a way I’d not experienced before. So I read them again, and again, and again, and again. After a few readings I had the sense that the Lord was speaking to me through these nine words. Exactly what He was saying, I wasn’t sure, but I stopped reading and began to quietly reflect upon what I read. Discern… errors… hidden… faults… forgive. My sense was that the Lord had been waiting for this moment to reveal the nature of my wall; one that didn’t exist above the water line but below it. Just like the most dangerous part of the iceberg, it was hidden! I could not see it, no matter how hard I tried. God was revealing to me a truth about life, my life, your life, that would result in my personal freedom and in the upcoming years enable me to help others find the same kind of freedom from their walls, their hidden faults.
In due time God did show me what my specific wall (hidden fault) was and He began to eradicate it from my life. It’s no surprise that since that time other hidden faults have been revealed as I have continued to pray Psalm 19:12 for my own life and the lives of others, “Forgive (or clear) my hidden faults”.
In the years since, God has shown me a few of the reasons why these faults develop and remain so invisible. Here are just a few:
1. We are not omniscient; we can’t know or see everything.
2. They develop over a long period of time, like the frog in the kettle, often going unnoticed until it’s too late.
3. They begin one way and then often morph into something else, becoming more difficult to recognize.
4. Instead of acknowledging something as a fault or sin we tend to claim this is just who we are, we’ve always been this way, and we will never change; “I’m just like my dad”, or “I’m just Irish”, or “Anger just runs in our family”, or “Criticism is just my gifting”, or “It’s just my personality or temperament”.
5. We become complacent, satisfied with mediocrity and status quo, so change is not desired.
6. We seek self-protection, adopting the attitude, “What we can’t see can’t hurt us.” So not true!
So, in conclusion, my mission for you is as follows:
- Begin to pray Psalm 19:12 over your life.
- Ask God to reveal and eradicate your hidden faults. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)
- Share with others what He reveals to you so you don’t travel this path alone.
- Share the truth of Psalm 19:12 with others as you journey through life.
Blessings, my friend, as you keep looking to Jesus for life change that lasts a lifetime!
Copyright © 2016 Mike Moran. All rights reserved.
Mike has served in Christian ministry for over 25 years, serving churches in both California and Washington State. Before entering the ministry Mike enjoyed a successful career in the business field, working in sales and marketing. While serving as Senior Pastor in the Pacific Northwest Mike become one of the founding members of the 64 Fellowship, and shortly after became part of the teaching team with Strategic Renewal. Mike currently serves as a team member with Interim Pastor Ministries (IPM) helping churches across the country grow through pastoral transition. Mike’s passion is to provide leadership, coaching, and training to both pastors and churches so they experience renewed vision and greater intentionality in accomplishing their God-given mission. Mike has been married to Nancy for 35 years and they have two children. Mike enjoys playing golf, reading, hanging out at Starbucks, and all sports teams in the SF Bay area.