WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
SEPTEMBER 13, 2020
TOPIC: REMOVE YOUR MASKS
BY T. O. BANSO
“We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves” (2 Corinthians 4:2a The Message).
There are different kinds of physical masks that people wear. There are surgical masks, traditional masks, theatrical masks, and protective masks. The commonest face mask people wear in the world today is for protection against COVID-19 infection. This is not my focus here.
Sometimes someone can wear a mask to conceal his identity. The wearer operates from underneath the mask. Except there are insiders, often, only the wearer knows his own identity. There is a spiritual dimension to this.
Outside the physical masks, there are masks that human beings wear daily, and these seem to define them more than the physical masks that are worn for a shorter period of time. Many people live their lives wearing masks, thus portraying a character different from their real persons.
Many people hardly live the person they truly are. Just as actors, wearing a mask, pretending, they also go about life underneath a mask they’re wearing. They have a double life – the person they are in their private (the real person) and the person they pretend to be. I’m not talking about having to, sometimes, behave in line with what protocol demands of everyone.
The apostle Paul said, “We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves” (2 Corinthians 4:2a The Message). That means Paul was real; he was authentic. He didn’t fake anything.
The complete verse is presented thus in the New King James Version: “But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God” (2 Corinthians 4:2). Wearing masks in this context amounts to walking in craftiness.
Remove your masks. Be real. Proverbs 23:6-7 says of some people, “‘Eat and drink,’ they say, but they don’t mean it. They are always thinking about how much it costs” (New Living Translation). Such people are fake. They say something but mean another. The image they’re trying to project is different from their real persons.
According to Proverbs 26:24-26, “People with hate in their hearts may sound pleasant enough, but don’t believe them. Though they pretend to be kind, their hearts are full of all kinds of evil. While their hatred may be concealed by trickery, it will finally come to light for all to see” (New Living Translation).
In spiritual terms, people wear masks basically for two reasons – to conceal their real identity and to imitate another person. This could be because of past rejection, past failure, perceived inadequacies, insecurity, poor self-esteem, need for acceptance and validation, etc. These are no strong reasons for anyone to wear a mask, deny who he is, and go about living a lie.
Accept who you are; don’t try to copy another person. Don’t try to compare yourself with others. Those who compare themselves with others are not wise (2 Corinthians 10:12). Wearing masks destroys you and destroys relationships. Relationships are built on trust. When you wear masks, you’re not true to yourselves and to those you relate with.
Your true identity can only be found in God. Be established in the love of God. Discover God’s purpose for your life and pursue it. Don’t live your life seeking to please people or looking for their validation.
Nobody is perfect. Don’t fake what you don’t have. Use what God has given you. Be who God has created you to be. Don’t pretend to be who you’re not. That doesn’t mean you don’t learn from others or improve yourself.
Paul says, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15 New King James Version). These ministers were masked. They’re fake. They’re pretenders.
In Luke 20:20, the Bible says that the chief priests and the scribes sent to Jesus spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words, in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor. Please take note that the spies they sent only pretended to be righteous; they were not.
Someone can wear a mask, pretending to be righteous. But that is a waste of time. It is foolish because the LORD knows everyone. 2 Timothy 2:19 says, “Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity’” (New King James Version).
Remove every mask you’re wearing. Don’t live through life being an actor! 2 Timothy 3:5 says in the last days people will act as if they’re religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Don’t act as if you’re righteous, holy, honest, faithful, etc. Be real. You are God’s workmanship, God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).
Don’t pretend. There is nothing hidden that will not be exposed one day. “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known” (Luke 12:1-3 New King James version). Don’t live a hypocrite. Remove your masks.
As said in 2 Corinthians 11:15, Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Nevertheless, Satan remains Satan! Whatever masks you wear, you remain who you are. If you transform yourself to what you’re not by wearing masks, you’re a counterfeit! What the Bible says is “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 122 New King James Version).
Job 24:15 says, “The adulterer waits for the twilight, for he says, ‘No one will see me then.’ He masks his face so no one will know him” (New Living Translation). Don’t mask your face! You can wear a mask to commit sins, but God sees you. Human beings may not know you but God does. Your sins will find you out one day (Numbers 32:23). Repent today.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I remove my masks; I shall no more live a lie in Jesus’ name. Holy Spirit, I receive Your help not to live a double life. I shall not pretend to be who and what I am not. I shall not live a hypocrite. Father, expose those wearing masks to deceive me.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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