Article by Kristi...
I was reading Isaiah 49 the other day. The entire chapter is a prophesy of Jesus. He graciously explains His purpose in laying down His divinity for a season during which Jesus becomes fully human and eventually gives his life for each of us. The chapter drips of His promises for our restoration, revealing His mission is to restore captives who are bound in darkness. The means by which this happens is relayed by the last two words in verse 9:
Show yourself! So simple. So clear. Not easy, very scary, but not complex at all. I felt His kindness when I read those two words. They're an invitation. Jesus beckoning us. Alluring us. Show yourself… This call from God rang over and over in my head, and I felt compelled to dig deeper to discover more of what He was asking of me, of us.
I read verse 9 in as many Bible versions as I owned. Some said,
- "Come out in freedom."
- "Be free!"
- "Come into the light."
- And finally, the Message version said, “It’s alright, it’s safe now.”
As someone who has struggled with sexual issues from a very young age, I relate to the symbolism so often found in Scripture; that of being in bondage, held captive, and ultimately feeling chained by years of darkness and shame. Many of you reading these words now may have felt the same way. But it's safe now.
Alone, the command "Show yourselves" is scary and seemingly accusatory. In fact, some might assume God is angry and commands us to "show ourselves" and receive punishment for our misdeeds. The verse alone does not fully explain His intent, nor does it provide a reason to "come into the light." But in the verses following, the Lord graciously spells out the blessings He promises to you who choose to boldly show yourself. If you come out of hiding He will, in turn, provide for you (vv. 9-10), have compassion for you, nourish you (v. 10), comfort you (v. 13), never forget you (vv. 15-18), never disappoint you (v. 23), and finally, He will contend with those who contend with you (v. 25).
Isaiah 49.9 is both an invitation to show yourself and a reassurance that full disclosure will be worth the risk. You were never meant to take on this battle alone. Most of us reading this blog have "shown ourselves" in some capacity, but is God asking you to reveal more? Has the enemy convinced you to hold something back, whispering in your ear that if you dare to reveal everything, then no one will love you, like you, hire you, or stay faithful to you? The Kingdom of God defies this false notion. When you are fully honest; when you reveal hidden and secret sins, that’s when true life, healing, breath, freedom, and hope will flood your soul and repair what years of sin have damaged.
Your first step is simply to show yourself for our own sake. Your step of faith in honest self-disclosure is guaranteed to inspire others. Tell one trusted friend, make one phone call, send one email. Join a 423 Community group for recovery. Allow God and those around you to help you so you can help others.
All that’s being asked of you today is to simply show yourself. It’s alright, it’s safe now.