Years ago, I was testing turbocharged diesel engines, like those used in on-highway truck semis, in a lab environment.  One particular test was notable because of its failure. The engine was running under full load when a failure occurred, causing massive recirculation of hot exhaust gases back thru the turbocharger[1].  The turbocharger, which was a chunk of gray iron the size of a kitchen blender, began to get progressively hotter as the engine continued to run.  The turbocharger housing turned color from gray to red, then from red to orange, then from orange to yellow, and was starting to turn from yellow to ‘white hot’ when we shut down the test.  An old-timer in the lab told me about a similar test where the turbocharger became ‘white hot’ – and they could see the impeller turning inside the turbocharger, thru the ‘translucent white’ turbo housing!  …What was hidden was revealed…

 

We are good at ‘hiding’. From the earliest pages of the Bible, Adam & Eve demonstrated the desire to hide in their broken state – both hiding from God and hiding from each other. While the brokenness of sin causes us to hide, Jesus enables us to live authentically because He can forgive us of the brokenness our sin causes.

 

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  1 John 1:9 [ESV]

 

Renewal in our relationships comes when we confess (or admit) our sins to God and to each other. Like the impeller inside the turbocharger, the ‘heat of confession’ allows us to authentically see what’s inside and quit hiding. Admitting the problem is the first step towards dealing with it.

 

We fail many tests. Like my engine test, sometimes we are ‘tested to failure’.  Some of our failures may be seemingly hidden, while others may be quite dramatic. Broken parts in an engine can be replaced, but in our sinful humanity, we must confess – and admit our failures.  …and our God never gives up on us just because we fail! He is the God of 2nd chances …and 3rd chances, and 9th chances, and 29th chances… 

 

In the eyes of the world, Jesus ‘failed’… when He died on that cross. The secular & human leaders of that day thought that they had won. Satan thought that he had won. But Jesus modelled ‘authentic humanity’ for all to see through His obedience to the Father through His life, death, and resurrection. He was ‘real’ with people in His interactions. He suffered for real on that cross.  …But though the world viewed Jesus as having ‘failed’, God was accomplishing something much more significant through the death of Jesus on that cross – He was keeping open our relationship to Himself! His work was hidden in a worldly sense, but His promises from ancient times were revealed through Jesus’ death & resurrection.

 

Likewise, we can’t see the multi-generational purposes of God in & through our life – most of it is hidden from us. We can only walk in faith, day-by-day, through the trials & tests – trusting God for the outcome. Jesus is our model even in this.

 

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:5-8 [ESV]

 

We tested engines to make them stronger, last longer, and perform better. God is likewise in the business of developing our faith in Him – a faith that is tested and proven. In due time, all will be revealed.

 

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12 [ESV]

 

Don’t hide!  …We need to be authentic – or ‘real’ – before God and before His people.

The challenge to you: Will you be ‘real’ with God and ‘live authentically’ with those around you?

 

 

[1] ‘Full EGR’, for all you engine guys!