Fig Leaves and other Christian Coverings – Part 1

23 November 2008


1.      Introduction:

·   Luke 10:27  -  “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind and your neighbor as yourself”.

·   God’s plan is for each of us to grow, mature and fulfill the calling of God.

·   Most people are unable to love and connect there is too much junk/stuff in their lives. The problem is that the Priest and the Levite, who represent the church, didn’t want to get involved. To not want to get involved is not an option. They walked past the man; they didn’t have the heart of God for broken damaged people.

·   Love = passion, energy, wholehearted, fully engaged.

             = connect meaningfully with God and people/neighbors.

1)      Connect with God – who He really is – not our image of Him.

2)      Connect with Self – who we are – what is really happening within us, our strengths, weaknesses, desires, pain.

3)      Connect with People – able to enter their world and serve them.

·   Verse 33  -  The Good Samaritan entered the world of the broken man, he did what he could. He was moved with compassion, he entered the broken mans world to find out what was wrong and ministered to him.

·   This is what spiritual maturity looks like, it brings love and compassion into peoples lives, it helps people who need help. This is the heart of God.

·   Religious people avoided, hid from people in need, from the true calling of God.

·   Samaritans were despised by religious people as they hang out with the wrong kind of people.

·   We engage the Holy Spirit; we get trained so that we have something to pour into people. To be able to do this, we have to enter into their world.

·   The Church today is disconnected from broken people. We have to be authentic, authentic people are able to connect to others.


2.      Adam, Eve and Fig leaves:

·   Genesis 3:7-10  -  Behavior of Adam and Eve – spiritual and emotionally damaged.

·   Fig leaves = covering who I am, identity – presenting an image.

·   Hid in trees – avoiding connection from the presence of God.

·   Adam and Eve constructed coverings and avoinding behaviors to conceal the true condition of their world = causes pain.

·   To cover up, draw back and control will cause people to become lonely. The answer is within you. It is covered because of drawback, control and not be authentic.

·   The fig leaves must come of for a person to be authentic. Adam believed a lie, hoe can a person fulfill God’s mandate in life if they cover up and hide?

·   Walls we build to control our world – hinder us fulfilling our purpose.

1)      Become lonely – isolated, fearful.

2)      Cannot enjoy relationships.

3)      Cannot fulfill purpose – enter world and be an ambassador for Christ.

·   Fig leaves are works and activities and behaviors that conceal who we really are so we do not have to face pain and need for change.

·   Authentic = you blow it once in a while but you know how to correct it e.g apologizing.


·   Good Samaritan = engaged the world of broken people and changed it.

                                 =  demonstrated what maturity looks like.

·   What are the ‘Christian Fig leaves?’


3.  Fig Leaves and other Christian Coverings:

1) Substituting Christian activities for Authentic Relationships:

·   Luke 10:38  -  Martha buried herself into working for the Lord.

·   People bury self in spiritual activities but ignore areas of life that are difficult and God wants to change those areas.

·   People hide behind ‘God talk’ creating an illusion that is spiritual but unwilling to face personal flows (defensive).

·   Exaggerating spiritual experiences to appear important before others.

·   Applying the Bible selectively – ignore truth requiring changes in attitudes, personalities and relationship e.g. workaholic or spiritual flake.


2) Dividing Life into Natural and Spiritual (dualism):

·   John 10:10  -  “I have come that you may have life – abundantly”.

·   The life of Jesus is for every aspect and area of our life.

·   People divide up life:  (1) Christian activity       (2) Natural – rest of week

·   Church sings about love – curse drivers on their way home.

·   Business men worship God – dishonest during the week.

·   Christian trust God – won’t pay bills.

·   Christians focus on spiritual – but won’t face the natural (carnal).

·   God calls us to represent Him in every area of life. Represent God without being religious, with excellent service and integrity.

·   We connect to Jesus, He grow (raise to maturity) us so that we can impact the world around us. We are called to be the Good Samaritan.

·   Wisdom = win people, not religion or weirdness.


3) Burying Painful Emotions:

·   We are created in the image of God with emotions and we have them too.

·   John 11:35  -  Jesus wept.

·   Feeling and emotions are part of being human, in image of God.

·   If unable to express emotions – dishonor yourself. Be authentic with God; pour out your soul to Him. Express passionately and then stir faith.

·   People express anger, pain, loss, grief, fear, sadness. It is ok to human. You can’t be a perfect Christian. He desires truth in the inner parts.

·   Christians seems to bury and conceal the emotion or sin.

·   Listening to the voice of the emotion enables us to understand our inner world.


4) Concealing Weaknesses and Failures:

·   Genesis 3:10  - “I was afraid – hid”

·   Grace changes; if you receive grace for yourself it will be easier to give grace to others.

·    God doesn’t call us to be perfect in behavior, but to have relationship with Him.

·   People feel pressure to present their image as strong and together.

·   Bible is full of broken people David, Noah, Moses, Peter, Jonah, Jacob.

·   They all had faults, when these faults were out in the open they have experienced the grace of God.


5) Burying the Gifs of God:

·   Luke 9:23  -  Disciple = “deny self, take up the cross and follow Me”.

·   People, who have been rejected, low esteem, misinterpret.

·   We are not called to bury desires, gifts, dreams, passions, laughter, music, art, beauty, recreation – these are gifts of God.

·   Every person is designed uniquely – to represent God.

·   Need to discover what God has put in you, not for you to kill it.

·   Die to self = put to death defenses, arrogance and judging others.


6) Denying the Impact of their Past:

·   2 Corinthians 5:17  -  “Behold, all things have become new”.

·   Past life continues to impact how the church relates to each other – we must change.

·   People try to ‘move on’ = pretend their past never happened.

·   Check out how the family handled life! E.g. money, conflict, sex, grief, expresses anger, family, relationships, feelings and emotions.

·   Past patterns continue until revelation of New Culture – Family of God.


7) Spiritualizing and Avoiding Conflict/differences:

·   No one like conflict but conflict is everywhere.

·   John 4:16-18  -  Jesus’ life was filled with conflict, He created it! He disrupted ‘false peace’  -refused to minimize.

·   People see conflict as bad, something to fix or avoid.

·   Result = blame, attachments, dishonest, silent, give in, avoid, with-draw.


With God we grow and mature to have power and impact the community.

We can all make a difference in someone’s world.