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Who Told You

“Who told you that you were naked?”

It’s a bit of an odd question for God to ask Adam, isn’t it? Actually, I think He asks you and me something very similar. We’ll benefit greatly to listen.

When I was about eleven, two of my best friends and I were hanging out alone at a park near our homes. Three older kids, one girl and two boys, arrived and took an interest in us, asking our names. Friendly enough at first, but when I told them mine, the girl looked at me with sudden expression of disdain, “Josh? Josh is a dog’s name.”

For the next several minutes, they singled me out, belittling me for any reason they could find. I still remember the sick, helpless feeling in my stomach. The ordeal may have lasted only ten minutes but it felt much longer. I walked home feeling shaken to my core, ashamed of not only my name but myself.

I didn’t know it then, but the problem wasn’t my name. It was what somebody else was doing with it.

Such is the way of the enemy.

Back in the Garden, Adam and Eve were naked. It was no secret. These were the king and queen of creation, the image-bearers of God. Their nakedness was a blessing, a gift, and they felt no shame. Until they gave themselves over to the words of the serpent.

On his lips, even the truth becomes toxic. This is why Jesus called him a “murderer from the beginning” and “the father of lies” (John 8:44).

“Who told you that you were naked?”

You can almost hear the grief in God’s voice. When they listened and followed the voice of he enemy, their nakedness became a source of shame, gave reason to fear and hide from each other and from the God who loved them so.

Where has the enemy spoken to you? Where in childhood did something innocent become a liability? And since then, what lies have you been embracing as though they were true?

Christ comes to restore what the enemy has destroyed.

A few years ago, a good friend of mine who understands the power of lies and the healing available through listening prayer, spent time with me inviting Jesus to expose lies from my past. In one such time of prayer, God took me back to the incident on the playground. In so many words, it was as if He was asking, “Who told you that you were Joshua? Now let Me tell you.” And in an intimate and powerful way, He did.

Today, I love my name. I was named after Joshua, Moses’ successor, the holy warrior who led God’s children into the Promised Land after forty years of wandering in the desert. In Hebrew, Joshua (Yeshua) means “God [or Yahweh] saves.”

In Greek, the same name is translated “Jesus.”

Is it any wonder the enemy would go after that name? As God uncovers the lies we’ve believed, He does so to recover the treasure the enemy was really going after. He does so to restore us as His image bearers.

This is why Jesus came as a baby, naked and needy. And this is why the enemy sought to destroy Him even then.

Jesus, come reveal the lies we’ve heard and especially the lies we’ve believed. Bear them into Your body on the cross, and tell us who we truly are.

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Becoming whole,
Joshua

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