The Hidden Man
In the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Shorter Catechism states that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. To glorify God is to worship Him. The big problem with people and their desires today is that they don’t enjoy God, and they don’t want to worship Him. They go to church, but they don’t enjoy it. Perhaps they go to church to find enjoyment, then they have a problem or two or a few, and then they don’t enjoy church anymore, and they leave.
Unfortunately, some have then justified the means of doing whatever it takes so that people WILL enjoy a worship service, but that isn’t of God, necessarily. They are doing the enjoying before and in order to do the worshipping, and putting the cart before the horse, so to speak. To be able to enjoy God, we must first worship Him, and to do that, in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:24), we must find our hidden life in Christ.
If we are truly enjoying God, we won’t be affected so much by what happens, because we won’t notice, because we are enjoying God. It is not “blessing out” or denying reality, but living a new reality where what happens to the flesh is inconsequential to your joy; you take whatever remedial steps are necessary and then get back to focusing on God. You enjoy even in the trials (James 1:2) because it is just God letting you suffer the death of the flesh (1 Peter 4:1), and it is a wonderful thing if you want it to die (Romans 12:1-2), and so you further enjoy God.
Look for things that come from above, stop focusing on the flesh, to focus on the flesh is to not enjoy God, and you will find yourself in sin. Your old man is not subject to the law of God, never was, never will be (Romans 8:7-8). To find your life you must find Christ, who is hid in God. The question about everything and every situation is, “where is Christ in this?” We need to find Him to find ourselves enjoying God, because that is where we are if we are born again.
Many can say that they have Christ in them, but they haven’t yet found themselves in Him. No wonder we don’t enjoy church and the things of God, no wonder we spend so much time focusing on the flesh, its desires, and how to overcome them. The truth is that The New You doesn’t need to overcome, he just needs to be found, and he is hid with Christ in God. So where is He and how do we find Him?
It would seem as if Jesus is avoiding the question, but in reality (verily, verily) He is pointing them to the real answer to seeing Him as He truly is. If you would see Jesus he tells you how it’s to be done; you must be willing to die. So to die is to find Him, to find your life in Christ.
A living sacrifice seems to go against what Jesus was saying in John 12, but think about it, what happens is that you find a new life, you live in the flesh still, but a new man emerges (1 Corinthians 15:10 / 2 Corinthians 4:10-5:15 / Galatians 2:20 / Ephesians 4:22-24 / Philippians 1:20-21 / Colossians 2:6-11). This is your spiritual act of worship, yes; it is how we can begin to enjoy God. So to die, to find your life in Christ, that is what it is to worship God, and that is how we can enjoy Him.
Remember, dying is painful (1 Peter 4:1), and the hidden man of the heart doesn’t care for superfluous ornamentation (1 Peter 3:4), He does only what is necessary and moves on to God (2 Corinthians 5:16). Consider Ephesians 4:17-18 – many are alienated from the Life of God, not being broken by their sin. Consider 2 Timothy 2:11 – most people haven’t as yet died to the flesh in their condition.
When your life is hidden, it doesn’t matter what happens in this life, you can James 1:2, you can be free of the fear of those that would kill the body, but can’t kill the soul, you can wear the full armor of God, you can be filled with the Spirit, and you can manifest the life of Christ in your body. The hidden man can’t be touched; he is hid with Christ in God. Only the old man can be slain. And the hidden man gladly accepts this so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in his body (2 Corinthians 4:10). He understands that though his outward man perishes, yet his inward man is renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16).
He is there, hidden behind your flesh; find Him…