Don’t Hide Me Behind the Cross

Since giving my life to Christ in 1997, I have heard a phrase mentioned over and over in prayer so much that it became standard vernacular when praying before preaching, playing music, or giving a testimony.

“Lord, hide me behind the cross so that they my see you and not me.”

I get the sentiment. We don’t want the focus to be on us. We want the focus to be on Christ. We want Jesus to be seen in the story and not the storyteller.

But I think we misrepresent the gospel. Without a messed up story, there is not good news. With out a flawed story teller, there is no redemptive quality. Without the sin, there is no need for grace. Without the sinner, there is no need for a savior. Are you getting my point?

I’m a jacked up fellow. I’ve dealt with pornography addiction, lying, stealing, judging, cheating, gossiping, anger… I mean you name it and I’ve probably thought it or done it. My heart is a dark place sometimes. However, there are folks who need to hear my story, not just the redemptive story. They need that too but they need to know in the redemptive process there is a hardcore, that’s-messed-up story.

My story and I do not need to be hidden behind a cross. Folks need to know they aren’t the only one who deal with junk and when they hear about the messed up side, they can find hope in the redemptive story.

I don’t think we need to pray for us to be hidden behind the cross. I think we need to pray for God to use the cross in our story of darkness. I think we need to pray that God uses our junk to make his cross even greater because of what it can do among the darkness. I think we need to pray that God let’s our mess be shown so that the cross can be celebrated even more. The redeemed needs to be highlighted among the redeemer. Not as an equal but as a contributor to the overarching narrative of the cross.

It’s not about celebrating our junk. God forbid! It’s about celebrating the cross without forgetting why the cross was needed in the first place. It would do Christians good to remember what life was like before Christ in their lives. When we tell our story, we lay open the dark recesses of our hearts to show how the cross is beginning to heal those spots.

David is a prime example of not hiding behind the cross. He aired his junk out in the psalms yet spoke of the redemptive qualities of God and His word. Psalm 32 and 51 are a prime example of David giving us a glimpse into his self-centered life and the goodness of God to overcome and restore him.

We can’t have a cross without death. We can’t have redemption without cost. Our story? It needs the darkness in order for light to be known. Let’s not be hidden behind the cross. Let’s be out front pointing to the cross.


About Kevin Riner
child of grace, worshiper of Jesus, husband, father, Pastor of Village Church, author of Faith Debugged

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