Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Come See a Man

Leslie Basham: Are you free to be real? We explored that question with Nancy Leigh DeMoss last time on Revive Our Hearts. Nancy took us to John 4, where Jesus addressed a woman sitting at a well.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: He wanted to give her permanent release from the heart issues that were destroying her life. But in order to do that, in order to give her the living water, that required getting to the real issues of her heart.

Leslie: It's rare for someone to open up about deep heart issues. It's far more common to wear a mask and act like everything is okay.

Nancy: I think of the song that Casting Crowns does called “Stained Glass Masquerade.”

Casting Crowns:

 Is there anyone that fails? Is there anyone that falls? 
Am I the only one in church today feeling so small? 
'Cause when I take a look around, everybody seems so strong. 
I know they'll soon discover that I don't belong.

Nancy: And so Jesus asks this woman a question that is intended to get her to take off her mask.

Casting Crowns:

So with a painted grin, I play the part again, 
So everyone will see me the way that I see them. 
Are we happy plastic people, under shiny plastic steeples, 
With walls around our weakness and smiles to hide our pain? 
But if the invitation's open to every heart that has been broken, 
Maybe then we'll close the curtain on our stained glass masquerade.

Nancy: What is the one area of your life that you don't want somebody asking questions about? I tell you that if you want the living water that Jesus wants to give you, that's the one area He's going to ask you about.

Leslie: If you missed any of yesterday's program, you can hear it at ReviveOurHearts.com. Now, lets join Nancy Leigh DeMoss as she continues in John chapter 4.

Nancy: So this woman's mask has been removed. And she's in the process now of discovering who it is that knows all this about her. So we come to verse 19, the woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.” How else could He know all this?

Now, I think she's nervous at this point, so tries her little smokescreen. Let's talk about something safe. How about theology?

Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you [Jews] say that Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship. Jesus said to her, "Woman, [you want to talk theology? I know something about that] believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know [you Samaritans]; we [Jews] worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers . . .  

Circle that word, the true worshipers. Not all worshipers are true worshipers. The true worshipers, the ones who really connect to God,

. . . will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking [He's looking for] such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and truth.

You can't worship with a mask on. Verse 25,

The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things."

He'll figure out all these theological issues for us. And Jesus says to her in this amazing moment of revelation,

I who speak to you am he. (vv. 20-26)

Now, the woman knew that term, that name. Because in the original Greek, the word is, "just I who speak to you, I Am." Have you heard that name before? I Am. Who is the I Am in the Old Testament? Jehovah. Jesus is saying, "The One who is speaking to you is God. And that's how I know." Well, verse 27,

Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, "What do you seek?" or, "Why are you talking with her?" So the woman left her water jar.

I love that little phrase. It's as if she totally forgot the whole reason she'd come to the well in the first place. The water jar. It didn't even matter at all anymore, because she was about to find Living Water.

The woman left her water jar and went away into the town and said to the people, "Come see a man." (vv. 27-29)

Now, if I could just inject a little imagination into the text at this point. The people in this town had heard this woman say this very phrase before—six times to be exact. But this man is different. "Come see a man," and look at how she describes Him, "who told me all that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?" Could this be the Christ?

Now, if you knew someone who knew all that you had ever done, do you think you would be comfortable introducing him to other people? Do you think you'd say to people, "Come on, come see this person who knows everything about me. I never met him before, but he knows everything about me." Don't you think you might have some fear?

But you know, when that person is Jesus, you don't have to be afraid. You can come into His presence. You can bring others with you. You can afford to get real. You can be free to be real because, though we may be great sinners, and we are, Jesus is a greater Savior. She's introducing them to the Savior.

Well, her story was compelling. Verse 30 tells us, "They went out of the town, and were coming to him." Verse 39, skip down there.

Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me all that I ever did."

By the way, you may think it's one thing to tell God everything you've done because He already knows it, but sometimes we're afraid to let the walls down with others. Listen, once you've let the roof off, taken it off in your relationship with God, you can afford to let the walls down. You can be real with others once you've been real with God.

And that testimony we share with others, even as Stormie shared with us so openly and honestly out of her past about the bitterness and the anger and the hatred. She shared. She let the walls down. And weren't our hearts touched to believe that Jesus could meet our needs as we heard her talk about how Jesus has met her needs. Her testimony, the testimony of this woman in John 4, is compelling. And many believed in Him because the woman did not keep the mask on. She took it off. Verse 40,

So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there for two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world." (vv. 40-41) 

You want living water? You want the thirst in your soul quenched? You know that the things of the world are not succeeding in doing that. You want the living water? Let me remind us that we cannot receive the blessing and life that God wants to give us until we are willing to take off the mask and be honest about who we are, what we've done, how we're really doing, about our pain, our struggles, our issues, our idols, which is a biblical word for addictions, about our past, about our true spiritual condition. Listen, when we're willing to get real about our sin and our failure, then the grace of God comes flooding into our lives to give us forgiveness.

I remember talking with a woman who came to me. The wife of a Christian leader came to me one day and said,

I've got to get real. I've got to get honest. Years ago, early in our marriage, I was unfaithful to my husband. I've never come clean with him about that. I've deceived him all these years. And our relationship has stayed stuck because I was afraid to come out into the light. God has shown me that I’ve got to take off the mask and get real with my husband.

Now that's some painful stuff. And if God is convicting you of something similar, get with a godly or mature woman and say, "Would you help pray me through this? Walk me through this." But I want to say, whatever the issue is, whatever the sin, whatever the failure, when you bring it into the light, you're going to a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emanuel’s veins that will wash white every sin and all the guilt of your past, no matter what. Praise God!

We need to get real, not only about our sins and our failures and our past, but we need to get real about our weaknesses, our needs. We're so accustomed to having to prove to everyone else that we're super mom, super woman, super everything.

I got a group of friends together just within the last few weeks and said, I need to be real with you. There are areas where I'm struggling. There are areas where I'm weak, where I’m needy. The public has no way of knowing this, not because I’m trying to cover it up, but because they don't live with me. They don't live my life. And I got with some friends who will help minister grace, the grace of God, who will help me think through a strategy to walk in the light, to get real, to receive the grace and the strength that God wants to give me. There's strength in acknowledging our weakness, getting real.

And this final observation, we can afford to take off the mask and get real in the presence of Christ because His grace is what we need. This woman says, "Come see a man who told me all that I ever did." Can you believe that was her selling point to the gospel? I'm free to be real. That is a great selling point in a world that is hiding and covering and pretending.

The gospel is that Jesus knows it all, but:

  • He died for our sin.
  • He died for our failure.
  • He died for our corruption.
  • He died for our immorality.
  • He died for our weakness.
  • He died to set us free so that we would not have to hide.
  • He died so that we could be in right relationship with Him and with others.

So in just a few moments, I’m going to extend an invitation to take off the mask, to get real, to step into the light, to come just as you are. You may need to get real about a specific area in your life where you desperately need God's grace. You need to acknowledge to God or someone in this room, I can't handle this on my own.

Maybe it's that child for whom no textbook was ever written. And you say, I cannot mother this child, and I need God's grace. You don't have to keep pretending that you're some great mom. Who's a great mom? There's no such thing as a super mom. Okay? So let's just get real with God and with each other.

You need to get real about your true spiritual conditionnot what others have thought about you, but where you really are. You may need to get real about sin that you have covered—the bitterness, the unforgiveness, the immorality, the abortion, something that seems big, seems small, whatever it is that is standing between you and the freedom to be real. I'm going to invite you to come into the light.

Perhaps it's the sinful bondage that you need to confess. Perhaps your need to step into the light is about the fact that you are not a Christian. You've been playing church, pretending. But you need to strip off the mask, get real. You think, "Everybody in my church thinks I’m a Christian. What would they all think if I got real?" They'd think that the grace of God is active in your life when they finally saw you strip off the mask and say, "I need Jesus."

Some of you profess something that you do not possess when it comes to Christianity. You're struggling and striving so hard to be a good Christian. It will kill you. You cannot be a good Christian if you don't have Jesus in you, living His life through you. Some of you need to strip off the mask.

In just a few moments come forward to one of our encouragers who will be waiting here and say, "I need a relationship with Jesus." Get real. So I’m going to encourage you to take off the mask and then come see a man. Get to Jesus. Beholding Him with unveiled faces, we are "transformed into [his likeness] into His image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Cor. 3:18 NKJV).

Right at the beginning of this session, those words from that song “Stained Glass Masquerade” said, "Are we happy, plastic people under shiny, plastic steeples, with walls around our weakness and smiles to hide our pain?" Many of us would have to say, "That's me. That's me." The song goes on to say,

Would it set me free if I dared to let you see 
The truth behind the person that you imagine me to be? 
Well, if the invitation is open to every heart that has been broken, 
Maybe then we close the curtain on our stained glass masquerade.

Ladies, it's time to stop playing church and get real. It's time to close the curtain on our stained glass masquerade. Let me say, you can't imagine what the impact will be on a lost, unbelieving world when we stop pretending. When we stop hiding our pain, when we stop defending ourselves, and our sins, and our pride, and our addictions, and our broken relationships, and our affairs, and our divorces, and our self-righteous spirits.

When we stop defending all that and we come out into the light and we receive the grace of God to transform our lives, that's when the world will stop and notice and believe that there really is a Savior who can transform their lives.

In just a moment, I'm going to ask you to stay with us. This is holy time. What a shame it would be to abort the process of what God is doing as he has been speaking to many of our hearts as we've prayed that He would in this time. Would you join me in prayer as we bow our hearts before the Lord.

Oh Lord, I thank You that You the one who has eyes like a flame of fire. You see; You know. You see into my heart. You see things that no one else in this room knows. Oh Lord, I thank You for the freedom that I have found and am finding as I'm willing to take off the mask and be real before you and before others.

Lord, I believe that there are many, many other women in this place and in sites around us, around the country today, who have been playing this stained glass masquerade. Today, you need to step into the light and take off the mask and get real before You and perhaps before others as well.

Thank you, Lord, that we don't need to fear coming into your presence unless we're still trying to hide. So I pray that in these next few moments that You would make this a sanctuary, a holy place. Have Your way, O Lord, in every heart. I pray in Jesus' name, amen.

The first time I shared this message years ago, after the session on Friday night, when I shared about the woman at the well, a woman came to me on Saturday morning. I'm going to ask the background music to stop for just a moment, because I'm going to play something for us here.

A woman came up the next morning and she said, I wrote a song last night after you spoke. And I had the nerve, never having heard this woman, never having met her before, to ask her in that Saturday morning session if she would come up on the platform and sing the song she had written about this woman at the well. As God is speaking to our hearts and preparing us for this moment of invitation, I want us to take a couple minutes just to listen to June sing her response to the story we've just read.

June Murphy: (singing)

For most of my life, I felt like a woman, a woman of ill repute. 
For the things that I’ve done and what was done to me, I felt I was of no use. 
Like the woman at the well who spoke to Jesus alone looking for a drink. 
I've been looking for love in all the wrong places; helpless, needy, and weak.

But now that I know Jesus, to the world I will proclaim 
These words of invitation. I will forever lift up His name. 
And I will sing, "Come see a man who knows all about me, 
Who knows all I’ve done, and the love that I need. 
Come see a man who won't leave or forsake me. 
Who died on a cross to set me free. 

I know a man who knows all about me, 
Who knows what I’ve done and the love that I need. 
I know a man who won't leave or forsake me. 
Who died on a cross to set me free. 
I know a man who gives life eternal. 
Who is the bread of life, living water for your thirst. 
I know a man who gives new beginnings, 
Who gives second chances, who gives new birth.

His name is Jesus. 
His name is Jesus. 

Then we can sing it together, together of as a body of one. 
We can tell the world about Jesus
Jesus Christ, God's risen son. 
And we all can sing:

Come see a man who won't leave or forsake me. 
Who died on a cross to set me free. 
Come see a man who gives life eternal. 
Who is the bread of life, living water for your thirst. 
Come see a man who gives new beginnings, 
Who gives second chances, who gives new birth.

His name is Jesus. 
His name is Jesus. 
His name is Jesus. 
His name is Jesus.

Leslie: That's June Murphy. She wrote that song after hearing Nancy Leigh DeMoss on John chapter 4, and the story of the woman at the well. We've been hearing Nancy sharing from that same passage. I know many listeners will want a copy of this meaningful message from Nancy.

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The woman we heard about today, the woman at the well, kept seeking after things that would not satisfy. Once she met Jesus, she discovered the joy of seeking Him.

You have the chance to take some time off from the busyness of life, evaluate what you’ve been seeking, and find satisfaction in Him.

Revive Our Hearts invites you to the conference, True Woman 12: Seeking Him Together for Spiritual Awakening. 

Speakers like Joni Eareckson Tada, Priscilla Shirer, Janet Parshall, Mary Kassian, and Nancy Leigh DeMoss will take you through a process similar to the one the woman at the well went through. You’ll be invited to get real about who you are, be transformed by Christ, and return home a different woman.

We’re anticipating that this conference may sell out quickly. So get all the details at ReviveOurHearts.com. Then I hope you’ll join us in Indianapolis, September 20-22.

Tomorrow we’ll hear from a guest who is on the radio every weekday, regularly rubbing shoulders with decision makers in Washington DC. Yet she says the greatest role she’s played is that of a mom. Hear the story tomorrow on Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.

Casting Crowns. “Stained Glass Masquerade.” Lifesong. Written by Mark Hall and Nichole Nordeman ©2005 Club Zoo Music (BMI) / SWECS Music (BMI) (admin. by EMI CMG Publishing) / Birdwing Music/Birdboy Songs (ASCAP) (admin. by EMI CMG Publishing). 

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