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The Trap that Keeps You From the Concert Worth Attending

Are you sometimes more concerned about what others think or say about you than what Scripture says is true of you?

Honestly, most all of us want to be known for being a good parent, a good neighbor, a good leader, a good example, a good social-media post-er, a good Christian, or just a generally good person.

But watch out! Our enemy, the Design Crusher, wants these virtuous desires to become an insatiable snare to TRAP US into the bondage of performance!

When we become more focused on what others think instead of what God thinks and His Word declares, we can quickly fall into what Jesus explains in Matthew 23 as “The White-washed Tomb Trap.”

This is a trap we have all fallen into whenever we allow our thoughts and actions be caught-up in the “game” of convincing others we’re DOing the right things and we’ve got it all together.

Our energy is then driven by fear and pride, which exhausts our mind, body and spirit, because we are exerting our God-given energies in the pursuit of going nowhere but deeper into the mire of life-sapping bondage!

But I am sure you know and have heard it time and time again how God has come to FREE us from this trap! You have read Romans 3 how God knows all too well the natural bent of our hearts that make each of us susceptible to falling into “The White-washed Tomb Trap.”

Most likely you have even personally experienced and/or heard it preached how this life-depleting trap gnaws at our inner being and suffocates the Abundant Life and Freedom our personal Designer longs to have flowing through us! (Romans 7:24-8:11)

Perhaps you have even read in 2 Peter 1:3-11 how God promises that His Divine power is available to set us free from the empty, lonely, futile rut of proving our self-sufficiency. His offer is too good to be true. His offer is so simple it makes us skeptically look for the “fine print,” “the catch.”

His offer is even more awkward because though it entails no cost, it invites an exchange. An exchange of dying in our self-sufficient “I’ve got this” mentality to living in His-sufficiency, “He’s got this” faith-journey. He desperately wants us to receive His offer! He did all the “hard work” on our behalf. Work we could never have done on our own. Ever. No matter how hard we tried. (2 Peter 3:9)

Here is the crux of His offer: He offers Himself and His Power to live in and through us, “free of charge,” so the only way to receive Him is with “empty-hands,” nothing to prove. Ever. Coming to Him with nothing but empty hands open to receive is the only way He frees us from the “death-trap” and be empowered by Him to live authentically, from the inside-out!

Do you know what that means?

No more exhausting, personal performances! Whew!

Instead, He takes center-stage and promises to do ALL the performances…for His Glory and for our satisfying delight! (Now that’s a concert worth attending!)

Here’s what transpires when we personally attend this “Concert of our Creator”...

God opens with the Ultimate Display of His Love & Grace. He does not hold back by saving the best for last or by waiting until we think we are ready. (Romans 5:8)

He invites us to personally receive for FREE what cost Him dearly: His Son, who willingly did for us what we could never ever do…pay the price to attend the unlimited concert of His Grace! (John 3:16-18)

The unlimited concert of His Grace is all about a personal, loving relationship with Him: an ongoing, cooperative journey where God alone is the Star Performer but at the same time, invites our personal participation! (Ephesians 1:3-23)

You may have heard all this before. I sure have. And this time, I invite you to enter into a space of envisioning these truths in the following imaginative scenario God painted for me while I recently struggled to make sense of the exhaustion and confusion of being personally trapped, again, in the mire of self-sufficiency and fear of man’s opinion over God’s Truth.

Come. Join me in attending this concert. It’s free:

The “Music and Light-Show” begin…God’s Divine drum-beat awakens our hearts and minds to align to His perfect rhythm.

Then, the curtain is pulled back so we can catch a glimpse…just a step or two…of the journey: The pathway of heart-transformation!

We scream with the delight of anticipation for more revelation! Our eyes are totally fixed on Him, The Star Performer, so we don’t miss out on all He’s going to do!

Then all goes dark. Quiet. But we don’t fret; instead, we are eager and wide-eyed for what we trust will unfold: “the accompaniment” of His guidance, placing our hope in believing God, the Star of the Show, has perfectly prepared every upcoming event and will surely lead us onward every step of the way, come what may.

Then, blasts of fire light up the room! Loud, thunderous sound of song fills our ears. Our faces are lit with awe and we uninhibitedly raise our hands and scream, “Bring it on!”

Almost in tandem with our response, He begins a melody that penetrates like a laser to our heart. The song He begins singing over us completely blows our mind as we experience a power unlike none other. This laser-pointed stanza touches our heart and we sense, for the first time, a lightness, an unashamed freedom, to LIVE from our core, our BEing.

And then, the music fades, the crowds disperse, the curtains are closed and we are, what seems, left alone, staring blankly at what had been so dazzling, bright and beautiful.

In a state of stun, we awkwardly shift our stance from anticipation to confusion. This isn’t how it’s supposed to go. This doesn’t make sense. This isn’t what I “paid for.”

Then, as if a sound-amp was turned on, an “Inward Bzzz” is sensed in our being, but not totally understood. It seems to bring comfort but at the same time stirs up questions, doubt, fear.

The “Inward Bzzz” continues, like the ringing of the ears experienced after a hefty concert.

We are somehow impressed to move out of the concert hall to the busy street outside.

The “Inward Bzzz” continues steadfast.

“I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

We sense we are truly not alone. We lean into the “Inward Bzzz” and walk onward into the day: our schedules, our conversations, our relationships, our responsibilities.

“He will guide you into all truth…” (John 16:13)

We come to grips that we are no longer attending the concert. “You will be a witness to all people of what you have seen and heard.” (Acts 22:15 NIV) We realize now that the concert was the Divine inner awakening enabling us to live a whole new life alongside the Star of the Show!

“You will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12 NIV)

So, with supreme care, sovereign wisdom and perfect love, He works alongside our cooperation, supernaturally enabling, motivating and supporting us in LIVING OUT from our Sovereignly-designed core, enabled by Him to live further aligned to our inner God-given design…uninhibitedly! (2 Peter 1:3-11)

And this whole new life He has freely given us, He says,

“…becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” (John 4:14 NLT)

So what?

So we need to be honest with ourselves and prayerfully consider if we have been caught in “The White-washed Tomb Trap” of being more concerned about what others and society think or say about us than what Scripture says is true of us.

Let’s not be “content” to walk through our day “exhausted, worn, torn, afraid and defensive,” trapped in making a “good” appearance in the eyes of others when our hearts are shriveling.

Instead, let us admit to our Father that we have indeed fallen into the trap (maybe for years, maybe for weeks…) and ask His Divine help (His Forgiveness and His Freedom by His power) to live further aligned to our God-given design with greater joy, freedom and lasting impact!

  • What personally struck you in this scenario?

  • What thoughts surfaced as your imagination participated in unfolding story of this particular concert? What are you learning about yourself?

  • What are you learning about your Creator? Your Savior? His Spirit?

  • What new or refreshed insight did you receive regarding the transformative journey on which He invites you to personally accompany and cooperate?

  • What might very well be the next step God is inviting you to take with Him? What might that look like?

  • What type of accountability/support would work best for you right now?

I leave you with such reflection because I know God promises to be at work in your heart and mine.

He knows right where you are and what is going on in those deep recesses of your heart and mind.

He knows the journey ahead of you.

He knows the perfect next step He has sovereignly chosen for you.

He has a plan. And His plan is good. Always.

So, I am praying over you and me now…trusting the Holy Spirit to accomplish what He promises…to faithfully complete in you and me what He has begun. (Philippians 1:6)

So, my dear friend and fellow concert-goer, with the “Inward Bzzz” of His Spirit, let Him guide us into all truth and empower us to move into what He reveals by our trusting obedience.

Let us each lean into what He is revealing and take the next step…trusting the love of our Savior and the “Inward Bzzz” of His Spirit will never leave us nor forsake us.

“If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves;
But when they attend to what He reveals, they are most blessed.”
(Proverbs 29:18 MSG)

Tami Thorsen

Certified ICF ACC Life-Coach | COACH Model Trainer

Head2Heart Onward Coaching Ministries

“Helping you live aligned to your God-given design for greatest Gospel impact”

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