My family and I were watching the movie “Ms. Doubtfire” tonight. We couldn’t stop laughing. Out of work father Daniel Hilliard (Robin Williams) find himself suddenly divorced without custody of his kids. To solve this problem, he disguises himself as an old Scottish nanny to get hired by his ex-wife and be closer to his kids. How far would an ordinary father go to spend more time with his children? Daniel Hillard is no ordinary father, so when he learns his ex-wife needs a housekeeper, he applies for the job. With the perfect wig, a little makeup and a dress for all occasions, he becomes Ms. Doubtfire, a devoted British nanny who is hired on the spot. Free to be the “woman” he never knew he could be, the disguised Daniel creates a whole new life with his entire family.
As we were watching, the Lord (as He so often does) interrupts my train of thought and brings to my mind something He wants me to learn. I began to mull over what God was bringing to my heart and, once again, it was directed at my own life. Most of the lessons the Lord teaches me usually has absolutely nothing to do with the faults, mishaps, or mistakes of others…but me. When God teaches me lessons, it typically involves Him shining some light on some dark place in my life. Like Daniel, who did whatever he had to do in order to see his children (including dressing up as a 60-something year old lady), I used to mask my life so I could get whatever I wanted. Daniel wore a full costume and as the judge on the movie put it, he fooled many people. The judge, however, wasn’t fooled. The behavior was deemed unacceptable and Daniel’s ex-wife was awarded full custody of the children. The movie has a happy ending, but the reality is that we all want something so deeply that we’ll do whatever we have to do in order to get it.
What’s the most important thing in your life? What drives you to do all that you do each and every day? Maybe it’s to make as much money as possible, so you stay at work as long as possible and take as much overtime as much as possible. Maybe it’s to meet a person you like, so you’re scheduling your entire day around what they are doing and how you can be there too. Maybe it’s to fall in love and so you are always “on the lookout” for “the one.” Maybe it’s an addiction to alcohol, cigarettes, weed, or drugs, so you schedule your entire day and week around when you can drink or smoke. I will say this, there’s nothing wrong with making money-lots of it. There’s nothing wrong with liking a person and planning to spend as much time as possible with him or her. There’s nothing wrong with being “on the lookout” for a potential mate. But there’s a line that Jesus draws when it comes to why you live your life the way that you do. You see, there must be a supernatural balance. And this balance looks nothing like the lifestyle of those who don’t know Christ and are not fully devoted followers of Christ.
In Matthew 6:21 (NLT), Jesus says, “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” In other words, your deepest desires are attached to your treasure. What is your treasure? Is it one thing one day and another thing another day? Is your treasure money, sex, women, men, professional success, your drug of choice, just “not being alone”, criticism, drama, attention? Something drives you and me each and every day. And if you get alone with God in a quiet place and seek along with Him the treasure of your life, He will show you what your treasure is. Or maybe you already know.
If your devotion to Jesus Christ comes anywhere but first place, then something else drives you. Something else is your treasure and you will never fully experience the full potential of blessings. You will continue to strive for something that has only temporary results and outcomes. You will continue to wear a spiritual Ms. Doubtfire costume, while the person God meant to be free and fully blessed will be left inside and in bondage to the desires for your un-godly treasure. Spiritually, do you look like the picture at the top of this blog post? Do you want blessing and fruit in your life? In John 15:5 (Message) Jesus tells us, “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing.”
I remember when I did everything I could to look like a success. I had a sports car, spent money at bars, worked as a bouncer, and tried to sleep with every beautiful woman I could find. I wanted the lifestyle of every rapper and famous person I looked-up to and I wanted to live it regardless of the consequences. And underneath the Ms. Doubtfire costume were a low self-esteem, loneliness, fear, doubt, and pain. I was afraid of being alone, so I made sure I always had at least two girlfriends at all times. I had a low self-esteem so I sought to feel good about myself through sex and relationships because without them I would never feel wanted, needed, or loved. I doubted I could ever do anything worthy and special with my life, so I wore a costume and lived a life…I lived a lie that reflected all that I wanted in my life. What seemed to be a roadmap, a questionable roadmap, to happiness and a sense of self-worth was really a roadmap to disaster and a magnification of all the negative feelings I had deep on the inside. That’s why the cycle kept repeating itself and my life never changed, never improved. It seemed so difficult to figure out. Always thinking of how to get out of the cycle, but not having the courage or confidence to try. My life seemed like a dead end…and it was a dead end. And then the Answer hit me on April 2, 1995. I’ll never forget the day I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. Like the end of the movie “Ms. Doubtfire”, I removed my costume of women, Tequila, clubs, and parties and I laid the costume on the ground and for the first time saw my life for what it really was…nothing. I was nothing but dust. Naked dust. There was nothing left of me God was not looking at and that I was not now looking at. As we gazed at the mess before my eyes, God smiled and hugged me and I felt Him say, “I knew this day would come son. Look at what your life was…and don’t ever forget it. For it will be a testimony to others who wear costumes.”
Take off your costume today. Self-reflect on what drives you each day. If Jesus Christ is not your treasure each and every day, what are you living for? Nothing. If you are, you are living for everything. Oh, and when you lay your costume down, just come as you are. 🙂