A few years ago, I was given a 12x magnification hand mirror as part of a gift. The gift-giver told me that she uses hers all the time and expected that I would love it. Never thinking I would actually need or use it; I thanked her with all the grace I could muster and put the mirror away where I put the gifts that I never plan on needing or using.
Fast-forward a few years … My son was working on a self-portrait for art class and asked me if I had a hand mirror. I remembered that the 12x magnification mirror had a normal-mirror side, so I ran and got it for him.
After his art project was completed, Preston put the mirror in the top drawer of my bathroom vanity. Not long after that, on a grooming day, I reached for my tweezers to pluck what needed plucking, and in doing so, my eyes fell upon the 12x magnification mirror.
What the heck! I’ll try it.
(Insert freaky horror sounds here …)
I wasn’t at all prepared for the revelation of my up-close and personal reflection. My pores looked like swimming pools, and my stray eyebrow hairs looked like tree trunks. Even the super-tiny, fine ones!
It. Was. Crazy.
And I must tell you, eyebrow plucking hasn’t been the same for me since!
Here’s why: prior to having this hyper-magnified experience, I’d always thought I did a good job plucking my eyebrows. Wrong! Though I used to think I did a good job plucking, now I know I do because what isn’t visible to me in a normal mirror is vibrantly visible in the magnified one. So now every stray that doesn’t belong gets gone!
Over the years I’ve found that it’s far too easy to pray in a way that’s similar to how I used to pluck my eyebrows. I confessed only the sins that were visible in my life, leaving me blissfully unaware of the smaller, harder-to-see stray responses, attitudes, thought patterns, and wrong choices that needed to be plucked as well.
Have you ever pretended everything was just peachy with God when you knew it wasn’t?
It’s easier. I know.
If you and I want all that God has for us, we’ve gotta pluck those strays—any choices we make that go against the ways of God that are revealed in His Word. Disobedience diminishes the power He has for our lives and we all have rebellion rushing through our veins.
Any thought we think or choice we make that doesn’t line up with the holy ways of God will keep us from His will and the fullness of His power. Graciously, the Holy Spirit often taps us on our stubborn shoulders and suggests we bend a knee to hash it out and clear it up (Romans 2:4).
David was good at getting real with God. “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23–24). That’s a 12x-magnified prayer, my friend! David prayed for purposed purity to rise. We need to do the same.
Are you brave enough to pray like this?
If you and I can get this, if we’ll get real with God, and ask Him to reveal and remove the stray sins from our lives, the Spirit of God will lead us to new heights, widths, and depths of His love, purity, and power. And this grooming will lead to our blooming!
When you and I pray with hearts that are willing to get down and dirty in deep confession, when we extend God an invitation to correct and direct us we position ourselves in the center of His power through Christ.
Lord Jesus, be the center.
Dear Lord, Search me. Know me. Show me. Please shine Your holy light on any shady areas of my life that need correction or direction. Crush any stubborn ways that keep me from Your will and Your best. Magnify any secret sins or unknown compromises that hinder my holiness. And move me forward in Your grace so that I can be led by Your Spirit and so that others can see Your love through me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE
What are some ungodly behaviors that diminish the power of God in your life?
What would it look like if you were to give God total access to your life?