Remove the Disguises

Noley Billick
As a child, one of my favorite holidays was Halloween. There was something fun about dressing up and pretending to be something I wasn’t. Whether it was one of my favorite superheroes or a scary villain, there was something special about dressing up in disguise to walk around the neighborhood and receive candy for my trickster behavior.

In fact, Webster’s definition of disguise is: “To change the appearance so as to conceal identity or to mislead.” As a child, this was fine and dandy and probably pretty cute, but as an adult, we have a tendency to take the notion of wearing a disguise to the extreme.

I want to share a story found in 1 Kings 22 that describes a king who was wearing a disguise to conceal his identity to escape judgment from God.

1 Kings 22:29-38

29 So King Ahab of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah led their armies against Ramoth-Gilead. 30 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “As we go into battle, I will disguise myself so no one will recognize me, but you wear your royal robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself, and they went into battle.
31 Meanwhile, the king of Aram had issued these orders to his thirty-two chariot commanders: “Attack only the king of Israel. Don’t bother with anyone else!” 32 So when the Aramean chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat in his royal robes, they went after him. “There is the king of Israel!” they shouted. But when Jehoshaphat called out, 33, the chariot commanders realized he was not the king of Israel, and they stopped chasing him.
34 An Aramean soldier, however, randomly shot an arrow at the Israelite troops and hit the king of Israel between the joints of his armor. “Turn the horses and get me out of here!” Ahab groaned to the driver of his chariot. “I’m badly wounded!”
35 The battle raged all that day, and the king remained propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans. The blood from his wound ran down to the floor of his chariot, and as evening arrived he died. 36 Just as the sun was setting, the cry ran through his troops: “We’re done for! Run for your lives!”
37 So the king died, and his body was taken to Samaria and buried there. 38 Then his chariot was washed beside the pool of Samaria, and dogs came and licked his blood at the place where the prostitutes bathed, just as the Lord had promised.

You see, a little earlier in this chapter, God had spoken and said King Ahab would die if he went into battle. King Ahab scoffed at the idea, and to be able to prove the prophet to be a liar, he went into battle anyways. He put on a disguise so he could deceive the other army and deceive God all at one time. As you can see, it didn’t work. A stray arrow pierced him through an open spot in his armor, and he slowly died.

As humans, we aren’t much different than King Ahab. I know we aren’t marching into battle anytime soon, but there is a far greater battle we fight within ourselves daily. We walk through this daily battle putting on everyday disguises, trying to fool ourselves, friends, family, and God. What do I mean? We love to put on disguises in our life to conceal our real struggles. Those struggles include but aren’t limited to: addiction, idleness, relationship problems, anxiety, anger, laziness, etc. We bury these struggles, and we put on disguises to conceal what’s really going on in our lives. We want to hide our flaws, fears, and faults to make ourselves look better to others and to God. We walk through this life putting on fake smiles that show fake joy that never lasts. We think we can fix and have solutions to our struggles, so we keep moving like nothing is wrong. We are only fooling ourselves!

The bible gives us a different solution to our problems…...

Take off the disguise and put on the identity of Christ!

Because we are free in Christ, we have to take off our disguises and put on the Identity of Jesus Christ. What does that look like? Ephesians 4:20-25 NLT says it like this-

20 But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. 21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. 25 So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body.

First thing, verse 22 says we must throw off our old sinful nature and our former way of life. Because of the truth we have in Jesus Christ, we have the freedom to take our burdens to Him in prayer, knowing we can lay them at the foot of the Cross. Jesus says, “come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” His truth is we can do that and not have to feel any shame or guilt for the burdens we are holding onto. He has paid the ultimate price of death for those shameful things and freed us from that guilt. So to truly start removing these disguises, we must believe these truths and drag these lies we are holding onto out of the darkness and into the light, letting Him reveal His goodness to us while we pursue Him through prayer and reading His word.

Second, verse 25 tells us to stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. God’s perfect plan for us through Jesus is to be a part of a community of believers called the Church. The Church is there for us to fellowship with and grow close together, knowing that we all will falter at some point. That we aren’t perfect while we are in this world. This should free us to share our burdens with close, fellow believers knowing they can help us to be delivered from these struggles. Knowing we don’t have to walk this life alone. I know it’s not easy to open up to others, but there is such a relief knowing you aren’t in this fight alone when you do.

So remember, disguises are only covering your problems. You are only fooling yourself. It’s time to be real. It’s time to let go and let God mold you into the person He has created you to be.


Erica Hamilton - July 6th, 2021 at 1:13pm

I think the “disguise” I most wear is this perception of me that I am some super Mom. That ‘moming’ is easier for me somehow. This is garbage. I struggle to maintain a positive attitude and I worry and stress about doing it all wrong every single day.

Josh Hamilton - July 6th, 2021 at 2:22pm

Wow, so many times, we are deceiving ourselves every day. I take my focus off Christ and think I'm doing it on my own. I let the busyness of life dictate and distract me from what God truly wants me to focus on.