In an IGTV video, We The Kingdom shares the song story behind "Cages." The song is a challenge to themselves and their listeners to take off the proverbial masks we put on in attempts to hide the deepest parts of ourselves from God and from others. The lyrics beckon us to risk allowing ourselves to be truly known by others, even in the most broken places of our lives, and to receive love from God and His people for who we truly are.
I'm coming out of my cages/I'm stepping down from my stages/I'm sick and tired of faking it/What I would give to be known/What I would give to be known
Known by God What if I got real honest/What if I took a risk/What if I opened my heart and let You see in/What if I took my mask off trying to fit in?/I don't wanna be a mannequin
Most of us are pretty aware that we can put on masks in our relationships with other people, but did you know it's possible to put on a mask with God too? Psalm 139 tells us that God knows everything about us. Nothing about our lives or our hearts is hidden from Him. Something I've learned, though, as I've walked with God, is that it's easy to pretend we have it all together and not fully allow God to meet us in our struggles. I do this all the time.
For me, I don't like to feel painful or negative emotions because they make me feel weak and overwhelmed. If can just stuff them down and not talk about what I'm going through--even with God, then I can almost make myself believe the hard things I'm going through aren't real. If I can just ignore the broken and painful places in my heart, then I don't have to be vulnerable and confront them.
What keeps you from being real with God? Maybe you feel shame or embarrassment for a sin you're struggling with. Maybe you're frustrated because God hasn't delivered you yet from a trial and it's getting hard to endure. Maybe you're facing disappointment and struggling to believe in His goodness.
We can find encouragement in verses like Philippians 4:6-7, where God's Word invites us unload the burdens of our heart to Him and bring our requests to Him. As we do that, He promises to give us His peace. We can find solidarity in our experiences and language for our prayers in the Psalms. David and other writers poured out every possible emotion, brought every situation of life to God and cried out to Him in every circumstance. Their words give us permission to do the same.
You see, God not only sees and knows everything about you. He cares what you're going through and He welcomes you to bring every part of your heart and life to Him. Neat and polished or raw and messy, God wants you to invite Him into it all.
Known by people What if I let my guard down?/What if I took a breath?/What if I wasn't perfect, what if I was just a man?/What if I bled my soul out, give it all I could give?/I'm so tired of pretending
James 5:16 says, "Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed." Of course, we know we don't confess our sins to people to be forgiven; we confess to God to be forgiven. But isn't it interesting that this verse associates confession (which is an act of vulnerability) with healing? There's something healing about being vulnerable with others. There's something healing about taking the masks off as we let trusted people into the deep places of our hearts and lives.
God designed our hearts that way. He designed human relationships that way. When one of us strays, we're meant to lovingly challenge and help each other back onto the right path. When one of us is weak, we're meant to strengthen each other. We're meant to encourage each other and build one another up in our faith. We're meant love and receive love from people too, not only from God.
Vulnerability with others includes all of those things. And it's so worth the fight to live this way with trusted people, even if it requires some getting used to and some help from God to open your heart. Why don't you pray and ask God to send these types of godly relationships into your life or to help you truly lean into ones He's already given you.
Final Word What if I got new armor/What if swung my sword/What if I face my demons like I've never done before
We all have parts of our hearts and lives that we're hesitant to confront. We all have emotions and struggles that we're a little embarrassed to intentionally let God and others see. It can even be hard to open up and show the parts of us we love and enjoy. There's a real fear of being judged or rejected that comes with that, right?
But what if you and I leaned into the charge of these lyrics? What if you and I took the risk of vulnerability? And what if God had a healing work of closeness with Him and others for us on the other side of that risk?
Find "Cages" on We The Kingdom's latest album, Holy Water. Buy the album on Apple Music or stream it on Spotify. Read the full lyrics of "Cages" here.
NRT contributor Jasmin Patterson is a lifelong fan of Christian music who is passionate about helping others connect with Christ. She lives in Kansas City where she serves in college ministry and runs a blog to help seekers and believers discover and live biblical Christianity.
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