THE TYRANNY OF LAYERS
I recently ran into what I call the tyranny of layers and it was very frustrating. I got a notice from my insurance FSA account saying they could not confirm that I had valid, payable services for which I paid $120 through the account and if I couldn’t prove the services were valid, then the IRS requires that I pay it back to my FSA account. It happened because of layers. The facility I went to outsourced their billing. The billing company (not a medical facility) charged my FSA account. It was reported to the insurance company on the date I paid, not on the date of service. Apparently, the billing agent provided no information about where the service actually took place or what the service was. I certainly did not recognize the name of the billing company, nor did my day planner show that I had any medical service on the date reported to my insurance. So, two phone calls, a rummage through medical receipts and a fax later, and the matter is settled.
Both the insurance company and the billing agent were too far removed from the actual medical care I received.
Layers. I suppose layers are good when it comes to suiting up for cold weather or making chocolate cake or when surrounding the rhino exhibit at the zoo with fencing. But most other times, layers cause miscommunication, delays in service and a feeling of isolation.
So, I am very happy that God requires no layers been Him and me. In fact, He made a pretty dramatic show of emphasizing that point.
Jesus came to this earth to save the human race – plain and simple. Part of that work was opening the way for everyone to communicate directly with the Father God. In Mark 15:37-38 we are told of the last moment of Christ Jesus’ life as a man and a dramatic event that occurred at that moment – one which changed our communication with the Father forever. Verse 37 & 38: “With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” No more layers between God and man.
Jesus revealed to His disciples, just prior to His crucifixion that He was making a way for them (and all of us) to communicate directly with the Father. John 16:26-27 “In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.”
God loves us and that is why He rent the veil from top to bottom – to remove the layers of communication so that all may speak directly to Him.
Sadly, we sometimes allow others to try to insert layers where there should be none. Those layers can be layers of authority or education – “you cannot know these things because you are not a minister or don’t have a theological diploma or don’t know Hebrew, therefore you must listen to and follow my interpretation or leave this flock.” Those layers can be layers of responsibility – “you cannot preach the gospel because you are a teen, a woman, not of the right race, don’t have the right credentials, are too old, and therefore must simply pay your tithes to me so I can preach the gospel.”
Or, even more sadly, I might pull the veil back over my own heart as Paul warns about in 2 Corinthians 3:14-16. “But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.” In this example, we are shown that, even though the veil of the temple was torn, I can be guilty of adding a covering (a layer) over my heart in an effort to not let God or His word communicate directly to my inner self.
God wants a deep and direct relationship, but this self-imposed veil, this layer, is often a self-defense mechanism to keep Him from getting too personal. Abba doesn’t want any layers between us and I must guard against any temptation to put them there.
Sisters, when God rent the veil of the temple at Jesus’ last breath, He dramatically proved that He did not want any layers between us. We have God’s direct line and He is standing by to receive your call 24/7/365. Let Him speak to us through His word. Let Him hear from us through prayer. I pray we will never allow a tyranny of layers to ever stand between the Father and us.
I’d love to hear your thoughts too. Write me at Nancy@DynamicChristianMinistries.org.