Faith Removes the Veil (If You Want It Removed)

The Holiness of the Here and Now – Part 38

And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

–Hebrews 4:13 (ESV)

Faith is the key to the treasure, the key to the abyss, the key to the knowledge of God. Faith exposes the lie of unbelief. By faith God is revealed and manifested in all things. In this way, faith makes all things divine. It removes the veil. It uncovers the eternal truth.

–Jean Pierre de Caussade

Young children will simply close their eyes when they want to hide, thinking they cannot be seen because they cannot see. This is amusing to adults, but how often do we make the same mistake with God? And how often is it because we do not want to give an account of ourselves?

Jean Pierre de Caussade often spoke of unbelief as a veil that lies over creation, hiding the truth from us. Faith removes this veil for us, but only if we want it removed. Scripture’s indictment against humanity includes the charge that, “by their unrighteousness [they] suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18). Do we really want the truth to be unrestrained, or do we like the veil? If we want to keep the veil, it is only because of our self-deception: since the veil hides the truth from us, we imagine that it hides us from the truth.

This is another reason why the true path of abandonment is uniquely Christian. It is only because of Christ that we can stand before God naked and exposed. Only because of Christ would we ever want to. Hebrews 4:13 (quoted above) warns us that from God’s perspective, there is no veil. Nothing is hidden, everything is exposed. Then, just thirty-three words after this potentially terrifying—and paralyzing—warning, the same author tells us to “draw near to the throne of grace,” and to do so “with confidence” (Hebrews 4:16). Only because the letter of Hebrews is a Christian document can it give us this encouragement, only because of the grace of Christ. Faith removes the veil; grace makes this removal something to be desired.

The Holiness of the Here and Now is a daily devotional that I am currently working on. When I am finished, there will be 365 chapters like the one above. Meanwhile, I am sharing this work-in-progress. Like the Facebook page to see content like this in your feed.