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Removing The Mask

What does it take to be original? In our world, originality is the gold we’re all in search of, but when we look around, we can easily get lost trying to live up to false standards of what we think we’re supposed to be like. In this lesson, Brian Johnson invites us into the freedom of vulnerability that comes when we put aside our masks and …

“Unbelief is Easy, Faith is Hard”

  • Pain and Promise are connected.

  • “Unbelief is easy, faith is hard. But we weren’t made for easy. We were made for the impossible.” That is where the pain and the promise come in. Sometimes God puts us in challenging seasons, but “we get through it.” 

  • Consider David. He is a great hero, but his life was a roller coaster. 

  • “Faith isn’t denying the wrestle that’s going on inside of you. It’s choosing to believe the one voice that is faith . . . It’s choosing to risk and do what’s right even when there’s doubt. . . .”



  • “The most rewarding thing we can experience in life is to be vulnerable with God and then watch God respond and then reward us.” 

  • “. . . choosing bravery, choosing faith invites the protection of God and the favor of God.” (1 Peter 3: “favor and protection on all sides.”)

  • Story: being chased and sprayed by a skunk, and hiding behind trees in his yard (but trees don’t protect on all sides). “How many of you feel like life is chasing you around like a skunk?”

  • “To get the peace your soul craves you will have to face your fears and become vulnerable and honest.” 

  • “And I’m not talking about that godless version of vulnerability which says, ‘My feelings define me. I feel, therefore I am.’ . . . I’m talking about someone who’s surrendered under the lordship and is honest about their struggle. Just ‘cause you struggle with something doesn’t mean that the struggle defines you. Admitting yes, there's a struggle, but being brave enough to believe you are going to get through it into freedom is a faith-filled vulnerability. And that’s what we need. It takes faith to be vulnerable.”



  • 1 Peter 1:17 refers to God as the impartial judge and the footnotes in the Passion Translation says, “No one will be able to hide or put a mask on before Him, in that God sees it all.”

  • Look at the people Jesus hung out with: the Sinners vs. the Pharisees.

  • Demonstration: Brian pulls a poop emoji mask out off his bag and puts it over his face: That is how we look when we are wearing a mask, but God sees through the mess. 

  • A mask is “an unrealistic bar that’s set that nobody can reach. It’s impossible to follow a fake: they lead in circles and the facade will eventually crash and burn.”

  • “Don’t choose fake . . . you don’t move mountains being fake.” 


Be Real, Be Original

  • Get connected to who you are in God.

  • Don’t “be influenced by negativity, culture, and what has been done before.”

  • “Being original for original’s sake is like a dead-end too. It’s got to be under the influence and humble under God’s lordship . . .”

  • “You don’t have to do anything to be original! The problem though is we think that we have to do all of these crazy things to be original. You are an original and there is a secret in God that He wants to share with you so that original, that real you, can be expressed outwardly.”



“So Lord I pray tonight just for everyone here. This is a struggle, this is real: being vulnerable, being honest with You. And I jumped around on a lot of different topics, but I pray that, more than anything, this main thing I’m talking about would come alive in everyone tonight. And that bravery, that thing that causes us to be who we’re called to be, to be an original, to be vulnerable with You and with other people around us, would just be activated tonight.”

“Just hold your hands out.”

“Holy Spirit, I welcome you tonight. Come and have your way” 

“Just start to sing out. . . . Turn this into a song.”