I thank God for you

Continuing in my study of Deuteronomy 31:

Verses 7-8:
Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. And the LORD, He is the one who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

First I want to share some commentary from David Guzick:

“Bringing the people into the Promised Land was God’s work. He was going to do it. But God almost always does His work through men and women who make themselves available to Him.

i. Sometimes people wrongly say, “It is all the LORD, it’s all the LORD.” True, God does His work, but He does it through people.

Since God was going to use Joshua, he must be strong and of good courage. But Moses knew Joshua and knew that he would. So he confidently said, you shall cause them to inherit it.

i. Men of encouragement like Moses are a blessing. Moses knew that Joshua might be wavering, so he encouraged him, and pushed him forward to be more than he perhaps thought he could be. God uses encouraging people to help us fulfill the destiny He has for us.

ii. Joshua was the man; but the work was the LORD’s”

My thoughts:

We had this discussion in a Bible study I attended not long ago. When we do some work for the Lord and people say “Thank you” or they speak words of encouragement over us we feel compelled to tell them to thank the Lord instead or remind them that it is all glory to God. While this is very true and we should always remember that it is the Lord’s work and He is the one that calls us and enables us to do it, we also need to be able to accept gratitude and encouragement with a grateful heart. Accepting a thank you or encouragement is not prideful when we realize God has sent that to us through someone else just as He sent us to do His work to others. It all goes together. Where we get into trouble is when we start doing work while expecting a thank you or gratitude or encouragement. We don’t work for the gratitude but for the Lord, who will, in His loving kindess, mercy, and grace, send us gratitude because He loves us. He can also remove it when we start doing His work with the wrong heart. He is a good Shepherd, after all, and will not let us stray far if we always recognize His correction. And we will when we seek the kingdom first.

So, just to make things easier when I want to thank or encourage someone the Spirit as led me to Philippians 1:3:

“I thank my God every time I remember you.”

For all of you out there doing God’s work; I thank God for you. I thank you for being so obedient and bringing His love to the world. Thank you for making yourself available to Him and answering His call with “Here am I, Lord, send me.” It is not an easy task but the most worthwhile task. Be strong and of good courage for the Lord goes before you. He will not fail you nor forsake you. Fear not and do not be discouraged. God loves you and so do I. ❤️

Shame repeats itself

I read something in my Bible study today that hit home:

What you have shame over you will repeat.

Wow. So true! I have never thought of it that way, but when I think about sins that have been overcome and ones that still hang around I can certainly see the difference.

For example, getting drunk is not a struggle for me anymore. I have little to no desire to drink anymore, much more get drunk. I dont like my past behavior from that sin but I dont hold on to any shame over it. I never held any shame over it honestly. I never hid away to drink on my own. I was always pretty public about it. But then I started feeling conviction over it, I repented, that was that. I was done with drinking.

An example for the flip side, overeatting is still the struggle. I hold tons of shame on that one. For as long as I can remember my weight and how I ate held all my value. I have always eaten in secret. I would not dare have a binge session in front of someone unless they was binging with me. Even still, I would be ashamed and throughly convinced that I binged worse than they did. I would hide food wrappers and go buy more cookies to replace the cookies I ate.

I have lost weight a few times but that shame has never left so guess what would happen? Yep, what I held shame over was bound to return. Actually, it never left. I had just caged it like a wild animal while holding the gate closed til I was too wore out to hold it anymore. The last time I lost weight I swore that was it! Never again would I gain! Then week after week i watched the scale creep back up in horror. I felt like Job when he said “For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, And what I dreaded has happened to me.” (Job 3:25) I drowned in my shame and did all I could to hide the weight gain. And hide my sin.

Now, I can put blame in all sorts of places on why I assigned weight and eating so much value but that does no good. All that matters is seeing the lie in it and releasing the shame so I can be healed and move on. It may seem counterintuitive to say that overeating being revealed as sin has helped release the shame. But it has. I know what to do with sin and I know sin requires a heart change that can only come from God. I know holding it in the light of God’s love and glory will keep it out of the dark. I know accepting even this as a forgiven sin will drive away the shame.

Realizing just how much shame I have been holding onto amazes me. It amazes me that I was not able to see that before today. I am so thankful for the wisdom God reveals to us when we seek it. This is what we use as our weapon. God’s truth against the lies that come to kill and destroy. His word is our rod of correction that saves us and changes us!

I have many other examples I could give but I think you see the point. Shame keeps sin in the darkness. It keeps us from going to the cross to be washed clean. It makes us say what Peter said to Jesus when He went to wash His feet. “No, Jesus, my feet are too dirty. You will never wash my feet.” That wasnt being humble that was being full of shame. Jesus replied to him that if he doesnt let Him wash his feet then He will not be part of Him. That made Peter drop that pride filled shame and exclaim “Then wash all of me!” (John 13:1-17)

You see how shame was going to keep Peter from being washed by Jesus? Do you see how shame is actually a form of pride?

Shame says “I havent done anything to deserve to be washed clean of this. I havent worked hard enough or behaved well enough. So i need to work harder and behave better then I will be worthy! I can make myself worthy and if I dont then I need to be ashamed of myself!” Well hello shame filled pride!

Jesus tells us that no one has or ever will be able to work their way to forgiveness. We will never earn our way to be called His friend. And if we dont come to the cross believing in what He did for us and humbly accept a washing we dont deserve then He will never know us as friend.

He did the work. It is finished. There is a path directly to the heart of the Father and Jesus is the only way. He is our freedom from shame. From pride. From sin. Wont you be washed today?

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

Be humble. Be kind.

Humility. Be humble. Be kind. God does not call us to be prideful. He does not call one to be more than the other. He calls us to be humble and serve one another. Oh, the problems we could avoid if we would all just be humble and serve. God sent His son not as a king riding in on a stallion. Although, that’s what He deserved. He sent His son to this world as a baby that grew to a man riding a donkey. This Man saved our souls in the worst way possible and He rode in on a donkey. He served His people. He washed the feet of His disciples although it was close to the hour of His tortured death. He lived. He died. He lived again. All the while humble. Kind. And not a pride filled bone in His body. Jesus was here not just to save our souls but to give us a living, breathing example of how we are to carry out the words of His Father. So, before we make our next social media post ask yourself….am I humble? Am I kind? Does this show love for my neighbor? Or is this feeding my pride? Is this trying to make a point that I am right and you are wrong? You want to be a part of the change? Make the decision today to walk with Jesus. Live like Jesus. Let Him change YOU. Jesus is right. His way is right. Amen.