Posts tagged ‘Israelites’

I Don’t Get It! How Can God Use ME??

The Israelites never cease to amaze me.  They were the chosen people of God Almighty.  He spoke directly to them, and performed one incredible miracle after another to, through, for them.  He demonstrated His power time and again, and showered them with blessings.  God Himself gave them the best land, a land filled with milk and honey.  He defeated their enemies on countless occasions.  He was actually present with them in a tangible form (in a pillar of cloud, a pillar of fire, and on the seat of the ark of the covenant).  Yet, over and over and over again, they rejected Him.  They refused to obey God’s commands.  They worshiped false gods.  How in the world could they turn from the presence of the God who communicated directly to them, whom they could see was alive and well and all-powerful, to worshiping a chunk of metal or rock?  I don’t get it!

Still God used them to bless the entire earth!  He used this group of ungrateful, back-stabbing, faithless people to send the Messiah, the Savior for all, to this sinful world.

While I ponder this miracle, I see a reflection…an image that looks all too much like the Israelites…me.  My life is a mess.  Oh, I don’t mean that my marriage is on the rocks and my children are all out carousing and getting in trouble.  I mean I’m a sinner!  I am selfish.  I have a quick temper.  I am impatient.  I can be judgmental.  I falsely accuse.  I fight my attitude all the time.  The list goes on.  Yet somehow, in an amazing miraculous way, God has chosen me as a vessel.  He shares His messages through me, the pen in His hand.  I don’t get it!

I am so grateful that “God does not see the same way people see.  People look at the outside of a person, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7b).  Thank God He knows my heart!  Thank God he knows the depth of my desire to serve Him!  Thank God He understands that I am a sinner, saved by His grace!

Unfortunately, people don’t know my heart.  They see the outside.  They see the mistakes I make.  They see the sinful me.  And I am certain that it is far too easy to believe that I cannot possible be used by God, after all, look how frustrated and impatient she is with her children when they are goofing off in church, or messing around in the store.  Look at how she lost her temper with that teacher when something happened to her child at school.  They can’t imagine how God can use me.  They don’t get it.

But God is using me.  I don’t deserve to be used of God!  I know that all too well.  But I want to obey Him, more than anything.  And so I keep struggling through everyday life, making mistakes, committing sins and seeking forgiveness…and remaining open to the leading of the Holy Spirit in my life.

I know that I need to look different.  My witness, and God’s message, are tarnished by my sinfulness.  I must seek to serve Him, and obey Him in every area of my life, not just my calling.  Titus 3:1-2 (NCV) – “Remind the believers to yield to the authority of rulers and government leaders, to obey them, to be ready to do good, to speak no evil about anyone, to live in peace, and to be gentle and polite to all people.”

I am so thankful that God knows my imperfections, and that His work is not complete in me…it won’t be until the day Christ returns.  I can’t expect perfection from myself, or anyone else, for that reason alone.

If you believe God can’t use you because of your sin, you are wrong.  Remember that all things are possible with God.  Just ask Him to use you, be open to His leading, and be obedient to His call.  Being used by God is not up to you, or your abilities.  It is up to God and His abilities.  You, my friend, are an open slate!  Rejoice in that!!!

If you are obeying God’s call, as I am, and think your sins shout “hypocrisy” from the highest mountain, don’t quit.  Don’t give up.  Do work on it!  The Bible tells us in many places the kind of behavior we should exhibit as followers of Christ.  We must work to look and behave differently.  We will fail.  Get used to it.  But, by the grace of God, our failures will be less and less.  Do not lose hope because the Spirit will help us…we just need to listen, and obey.

If you are a person standing at the foot of the mountain and hearing the cry of “hypocrisy,” be discerning.  Remember how God used the Israelites (and so many other flawed and sinful people in the Bible).  Listen to the message.  Weigh it against the Word of God and pray for God to reveal His truths to you.  Remember that the message, the lesson, whatever it is that is coming to you through another person, perfect and holy or not, comes from the Holy Spirit, not the person.  Look past their failures, and look to what God wants you to know.

“I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene, and wonder how He could love me, a sinner, condemned, unclean.  How marvelous!  How wonderful!  And my song shall ever be:  How marvelous!  How wonderful is my Savior’s love for me!”

A Fly Landed on My Coffee Cup!

I shushed it away!  The fly.  But it came back, and it kept landing right on the spot I was drinking from.  Yuck!!  Flies are so filthy.  I rubbed the spot off with a napkin, probably in vain.  I should have just squashed it, but I honestly didn’t want to take the time to do it.  The fly was nothing more to me than a pesky annoyance, and I wanted nothing more to do with it other than to move it away from me.    I didn’t care if it had needs, thoughts, or feelings.  I had no interest what-so-ever in studying it to learn   more about it.  It did not matter one iota if it had 2 wings and 6 legs, or only one of each.  It was a disgusting, germ-laden, disease-carrying thing and I wanted it gone.

Do you know that God could view us much the same way?  He has the power to squash us, like I could have done to that fly.  He finds our sin as filthy and disgusting as I find the germs on that fly.  He could see us as nothing more than a pesky annoyance, and care not an iota about us.  But thankfully, gratefully, that is not who God is!

God is not going to destroy us because of our sin.  In fact, He already provided a way for us to be near Him without the filth of our sin getting in the way.  That way is through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus.

In Deuteronomy 7:7-8 (NCV)  Moses told the Israelites, “The Lord did not care for you and choose you because there were many of you–you are the smallest nation of all.  But The Lord chose you because He loved you.”  Give that a personal twist.  God has not chosen any of us because of what we can offer Him.  We are puny.  We are sinful.  We are flies.  God chose us, chose to sacrifice His Son for us, because He loves us!!!

Luke 12:7 – “But God even knows how many hairs you have on your head.  Don’t be afraid.  You are worth much more than many sparrows.”  God loves us so much, He takes the time to know all about us, down to the very number of hairs on our head!!  I don’t even know that, and it’s my head!  Although, I’ll admit to counting grey hairs on occasion:-)

This week I discovered a lump on my breast.  I typically try to spend a lot of time in prayer.  I include in that time prayers for family, friends, people I know have specific requests.  I pray for my spiritual growth.  I don’t pray for specifics for me…a new house, a new job, whatever.  I generally just leave it to God to provide as He sees fit.  When something like this happens, I don’t know what to pray.  I don’t know what to think or feel, so I stop praying.  That is what I did.  But I didn’t just not pray about my health situation, I stopped praying entirely.  I found it a real chore to voice the smallest prayer.  Not that I was angry, scared, or anything like that.  It really just is what it is.  But I don’t know how to pray for myself when it comes to something so personal.

I was so relieved when God pointed out to me that His knowing how many hairs are on my head is not just a superficial  passing curiosity about who I am.  He knows everything about me, including the thoughts and feelings that I don’t even have a handle on.  I don’t know what I am thinking and feeling, but my God loves me so much that He knows.  And even more than that, when I don’t know what to pray, His own Spirit prays in my stead.  Romans 8:26-27 – “Also, the Spirit helps us with our weakness.  We do not know how to pray as we should.  But the Spirit Himself speaks to God for us, even begs God for us with deep feelings that words cannot explain.  God can see what is in people’s hearts.  And He knows what is in the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit speaks to God for His people in the way God wants.”

What is on your heart that God cares about, and the Spirit is praying for?  Take comfort in knowing how very deep His love is for you at this very moment!!!  God bless you all!!!

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