I’m literally the WORST at compliments especially if it has anything to do with God. I’ve been told I’m anointed, heavenly minded, Godly, and have a great connection with the Lord. It’s great encouragement coming from others, but I know God looks at the heart. And when I look at my heart, I feel like replying to those people who are saying good things about me with, “You’re lying. You don’t even know what’s going on in my head.”
I want to deny, deny, deny, EVEN THOUGH everything I’ve been told by people, I have already been told by God through His word. We were all told the same thing: we were made in His perfect image, that we have a Christ-like mind, and we are without fault in His eyes because of His son. So why is it that we can still feel so ashamed to raise our hands during a church service because we made a mistake that day? Why is it we feel unqualified to walk through those church doors?
We feel the need to hide from God when satan comes our way making us feel inferior. Adam and Eve did it when they ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:8). Moses did it in Exodus when he killed an Egyptian for beating his own people. It says in Exodus 3:14, “Moses was AFRAID and thought, ‘Now everyone knows what I did.’”
Have you ever done something you’re not supposed to do or said something you shouldn’t have said, walked into a room full of complete strangers, and felt like EVERYONE knew what you did? Yeah. Moses that’s a bit dramatic. Not EVERYONE will know what you did. But he was still so scared! He ran away from his home and lived in the Midian land.
I have run away before in my mind, too. I wouldn’t come to God for anything. I tried to do life on my own. But God has remained the same since the beginning of time.
Do you know what God did after Adam and Eve sinned and hid from Him? It says this in Genesis 3:9, “But the Lord God CALLED to the man and said, ‘WHERE ARE YOU?’”
WHERE ARE YOU?
That’s what God asks me when I get lost from running so far. He calls out, “Where are you?” It’s not as if He doesn’t know where I am, but He knows that those words cause me to look around and realize that I don’t know. I have NO CLUE where I am. Then I come back and remember why everyone always says, “It’s not about you.”
I’ve been told that the more you focus on yourself, the more you find things that need fixing, and it’s so very true. If at any point in time I have felt not good enough to raise my hands in the air because I love God is because I wasn’t focusing on Him. I was focusing on myself.
I just said that I would raise my hands in the air BECAUSE I LOVE GOD. I'm not raising my hands because I gave more than 10% that morning. It’s not because I read my bible every day that week. It is because I love God, but sometimes I just forget why I CAN raise my hands.
In previous posts, I’ve talked a lot about Exodus, and this one is no different. (Please read it. It’s good!) I came across this verse, Exodus 10:9, where Moses is telling the king who will go to worship the Lord, “We will go with our young and old people, our sons and daughters, and our flocks and herds, BECAUSE we are going to have a feast TO HONOR THE LORD.”
I thought about how it doesn’t say “the ones who have the most faith” or “the ones who resist sin the most.” It says the young, the old, the sons, and the daughters which I think pretty much covers everyone. EVERYONE. I also thought about how it doesn’t say “because we’re perfect” or “because we sacrificed the most for God.” It says, “because we are going to have a feast to honor the Lord.”
So in other words: EVERYONE IS GOING TO WORSHIP BECAUSE OF THEIR LOVE FOR GOD.
God chose the Israelites to be saved and by God no matter what they did, who they were, or where they came from, if they were an Israelite, He was getting them out of slavery.
Today we are all chosen by God through the blood of Jesus Christ. God no longer sees our sins we’ve committed, but He sees His perfect Son written on our hearts. And NO MATTER what we’ve done, the minute we walk through those church doors on a Sunday morning, whether it’s our first time or our 100th time, He sees us all with the same eyes of love. It says this in Galatians 3:28, “Faith in Christ Jesus is what makes each of you equal with each other, whether you are a Jew or a Greek, a slave or a free person, a man or a woman.”
Worship Him for the first time or for the 100th time. Worship Him when you have good days and worship Him when you mess up. Worship Him because He loves you so much and you love Him. And THE MINUTE satan creeps in your mind making you believe you are not good enough to worship God, you tell him that’s the point!
The Word is that God is an “all or nothing” kind of guy. (;
(Did you catch the pun? I couldn’t help myself.)
It’s no secret that God wants our whole hearts. I always hear that hard truth on one of those Sunday mornings where it feels like someone told the pastor my life story. He would keep making eye contact with me, and then I end up questioning why in the world I sit so close to the front.
Pastor’s know everything.
So why is it that everytime I hear that message or read about it in the bible, I cry my eyes out, say a little prayer, and ask God to take everything that I am still holding on to out of my reach? It’s because letting go of things is hard. Like REAL hard. I have to do it daily because if not I end up holding on to so much crud in my heart I have no room for the other stuff God is trying to give me. There are no such things as half white flags or gray surrenders.
I kind of always secretly wondered why God wanted ALL of us. I thought, “God, don’t you think that’s asking for kind of A LOT? I mean I got plans dude.” However, I’m reading Exodus right now, and I found some clarity.
So far in this story, God tells Moses to go tell the king to let His people go or else. Moses tells the king, the king doesn’t listen, God punishes them, the King apologizes and says he’ll let them go, the punishment stops, and then the king goes back on his promise. It’s cray cray.
After God punished Egypt with a hailstorm, the king FINALLY says (with some convincing), “Go and worship the Lord your God. But tell me who just is going?” Moses says that everyone is going-- the young, the old, the men and women, and the farm animals-- EVERYONE. In Exodus 10:11, the King says this, “No! Only the men may go and worship the Lord, which is what you have been asking for.” But God did not settle for just the men.
God wanted ALL the Israelites to go to worship Him in the desert-- not just the men. The king was willing to let the men go, however, he was still holding on to the women, children, and livestock. As long as he held on to those people and animals, the men could not go to worship God either.
God cannot fully bless even the things you are willing to let go of if you still have things you are desperately clinging on to.
For example, in my heart I find insecurities, hurt, unforgiveness, and pride. Multiple times I have let go of the insecurities and the pride and the unforgiveness, but I can’t seem to let go of that hurt that still lingers around in my heart. So on the days the hurt surfaces, unforgiveness wells up inside for the ones that hurt me. Then insecurities pour out and instantly I begin to believe every lie and insult I was given. Shame builds up another wall and pride rages making me believe I should’ve done better. I’m too good for mistakes. Have you ever believed you were too good for mistakes? I have. I’ve beaten myself UP for making a tiny mistake. Silly right?
So for me, if I don’t let go of everything, I can not live the life that God called all of us to live: free. It’s just like the king. Until he has let the men AND the women AND the children AND the livestock have a feast in the desert to worship the Lord, he will continue to be punished; even the people he is willing to let go cannot experience that worship ceremony because he is still holding on to a few others.
I’m still learning how to let go of EVERYTHING all at once. I want to experience God’s blessings in all its glory. I’m not saying God can’t bless you even when you are clinging on to some things. Believe me, I’m gripping hard yet I have been blessed abundantly. However, God can’t bless all areas of your life until all areas have been surrendered. And when you let go of the things you weren’t willing to let go of before, you will see even greater blessings in the things that have been waiting patiently for you to raise the white flag.
Have you ever had a conversation with someone that doesn't really feel like a conversation because they just keep yakking on and on and on? Or have you ever walked into school or work excited to talk to a friend of yours, but when you see them, they rush right past you in a hurry and apologize that they have no time to talk? It kind of sucks. We all have something to say. Sometimes we have too much to say and too much to do that our world becomes exactly that: ours, spinning on an axis of approaching deadlines and heavy responsibilities. And if we miss just one of those bullet points on our checklist for the day, our world will spin off into a complete opposite direction of where we wanted to go.
We miss the fact that this world isn't ours and that we should be thankful that it is not. Plans secure us for some reason, but when something doesn't go as planned, we feel we are floating in the middle of space with not even gravity telling us where to go. What we don't realize is that the control was never ours to begin with.
We jam pack our schedules, speak so there's no room for someone else to speak, and rush through life with our own little ideas. Our strategies are not new. They are stolen from a King in Egypt long ago.
In Exodus, Moses was appointed by God to free his people from slavery in Egypt. Well when Moses asked the Pharaoh to allow his people to go to the desert to worship God, this was the King's response, “Make these people work harder and keep them busy; then they will not have time to listen to the lies of Moses.”
Silence is scary. It leaves room for correction, instruction, and direction from others and from God. Having time can be scary, too. The King of Egypt knew that if the people had time to even consider what Moses was saying, the king would lose all his workers and his power.
So we're no different. We fill our lives with plans that don't matter, prayers that are asked half heartedly, and a calendar that makes us too busy for God. I have said before that I am too busy to read my bible, which I am exactly right. I am TOO busy. Way busier than God ever intended me to be.
I've learned to stop and enjoy silence. To be okay with God's voice in my life. To let go of some things. Moses did, and look where he went. He split a whole ocean, but he could only do it by the voice of God.
Prayer is a conversation, and listening in prayer is a form of sacrifice. Opening your ears instead of your mouth is a way of telling God, "Your ways, thoughts, and words are higher than mine." God loves the vulnerability that silence brings us. It pushes us farther into His love and grace. So put down the phone, say no every now and then to the world, and be willing to hear everything God has to say.