Tag: God (page 2 of 5)

5 ways to not be like Gollum

You’ve heard of Gollum, from The Lord of the Rings, right? That weasely, sneaky, under-handed nasty thief whose sole focus in life was the Ring. He didn’t start out that way. He started out as a curious, “quiet-footed” hobbit. Check out a bit of his backstory.

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Gollum’s downward gaze shaped who he became. Instead of letting his curiosity help him explore the beauties of God, he let it drive him into the dark places. Smeagol became Gollum because he didn’t “look up.”

Curiosity is a gift from God…until you let it lead you to dark places. Instead of your curiosity looking for shadows of hope and grace scattered throughout the earth, it can lead you to search in dark corners of self-pity, self-hate and loneliness. Curiosity can lead you to your sin, your “dark places.”

When your gaze is always “downward,” you’re setting yourself up for a life where you’ll be dominated by your shame, guilt, and failures. Gollum is the prototypical person who is fully aware of their “thing,” their addiction, their “thorn in the flesh,” and who has made their life, and everyone else’s, revolve around that addiction. Gollum is so marked by his addiction that his whole existence revolves around it, and like a vortex he has sucked other people into his pain.

Time to look up.

26 Look up into the heavens.
Who created all the stars?
He brings them out like an army, one after another,
calling each by its name.
Because of his great power and incomparable strength,
not a single one is missing.
27 O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles?
O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?
28 Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
29 He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
30 Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

How do you take positive steps away from your sin, and help ensure that your addiction and recovery don’t become your identity? How do you make sure you don’t consume others in your road to health? How do you ensure you’re not dominated by your guilt, shame, and fear?

6 Ways to Not Be Like Gollum

  1. Get outside. Enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. As you do, you’ll find the dark places of your heart a bit brighter. (Isaiah 40:26)
  2. Get outside. Remind yourself that there is a God…and that it’s not you. He’s all-powerful, you’re not. He knows all things…you don’t. He created the stars. You didn’t. (Isaiah 40:26-27)
  3. Exercise. There’s something healing about working strenuous, physical activity into your routine. Growing physically weak reminds us that God’s strength is perfect. (Isaiah 40:29)
  4. Serve someone else. Gollum served, and only thought about, himself. If you want to get out of your rut, do something for someone else, in a way that your favor can’t be “returned” back to you. Make life not about you.
  5. Remind yourself of the times that God has loved you and breathed hope into your story. (Isaiah 40:27)
  6. Trust in the Lord. (Isaiah 40:31) Easier said than done, though. Which is why you can’t do this on your own. Everything else can be done, just between you and God. But trusting in the Lord is too difficult to try to do by yourself. Bring someone else into your journey, and give them the freedom to speak hard, life-giving Truth into your story. 
Ready to grow in your faith? Time to look up.
 

A trick that the best leaders do

It was the last inning of the final game of the 14-year-old travel team tournament I was playing in. We were in Murray, KY, squaring off against the home town heroes. The two guys in front of me struck out looking, frozen by the ace that the other team had brought in to close out the tournament.

I remember the look from my coach as I walked up to the plate with two outs. The look that said, “Dang it. Reed is up. I guess this tournament is over for us.” That look just made me mad. So mad that I whiffed on the first two heaters he painted on the outside corner. 0-2 count. Nobody knew it right then, not even the pitcher, but I had this guy’s number. I had him dialed in. He came in on me with a low fastball, and when he did, it was like the whole world slowed down for a moment. I felt like I could see the ball like I’d never seen it before. Instead of throwing me a heater on the inside corner, it was like he was lobbing me a softball. The buzz of the crowd went away, the fielders disappeared, and it was just me and the ball. It was like I was in the matrix for a moment. I turned on it, ripping it to the left field wall, knocking in the tying run.

Boom. Take that, coach. And other team.

Have you ever had those kinds of moments, where everything around you is going crazy, but you are so laser focused that time seems to slow?

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image credit: CreationSwap user Amber Sprung, edits mine

The leadership zone

The best leaders work like that, navigating stressful and crushing situations with ease. They have a calming sense about them, too, bringing other people into their zone and helping them calm down.

Helping crazy moments seem a little less crazy.

Helping chaos seem like a smooth Sunday afternoon ride.

Helping confusion seem like an evening in the recliner.

Here is the reality: even in these “zone” moments, things aren’t calm. They aren’t clear. But great leaders help others feel that way, as they constantly, through their words and actions in the heat of the moment, cast the vision that says,

“We’re going to be just fine. Hang on. Here’s where we’re going.”

They paint a picture that isn’t satisfied with the reality in front of them, but is looking forward to that day when things will be calm.

Ron Edmondson is especially adept at this. I can’t tell you how many times I stepped into his office at Grace, stressed and confused, only to walk out thinking, “Why in the world did I ever doubt?”

Here’s the trick that the best leaders do:

Act calm.

Even if you aren’t. Even if you don’t know which direction you should go next. Even if you are frustrated, up-tight, and confused. Take a deep breath, and help others to do the same. If you lose your cool complaining and crying, you only exacerbate an already stress-inducing environment.

As the old adage goes, fake it until you make it.

But that’s just lying, Ben!

Maybe.

Or maybe your words and actions can be deeply rooted in a faith that trusts that no matter what happens, God’s not shaken. God’s in control. He calls the shots, not us. And even if we fail, God works out all things for our good. Stress tends to bring out the best, and the worst, in people. Let it bring out your deep trust in a good King.

Next time chaos and confusion strikes a meeting, an event, or a relationship, act calm. Remind people who’s really in control. Take a deep breath. And move forward.

 

 

Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God

My friend, Margaret Feinberg [www.margaretfeinberg.com], has a new book and 7-session DVD Bible study called Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God [www.margaretfeinberg.com/wonderstruck] (releasing Christmas Day). She describes it as “a personal invitation for you to toss back the covers, climb out of bed, and drink in the fullness of life.” I say that as long as that drink is coffee, we’re good. 🙂

I’ve enjoyed Margaret’s stuff. She has a way of writing that captures my head and my heart. That stirs me to love God, and the beauty He possesses, unlike most present-day writers. Margaret has a way of crafting language that can help you fall in love with your King all over again. In this book, she succeeds at helping you see the wonder of God in your own story.

Wonderstruck Cover Art Image

I recently received the insider’s scoop about Margaret’s new book. Here are some highlights from the interview:

Where did the inspiration for the Wonderstruck book and Bible study come from? 

Have you ever had one of those seasons where everything goes wrong, and when you think it can’t get worse, it somehow finds a way? My husband, Leif, and I had just gone through one of the roughest years of our lives. In the aftermath, as we processed the pain and loss, I had an unexplainable desire in my heart. I began praying for the wonder of God. In essence, I said, “God reveal yourself, your whole self to me. I want to know you as Wonderful. I want to know you as I’ve never known you before and see you in places I’ve never recognized you before.” God did not disappoint. 

What do you mean by “the wonder of God”? 

Sometimes talking or writing about wonder feels like tying kite strings to clouds. It’s ethereal, and you can never quite get a grip on it. But if you look in the dictionary, the two main definitions of wonder are: “being filled with admiration, amazement, or awe” and “to think or speculate curiously.” 

Those definitions come together beautifully in our relationship with God. That’s why I define the wonder of God as those moments of spiritual awakening that create a desire to know God more.

In other words, the wonder of God isn’t about an emotional experience or having some cool story to tell your friends, but the wonder of God makes us want more of God—to go deeper and further than we’ve ever been before. 

Why do you think we so easily lose the wonder? 

It’s amazing how quickly we can grow numb to the wonder of God in our lives. I think there are a variety of reasons. Paying bills. Getting that degree. Providing for a family. Raising kids. Caring for aging parents. The list goes on. 

All too often we find ourselves head down, pushing ahead, just trying to get through. Somewhere along the way, a gap begins to develop between God and us. A drifting takes place. We’re not only less aware of God’s presence in our lives, we’re less expectant. And so even when God does show up, we miss him. We pass by unaware. We’re spiritually asleep and we don’t even know it. 

Yet I believe that as followers of Jesus we’re meant to live wonderstruck. We’re invited to live on the edge of our seats in wild expectation of what God might do next. I want to live with this kind of divine expectation, that wide awake spiritual hunger, searching for God in how ever he may want to reveal himself. 

Why you do you encourage people to pray for wonder? 

This is an incredibly powerful prayer, because praying for wonder invites us to change the posture with which we live our lives. When we pray for wonder, we’re asking God to expand our capacity to see and savor the divine gifts all around and take us deeper in our journey with Christ and in the Scripture than we’ve ever been. A prayer for wonder essentially says, “God, I want more of you! Take my breath away!” And leaves us living expectant for how God will answer.  

What do you hope people will gain from the Wonderstruck book and Bible study?

My hope is that you will be awakened to the imminent presence of God in your life. We do not serve a God who is far off, but One who is near, ever present, and intimately involved in the most minute details of our lives. I think we can so easily forget this. 

So my prayer has been that you will begin seeing God in unexpected ways right in the midst of your routine, that your passion for God will be reignited, and you’ll find the Scripture coming alive in a whole new way. 

Follow Margaret’s snarky, funny, and inspirational posts on Twitter [www.twitter.com/mafeinberg], Facebook [www.facebook.com/margaretfeinberg], or her blog [www.margaretfeinberg.com]. You can learn more about this great book by visiting www.margaretfeinberg.com/wonderstruck where she’s offering some crazy promos right now with up to $300 of free stuff.You can snag it for $7.95 ($14.99 retail) on Barnes & Noble [http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wonder-struck-margaret-feinberg/1110904808?ean=9781617950889] if you like to get good things on the cheap. If you don’t, go ahead and buy it for full price at your local bookstore.

 

27 things I’m thankful for

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image credit: CreationSwap user Rich Aguilar

This has been a tough year for us. Transitioning churches, cities, and completely overhauling our relationships has been a tough row to hoe. And we wouldn’t have made it but for the grace of God. We’ve found that God’s grace often comes packaged as friends. And occasionally coffee. 🙂

27 Things I’m Thankful for

1. God’s not done with me yet.

2. God’s grace is still for me, not just for everyone else.

3. My wife loves me, and still puts up with me. 🙂

4. My son’s an adventurer. I don’t have to teach him to live dangerously and take risks. I don’t have to push him be a boy. He does it naturally.

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Rex & the crab

5. I’m in a healthy, growing, vibrant church that’s open to change.

6. My job is challenging. Nothing worse than being in a mundane job where you coast and aren’t needed.

7. Our house will be done soon. We’re living with my in-laws. It’s awesome, but I’m excited about our the project coming together. Here’s what we’ve got now:

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our lot

 

8. My coffee station. It’s the little things, right?

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my office coffee station

9. That I don’t have to put up with cats. But you already knew that. Again, the little things. 🙂

10. To be in a job that I enjoy.

11. To serve on staff with a leader that I enjoy. Thanks Derek.

12. The burgeoning small groups team. We’re small, but scrappy. 🙂 thanks Micha!

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13. The staff that has supported us in great ways. Especially Nick and Parker. And Calvin and Erica. Oh yeah, and Eric. Tony. Cyndi. Jason. Nate. Bill. The Dybas. Rog. Angie. Jeff. J Lo. Jeff. LT. Robyn. Lynne. Shannon. Brian. Shane. The Lamberths. Amanda. Todd. Henry. Julie. Andrew. Heck, you can see them all here.

14. The work I get to do with Steve Gladen and the Small Group Network. It’s awesome.

15. Being in a job where my gifts are maximized and my heart and mind are challenged. I know I kind of said that already, but I’m super thankful. So it bears repeating.

16. The countless small group leaders that have made it a point to encourage me in this transition.

17. Our family, that we’re living with. They’re so gracious.

18. My family, who has been so supportive of the craziness that has been our life over the past few months.

19. Grace, with whom we spent 5 amazing years.

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20. Chad & the rest of the staff team at Grace, that were incredibly gracious and supportive of us as we made the hardest move of our lives.

2!. Good friends like David and Tony and the Anthonys and the Wolfes that have come to see us in Hendersonville.

22. Guys in my life that mentor me from far off. Thanks Ron.

23. My buddies that helped me move. Thanks John, Tony, Brad, Brandon, and Byron.

24. Friends that have still stayed in touch, even though I’ve moved. Thanks Jesse, Michael, and Peter.

25. Chocolate chip pecan pie. With a piping hot cup of good coffee.

26. Our Clarksville realtor, who helped us sell our house in 3 days. Thanks Jackie.

27. Our Hendersonville realtor, who showed us that it’s possible to be patient with a young couple as they look through 50+listings…only to end up buliding something new. Thanks Jeff.

What are you thankful for? Anybody you can thank, and tag here?

 

3 Questions to Discern God’s Will

Don’t you just wish God would write His plan for you in the sky so that you’d know what He want? Don’t you just wish God would send you a Twitter message that said, “If you want to know my will, click this link: http://____. #NowGetOffTwitterAndGoDoSomething”

Knowing

image credit: CreationSwap

If we’re honest with ourselves, there’s a bit of us always looking for the easy way out. Especially when it comes to the most important decisions. If we could shorten the process, we would. It’s not a matter of trying to be disobedient or experiencing decision paralysis. It’s all about wanting to know God’s will and move forward.

But if that were how God operated, there would be no reason to have faith. We’d just know. There would be no need for trust in the midst of uncertainty, because there’d be only certainty.

God doesn’t always give us 100% clarity before a decision so that we’ll learn to trust Him. So that we’ll seek Him. So that we’ll not simply rely on our own wisdom, but we’d learn to lean in to others.

Have you ever have a decision in front of you and you’re not sure what to do?

Any life-altering, future-shaping decision has to be run through a grid. If you don’t have a framework to use when making decisions, you can find yourself way off in left field.

That’s why I have 3 questions I ask myself that have helped shape decisions I make and directions I go.

I recently had a huge life decision in front of me. Before I ever made the decision to move forward, I spent lots of time praying through these 3 questions. I worked through them with my wife. With people who knew me, knew the details of the potential move, and who understand my strengths and weaknesses.

The 3 Questions

1. Is this from Satan?

I figured out the answer to this one pretty quickly. The potential opportunity wasn’t leading me towards sin. It wasn’t leading me away from my ultimate calling in life. It wasn’t leading me to disobey clear commands in Scripture. Wasn’t leading me away from my wife and son or away from God.

This is the only question with a clear black-and-white answer.

2. Is this from my flesh?

Through this opportunity, are you only looking to make more money or serve your own interests? Are you looking to be more lazy? Are you looking for an easy way out, avoiding something you know you need to do by saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to this opportunity? If you stepped in to this, would you be going against what you know God has called you to do in your current situation? If you say no, would you be staying in your position when you know God is prompting you to leave?

This is the point where you have to be painfully introspective and honest with yourself.

3. Is this from God?

If it’s not from Satan and not from your flesh, it may just be from God. Before you make the move, though, ask yourself if this is even something you want to do. Is this a God-given desire? Could it serve others better? Could God use you in a new and fresh way? Could God have been preparing you for this move? Could God be leading you on a new, different, fresh journey?

This is the point where you must bring others’ wisdom in. Don’t try to figure out this answer alone.

With every life decision, work the grid. Don’t work through it by yourself, though! Grab a trusted friend (or two) and ask them to help you out. It’s hard to see your own blind spots.

Question:

Got any big life decisions in front of you?

 

 

If you’re stuck…

Whether you’re a dad, a store manager, a pastor, a small group leader, or a leader of any kind, if you’re stuck right now, my guess is that you’re asking the wrong questions.

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image credit: CreationSwap user Boaz Crawford

If you want to get stuck in a rut with no sight of the sun, just keep asking the same questions over and over again. If you want to move forward, start asking different questions.

Instead of “who needs to be blamed here?” ask, “What can I do about it?”

Instead of “what can I do about it?” ask, “why?”

Instead of “why,” ask “why not?”

Instead of “why not,” ask, “Do I believe God can?” (Matthew 9:28)

Instead of asking whether you believe God can, ask “when?”

Instead of “when,” ask “now”?

Instead of “now,” ask “why am I scared”? (Matthew 8:26)

Instead of asking why you’re scared, ask, “Me?” (Isaiah 6:8)

Instead of “Me”, ask “who else”?

Instead of “who else,” ask “who can I serve?”

Instead of asking who you can serve, ask, “What needs to be tweaked?”

Instead of asking what needs to be tweaked, ask, “What needs to be done away with?

Instead of asking what needs to be done away with, ask “What if we had no resources?”

Instead of asking what you’d do if you had no resources, ask, “Am I being faithful with the little things in front of me?” (Luke 16:10)

Instead of asking if you’re being faithful, ask, “What would happen if we compiled every resource available to pull this off?”

Instead of that, ask, “Is this important enough to put significant financial, emotional, spiritual, and physical resources into?”

If it’s not, then stop what you’re doing. You’re asking the wrong question completely. Here’s where you need to start:

“What should I spend my life doing?”

You have a tweak on a traditional question we should be chewing on?

 

 

The good news about your frustrations

Golden children who lives a perfectly clean, easy, pain-free, frustration-free life don’t die a hero.

Heroes are born on the battlefields of life.

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image credit: CreationSwap user Chris Vasquez

The best stories always involve pain, and conflict, and heartache, and failures, and then victories.

Without the sting of failure, you can’t understand the sweetness of victory.

Without the gut-wrench of pain, you can’t understand the beauty of love.

Without stumbling flat on your face, you can’t understand grace.

God’s willing to breathe hope and life and beauty into your frustrating story if you’ll ask.

our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. – 1 Corinthians 4:17

 

Beautiful scars

I tore my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament…in other words, I broke my knee) in high school. As a senior, I had to go to prom and graduation hobbling around on crutches…just how I’d always dreamed.

ACL reconstructive surgery, then 6 more weeks of crutches and therapy later, I’m left with a scar. 3 scars, to be exact. They stand out on my right knee as reminders of that painful injury.

And they’ll never go away.

image credit: CreationSwap User Jaret Benson, edits mine

No matter how much I pray, how much I wish them to, or how much vitamin E oil I put on them, they’re stuck on my knee for good as a permanent testimony and constant reminder of that injury, the surgery, and the pain associated with it all.

The most embarrassing part of the scars, though, isn’t the scars themselves. It’s how I tore my ACL. But that’s another post for another day. 🙂 I just keep telling myself that chicks dig scars. That’s still a thing, right?

Scars of a Different Kind

Lots of us, though, carry scars from different injuries. Scars not from a physical accident, but from pain of a different kind. Pain from broken relationships, broken dreams, unrealized potentials. Some have been the product of our own bad choices. Others have been forced on us without our consent. Our scars remind us constantly that we have been injured, marked, and forever changed. Behind the scars lie the most horrific events in our lives. The scar is the outward-facing result of pain we wish had never happened.

We try to hide those scars, but a pair of pants and a long-sleeved shirt won’t do the trick. So we hide behind beautiful masks, thinking nobody will notice. But they don’t go away, do they? We begin to look at the scars not as battle wounds we can be proud of, but as a mark of disgrace that spreads to the inner fibers of who we are and of the story God has thrust upon us. A reminder that life’s not fair, not easy, and that even our own stories are broken.

A deeper reality

Do you know what scars really represent, though?

Healing.

They represent that an injury is gone. You’re forever marked, but not plagued by a constantly open wound. The wound scabbed over, then scarred. It leaves you looking different, but healed.

Scars represent healing from a traumatic event. They remind us that though life was seemingly unbearable, God has mended the wound, reminding you constantly of the healing that happened.

Look at your scar as a disgrace if you’d like. As an ugly part of you that everybody stares at, questions, and judges you for.

Or embrace that as part of your story. As part of your healing and restoration. As a unique piece of your journey that God intends to use to heal others.

Life-Changing Scars

Scars will change your life, if you’ll let them. It’s someone Else’s scar that will bring you ultimate healing (Isaiah 53:5), and your own scar, as tarnished and sensitive as it may be, that God can use to speak hope into someone else’s. (2 Corinthians 1:3-7)

Life leaves us with ugly scars that stand out, occasionally still hurt, and attract attention.

But scars are a symbol of healing and the restoration that only God can bring.

 

 

Roots, Fruits, & Getting it Right

I’ve made it no secret that I’m loving me some amateur gardening. My wife and I have tinkered with raised bed gardens now for a few years. We’ve moved the garden, planted different vegetables, started from seeds, started from plants, experimented with fertilizers, sprayed for deer, thrown oranges at deer (and hit them, thank you very much), and had a blast doing it.

But do you know one thing that’s never happened?

We’ve never had a plant that shot its roots towards the sky and its fruit down into the ground.

We’ve never had to say,

Aww shucks (because that’s what gardeners say…), this plant got it wrong…we need to dig it up and turn it over.

Wouldn’t it be weird to see roots growing towards the sky? To have to dig into the ground to get your fresh tomatoes? To wonder, when you planted your squash, whether the plants would guess, correctly or incorrectly, which direction was “up” and which was “down”?

Plants grow the “right” way because God intended them to grow that way. Science may have pinpointed the reason why this happens, but that doesn’t discount the hand of God to sovereignly direct things for His good and our benefit.

The crazy plant

I wonder how often a plant questions its Maker, though.

Wow, how great would it be for me to do things my way? I so hate growing towards the sun. If I could only sink my flowers down deep into this dark soil, things would be much better.

Ridiculous, no? We all know that that won’t work. Roots have to go into the soil. Fruit grows in the sun. (well…unless you’re a potato. But that’s another post for another day) It doesn’t work if this process is reversed. It’s not how plants are supposed to function.

We’re like a crazy plant

We do the same thing, though, in our lives, when we think we know better than God. We ignore the full life that God offers us. We go at life our own way, ignoring the wisdom God offers through others, through Scripture, and through life experiences. We think that we must know better. That our way must be the best. That roots don’t grow deep into the soil. That our roots need a bit of sunshine, and our fruit a bit of darkness.

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. (Proverbs 14:12)

But life doesn’t always happen as we’d like it to, does it? What we thought would happen by the time we turn 25 hasn’t. We’re not married. Or we don’t have children. Or we’re not in our dream job yet. Or we don’t have a house. Or we don’t have much money. Or we haven’t finished our degree. Or our dad still doesn’t want a relationship with us. By 40, our kids don’t like us. We’re on our 3rd marriage. Still in debt. Still have a dead-end job. Maybe life has left us trashed.

And life itself has stopped making sense.

If God is who He’s claimed He is, our natural inclination would be to accuse, blame, and turn our backs on the One who has created it all.

But let me challenge you with a better way. I think it’s time to trust the Guy who knew us before He crafted us in the womb (Psalm 139:13-16). Who knew what He was doing before we were born.

Even when it doesn’t make sense. Even when things are chaotic. Even when things are falling apart.

The One who created all of this knows what’s best. His perspective is bigger than ours. His ways are higher than ours. (Isaiah 55:8-9) His love is deeper than ours. His joy is more full than ours. And He’s able to bring beauty out of ashes. (Isaiah 61:3)

Choose to scream and rail and throw your hands in the air if you’d like.

Or choose to let your roots sink deeper…and let your fruit grow upwards.

 

 

The #1 way to fight insecurity

Moses is one of my favorite heroes in the Bible. Partly because of the danger surrounding the time of his birth. Partly because he was an amazing leader. Partly because he got to part an entire sea.

 

The Delivery of Israel & the Red Sea, 1825, Francis Danby

But mainly because I love how real Moses appears. You get to see Moses’ humanity throughout his story. The fact that he’s weak, doubts his call, and still messes up gives me loads of hope that God could use me despite my weaknesses, doubts, and failures.

God called Moses to lead the oppressed Israelites to freedom from their bondage to Egypt, and Moses doubted whether this would work. After all, he was just Moses. And Pharaoh was the most powerful man in the world.

In Exodus 4, so God could prove to Moses that He is who He says He is, God asks Moses to throw his shepherd’s staff on the ground. When he does, it turns into a snake. He then asks Moses to pick it up by the tail. Not the head. The tail. (For the record, I have some level of faith…but if you ask me to pick up a snake by the tail, I’m out. Call someone else.)

Moses picks it up, then God tells him to put his hand into his cloak. When Moses pulls his hand out, it’s leprous. God instructs Moses to put his hand back in his cloak, and when Moses pulls it out, his hand has returned to normal.

Cool story, no? Crazy miracles, no? Moses had seen two miracles, right before his eyes, but still responded with this:

“O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” – Exodus 4:10

Sticks turning to snakes. Hands being turned all crazy. And Moses still doubted? Doubted that God could use his bumbling mouth to lead a people to freedom? Doubted that God could do what He said He’d do? Doubted God would come through for him?

Yep. Moses listened to the voice of insecurity.

Because Moses thought he was still operating in his own power.

Insecurity does a great job highlighting weaknesses and isolating you from Truth. Moses was weak, and on his own, he would surely fail. Before the most powerful man in the world, Moses would just curl up into the corner and cry, being constantly reminded of how weak and “unusable” he was.

Good thing for Moses, though, he wasn’t going alone. He was simply a mouthpiece for the living God.

We are Moses

We’re no different than Moses.

We see miracles all around us. We see God healing people (often through medicine). We see God reconciling marriages. We see addictions broken. Hearts far from God turning back to Him. Sons returning home. Fathers owning their responsibilities. Mothers selflessly giving of themselves. Walls coming down.

We even see God using us to bring about change in others. We see God working miracles in our own lives.

Great miracles.

But we doubt. We wonder how God could ever use us. Just like Moses did. We feed our insecurities and doubts, relying on our own strengths. We remind ourselves that we’re

  • weak
  • scared
  • busy
  • tired
  • funny looking
  • dumb
  • failure
  • wounded
  • ugly
  • hopeless
  • addicted
  • lazy
  • bitter
  • worn out
  • shameful
  • too messy
  • still in process

So how could God ever use us?

Because God says to you:

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

It’s not about your strength and your gifts and your ability to lead. It’s about you trusting God to do what only He can do.

Your insecurities are a chance for God to show off through you. To remind you that it’s not about you.

Ready to fight doubt? Ready to defeat insecurity?

Take a step of risky faith.

And listen to the voice of God, not men.

 

 
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