Thank you, God for sending your son to die on the cross so that I could be set free from my sins. Thank you for raising your son so that I could have new life. Thank you for being almighty and yet still approachable. Thank you for listening to my wishes, my complaints, praises, and questions. Thank you for accepting me and loving me and desiring to spend time with me. I love that I can go to you as a father and friend. Thank you for removing the veil so that I could have access to you wherever and whenever. Thank you for Jesus.
Everyone struggles, but it’s how we process with God that makes all the difference.
I’ve been reading through Numbers these days. It has not been an easy read. Sometimes I listen to the audio Bible while reading to keep my attention. (If you haven’t done this before, you should try it. With the app that I have you can tell that the narrator has been trained in the-a-tre. Keeps things interesting.) In between all the different details, something did catch my attention.
So check this out. In Numbers 12 Miriam and Aaron start badmouthing Moses and complaining saying, ‘Has the LORD indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?'(v.3, ESV) It looks like they are undermining Moses’ authority, accusing him of being proud, and perhaps a little jealous over his relationship with God. And the next thing that happens is incredible. God tells the siblings to come out to the tent of meeting and defends Moses. He says, ‘Hear my words. If there is a prophet among you, I the LORD make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream. Not so with my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house. With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?’ (v. 6-8, ESV) Imagine you were Moses and God did this for you. I’d be 1. scared and a little freaked out and 2. feeling pretty good about myself. The creator of the universe defending your reputation is pretty sick (the good kind).
I keep thinking about what this looked like and how Moses must have felt. I want a God and Mo relationship — to speak and hear from God clearly and to live in a manner that is pleasing to Him, so much so that He will defend my reputation.
Our church has been going through a sermon series on worship these past few weeks. To go along with our series on worship, our services have been a little out of the ordinary and more free flowing. A communion table in the front, a sandbox where we can write our sins and then erase them, a prayer wall, offering baskets in the back, and an art wall. I absolutely loved these past few weeks because I was able to connect with God in ways that I normally don’t on Sundays. And hey, sometimes I like to be outside of the box, or pews in this case. My favorite station was one that was only set up last Sunday. This station had buckets filled with perfume, small glasses on the side, and vases in the middle. As we felt led, we could go and fill those glasses and then pour the perfume in a vase. I was immediately drawn to this. You can probably guess where this idea came from. It’s from the story where the woman takes her alabaster jar and pours out the perfume on Jesus’ head. I filled up my cup to the brim and poured in all the perfume.
In Louie Giglio’s book, “The Air I Breathe,” he writes about how everyone worships something. It doesn’t matter if you are religious or not. And how do you know what you worship? He goes on to say, “You simply follow the trail of your time, your affection, your energy, your money, and your loyalty. At the end of your trail you’ll find a throne; and whatever, or whomever, is on that throne is what’s of highest value to you. On that throne is what you worship.”
The woman with the alabaster jar valued Jesus, to the point where she poured out her most treasured possession to worship Him. The throne of Jesus was at the end of her trail. What’s at the end of yours?Last night I posed this question to the ladies in my life group. It’s a question I’ve been asking myself and I hope it’s one that keeps me on track to put into perspective what I value.
Sleeping over at my grandma’s apartment has gotten better. For a long time I tried to “keep it together” by choosing to do the right thing and convincing myself that I needed to be mature but once I sat down and processed my feelings, something in me broke. A tightness that I had felt in my chest disappeared. When I was able to articulate how I felt, I was able to love and care for my grandma more wholeheartedly. Sleeping over has not gotten easier, but I feel that my love for her has grown.
I’m not saying that we should throw out obedience and only do things out of our emotions. That would be a mess. I think the two go hand in hand. I wouldn’t have gotten to a place of breakthrough if I didn’t follow through with my commitment.
There are times when I feel stuck in my relationship with God and in these moments I’m honest with God but I’m not good at the other stuff like responsibility and obedience. I fall into the trap of thinking, If I’m honest with God that I don’t want to worship, pray, or read the Bible, then I’m okay because God and I are super tight and I’m sure He appreciates my honesty. He might appreciate my honesty, but that is not the end-all-goal. It’s in moments when we obey even when we don’t feel like doing it that God brings breakthrough, and in the breakthrough we draw closer to God. But on the flip side, when we do things only out of obligation, we will not only create a distance between our hearts and our minds, but with God and ourselves. The end-all-goal is not obedience or honesty. I’m learning that the goal is that we would know God more intimately and love Him more deeply as we cultivate a lifestyle of obedience and transparency before Him.