A Day Of Reckoning 

  
Day Of Reckoning n. the time when one is called to account for one’s actions, to pay one’s debts, or to fulfill one’s promises or obligations.

Today’s download brought a double dose of the Holy Ghost! 

12 for 12 of My Fasting Experience. God is proving faithful each and every day.  

My first verse seemed strange, until I unpacked the notes in the Life Recovery Bible.

And there was an incredible hailstorm from heaven; Hailstone’s weighing a hundred pounds fell from the sky onto the people below, and they cursed God because of the terrible hail. ~ Revelations 16:21 TLB 

As sure as the coming of dawn, the day of reckoning will arrive. Those in denial tend to live as though things will continue forever just the way they are. But there is always a day of reckoning. We cannot live forever under the control of sin or in bondage to powerful addictions. There will be a day when we have to face the truth about our life. We have the choice to submit our life to God and His good plan before the bottom drops out from under us. ~Life Recovery Bible  

Yes, I agree, it is a day of reckoning for me. Although it seems daunting and I am only 1/3 of the way through my fast. I know I have to be accountable and account for my actions and pay my debt. I did not get this way over night.  

Then my second verse seemed equally as strange-
So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet and peaceful because Queen Athaliah was dead. ~2 Chronicles 23:21 TLB

It felt sort of like the Wizard of Oz here, like rejoicing because the witch is dead??? Ding Dong! 
God you will need to unpack this one some more…. 

The results of conflict are not always negative. After the overthrow of Athaliah, the people rejoiced and there was peace in Jerusalem. We should use conflicts to pinpoint the problems in our life. Then we should take steps to root them out. Hiding from conflict or denying its existence will never lead to personal growth or to victory over our dependencies. ~ Life Recovery Bible 

Now this brought some clarity, and I understood better why this was my download.
I am oh so Happy Happy Happy- especially since no 100 pound hail had to fall on me first! 

Lord, forgive me for thinking that I could just keep going in my current state of destruction and sin without facing a day of reckoning. I must be held accountable for vandalizing my temple. I know that I must pay the debt for this. I am so glad that I don’t have to do it on my own or in my own strength.  Help me to see the conflicts I face as a positive. A blessing in disguise that forces me to take better care of Your home, my heart, and my body, Your temple. Help me during this time of personal growth and give me victory over my dependencies. In Jesus’ Name. Amen 
                 ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

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A Carefree Resting Place 

  
Then my people will live in a peaceful dwelling,in secure homes, in carefree resting places. ~ Isaiah 32:18 

Carefree Resting Places
How can I find one of those places? 
Carefree and resting…..

This seems about as obtainable as visiting an all inclusive spa getaway about right now, or the Land of Oz or Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. I don’t see any of that happening. I don’t even think a place like that exists.  

Yesterday, I showed my ugly side to my kiddos. I let several things steal my peace and was just raging mad about a few things. I clearly kept hearing the Lord say- Take it to Prayer.   
But I kept going on and on and we were butting heads and I was leaving no room for any discussion because I would not listen and I even pulled the trump card of – I am the parent here and I can force yada yada yada ……
Then again the Lord said- Take it to Prayer! 

Finally after about 3/4 times. I finally shut up, apologized, and said…. Let’s pray.  

Instantly Peace. Instantly all the cares I was stressing or worrying over melted away. Instantly I felt calmer. I continued to pray and when I went to bed, I slept amazing last night! 

Not one of the cares of the day that got me all riled up kept me up and restless.  

When I read this verse today and felt like it was in no way obtainable, I felt the Lord speak to me and say- 
How can you say you do not feel like it is a obtainable place when I took you there last night once you shut up and obeyed Me and stopped raging and arguing and stressing and instead took it to Me in prayer? 

Yes, Lord, You are so right…. 

Anything that has us stirred up and crazy should be immediately taken to God in prayer. That is the key to remaining in a carefree resting place. 

Lord, forgive me for raging on in my flesh when You clearly spoke to my Spirit to take every thing to You first in prayer. Help me to be a better example to my children. Help me to make You my first resource and prayer my first reaction to every situation that leaves me unsettled or confused or hurt or disappointed. Thank You for grace and mercy and not letting me continue to disobey You. I want to always be in the carefree resting place of Your presence. Help me Lord. In Jesus’ Name. Amen
                  ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

My Abba Restores Me 

And I cry out to the Lord and He hears my petition…and He rescues me.

Oh, how life can sometimes be what you don’t want it to be!

My life is amazing. God has blessed me beyond measure, but not in the ways I would have requested. When I was 17 years old I had a liver transplant which has left me infertile. My earthly father has inflicted (intentionally at times) more hurt than love in my life. My future husband comes with his fair share of baggage…and then some that brings with it the gift of pain from his past.

Yet…
My Abba restores me.  

I had a liver transplant and now I have the chance to use my story of redemption to impact other’s to tell their stories.

My heavenly father has been more than sufficient to heal the wounds of my earthly dad….and He is still healing those wounds. Abba Father is helping me come to terms with the fact that I can’t change my Beloved’s past…

I can only pray my way through it.

When the dark days and sadness come, I feel Him calling me deeper and deeper into relationship with Him. In the darkness, He calls me to sit upon His lap and cry while He speaks to my heart His love. He restores my soul and sustains me through the pain.

Oh, how I wish things were different at times…and yet, I love exactly how my life has unfolded. He is a Good, Good Father. ~Amy T.

Warning Labels 

  
Today I got a double whammie! 
My 11 of 11 fasting experience download and God laid out some pretty amazing truths in His word. 
These truths appeared more like vital warning labels that we all need to take very serious.

He first spoke to me on standards and boundaries and how compromises can spell disaster.  

You must make no covenant with them, nor have anything to do with their gods. Don’t let them live among you! For I know that they will infect you with their sin of worshiping false gods, and that would be an utter disaster to you.”~ Exodus 23:32-33 TLB 

The temptations of life within the promised land serve as a vivid illustration of how proper standards and boundaries can be tragically forgotten. The Israelites were warned about our tendency to make a good, clean start, but then to compromise our values and goals. They were warned not to make treaties with the people of the land. They were to push them right out, replacing them with communities of their own. In recovery it is easy to make a good start, but then to compromise, allowing certain “little” practices to go on unchecked. In the end, these things will spell disaster, eroding the new life we have started to build. ~Life Recovery Bible 

My 2nd verse, God warned of the dangers of feeding on the desires of this world; That I could be starving myself spiritually!

Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love these things you show that you do not really love God; for all these worldly things, these evil desires—the craze for sex, the ambition to buy everything that appeals to you, and the pride that comes from wealth and importance—these are not from God. They are from this evil world itself. And this world is fading away, and these evil, forbidden things will go with it, but whoever keeps doing the will of God will live forever. ~1 John 2 :15-17 TLB 

We are reminded that the more we are wrapped up in this world and it’s attractions, the harder it will be to establish spiritual goals for our life. If we feed our desires for what the world offers, we starve ourselves spiritually. The best way to avoid entanglement with worldly value is to “feed” our spirit by seeking God through prayer and meditation on His word. Then we will discover His will and His help in redirecting our life. ~Life Recovery Bible 

Heavenly Father, I don’t want to compromise my standards or live without boundaries. You are a God of order, not a God of chaos. Remove me from all influences and situations that would tempt me to compromise. Don’t let me ever go unchecked. I don’t want to do anything to erode the good start and work You are doing. Please help me to feed on Your faithfulness and avoid the entanglements of worldly value so I don’t starve myself spiritually. May I feed my spirit with Your word and prayer. Thank You Lord for redirecting and restoring my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

                     ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

Thanks

  

 

Define

Thanks can be defined as an expression of gratitude or kindly or grateful thoughts.

 

Affirm

1 Thessalonians 5:18 “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 

 

Recall

This week, it happened again- I had one of those spiritual aha moments. Please note that the story I will share is a sensitive topic, so I am hoping that your judgement is abandoned and that your heart is opened. I hope that by sharing this story, you too will experience a spiritual aha moment as well.

 

This weekend I learned that a couple at my church lost their unborn child at 32 weeks. I believe they have experienced a few challenges with trying to conceive. This family has been asking GOD to allow them to have another little one and more than likely this pregnancy probably offered them hope. I would imagine they were devastated as a family to learn about their loss. I couldn’t imagine how it might feel to lose an unborn child. I could imagine; however the negative emotions experienced with a loss. During moments of loss, one might feel anxious, sadness, failure, shame, withdrawal, hurt, disappointment…

 

In all transparency, this couple is probably clueless about how their story reminded of how blessed I am. I sit here in tears thinking about my blessing. Two and a half years ago, when I realized I was going to be a single mother, I too experienced negative and sad emotions. I was so scared that I did not want to accept motherhood. Honestly after I found out I was pregnant, I did not want to become a mother. A few people were happy for me and I was miserable. I wanted to throw in the towel- I wanted to abort my child. I developed a fictitious story about how I was going to tell everyone that I lost her and I was going to move on with my life. My struggles were real!  

 

I felt pressured and confused; but I decided I would instead be grateful for her. I kept my daughter and she basically saved my life, my soul. Lereine (my daughter) helped me reprioritize all things; she helped me realign my life with the will of GOD- which is my greatest blessing.

 

The story of the family reminds me of how there are so many families waiting for blessings, healing, children, and/or mending of a broken relationship. There are so many of us that are so scared …that we will abort our blessing and gifts, abandon them, neglect them, mistreat them, and/or ignore them.  

 

I write this today to remind you that no matter what you are experiencing give GOD thanks! Please thank him and know this is his will for your life. You might not see what he has in store for your; but I challenge to thank him anyways. Trust him, he know exactly what you need.

My decision to keep my gift reminds me of how great GOD is. I am so thankful for Lereine- I am reminded that so many people are praying for gifts that sometimes do not manifest- and that sometimes GOD allows others like me to experience that same gift and or blessing. Instead of throwing the gift away; see it as your greatest blessing. I am so thankful for this spiritual aha moment and I am thankful for their story to help me share my story and I hope our story becomes your story. Be thankful!

 

Exercise:

Dear God,

Thank you so much for helping me to have grateful thoughts during life’s character building phases. Help me to see this is your will for my life and this is my opportunity for growth. Thank you so much for giving me perfect peace and rest.    

 

Commit to the challenge. I DARE you.

                      ~ Lereca Monik 

#mydearestsister #Idareyou #restoredministries #itstimeforachange #anewyou #LiveRestored 

Piece By Piece 

  
I see shattered

You see whole

I see broken

But You see beautiful

And You’re helping me to believe

You’re restoring me piece by piece

There’s nothing too dirty that You can’t make worthy

You wash me in mercy

I am clean.

Grab a hold of the message in todays Song Sunday.  

There’s nothing too dirty that God can’t make worthy.  

Let God Restore you; Piece by Piece.



         Live Restored- Mind Body & Soul
                          ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

Clean- Natalie Grant 
I see shattered

You see whole

I see broken

But You see beautiful

And You’re helping me to believe

You’re restoring me piece by piece
There’s nothing too dirty that You can’t make worthy

You wash me in mercy

I am clean.

There’s nothing too dirty that You can’t make worthy

You wash me in mercy

I am clean.
.What was dead now lives again

My heart’s beating, beating inside my chest

Oh I’m coming alive with joy and destiny

Cause You’re restoring me piece by piece
There’s nothing too dirty that You can’t make worthy

You wash me in mercy

I am clean.

There’s nothing too dirty that You can’t make worthy

You wash me in mercy

I am clean.
Washed in the blood of Your sacrifice

Your blood flowed red and made me white

My dirty rags are purified

I am clean

Restoration Stories – David Zailer 

  
For years, I remembered little from my childhood, but I began to remember more and more as I grew in my early recovery. I remembered how my mother battled severe depression and mental illness, a battle she eventually lost to suicide. My father was a well-respected organist at church but also he had a secret stash of pornography which, as a young boy, I looked at whenever I could get away with it. My older sister suffered from eating disorders, and I was often in trouble with the neighbors or at school. When I was eight, a family friend from church took an interest in me. He took me fishing, to baseball games, and he began molesting me. Consistent with my family’s pattern of secrets and shame, I never told anyone. I’m not sure which hurt me worse, being molested or thinking of how my father was cheating on my mom through his use of pornography.

 

By age nine I was exhibiting behavioral problems at school and church. The molestation continued and I continued to keep it secret. I was flunking school, barred from some after school activities, and often too disruptive for many Sunday School teachers. Finally, I was examined by a child psychologist and diagnosed mentally retarded. The doctors prescribed tranquilizers to control my behavior and I was placed in a school for mentally disadvantaged children. My name became “retard.”  

 

The people at the church my family attended said that God loved all the little children — yellow, brown, black and white. Had He forgotten about me? Was I some strange color, different from everyone else? I felt like people just wanted me to go away. Increasingly, I became defensive and competitive, determined to prove my own value. I prayed and pleaded for God to remember me — to help me. I remember sitting on my bed, in my adolescent years, reading The Living Bible and praying that somehow, someway God would give me a life that was useful and worthwhile. Silence.

 

In my early 20s, I was still attending church, but I had lost hope of ever having a life worth living. I began to drink. It started quite innocently; my first beer was with friends as we shared a pizza. I hated the beer taste but loved the warm feeling, the self-confidence and the sense of freedom the alcohol gave me. It was an answer of sorts. Within two weeks of that first beer, I was drinking everyday — heavily. Years went by, and I began to work weekends in a strip joint where I discovered cocaine, insane promiscuity and, along with the girlfriend I had at the time, I began to work in print and video pornography. Over the next five years, several of my friends were murdered and I saw numerous lives destroyed. I assumed that my life would be short, I feared for my own survival, but I was still unable to find a power that would change the way I felt about life.

 

In 1989, I moved to the West Coast vowing to start a new life. I started a business, made it successful, and began to religiously attend church once again. I smiled and pretended that life was great. But I was still utterly miserable. I never escaped thoughts of self-hatred and the feeling that everyone would be better off if I just went away. After a few years of abstaining from drugs and alcohol by sheer willpower alone, I periodically began to drink again and soon the drugs followed. Where I had previously been a daily cocaine user of generally small amounts, I now became a binge user of much larger amounts, adding crystal meth and heroin to the list of drugs used. I rationalized my drug use, saying I wasn’t doing it every day. I convinced myself that I was entitled to have a little fun now and then.

 

In 1999, I went on what was to be my last drug binge. I had planned a little weekend getaway but I ended up traveling around Southern CA for three weeks, smoking $500.00 worth of crack cocaine every day, never eating or sleeping. During this trip, I overdosed three times, and three times I was arrested on felony drug charges. I would quickly bail myself out of jail after each arrest, and head back out on the road for some more of the same. I was not going to go home until I had some fun. I thought of it as recreation.

 

A few days later, when sitting in a seedy hotel, I called a friend named Bob, who I knew from church. Bob was a recovering alcoholic and drug addict who attended Alcoholics Anonymous and was very active at church. For the last few months I had been confiding to him about my drug use and my sense of hopelessness. I trusted him because it was obvious to me that, from his own experience, Bob knew the internal anguish I felt. And he was the only person I knew who seemed to really like being around me. During our phone conversation, Bob convinced me to stop drinking and doping for just that day and get some rest. And then later that night he drove for hours to pick me up and bring me home.  

 

Once home, I got some very bad news. The State of California wanted me to go to prison for my drug crimes. It appeared that I had finally succeeded in destroying my life, even though I never meant to. However, following my attorney’s recommendation I entered a drug and alcohol treatment program that combined counseling and the Twelve Steps as outlined by Alcoholics Anonymous. This program educated me about the reality of my addictions and confronted me regarding the destructive self-obsession behind most everything I thought and did. My drug life had been hell on earth, but this felt worse.

 

These early months in the program were preparing me for the greatest day of my life. That greatest day started with my attorney calling me in the morning to let me know things were not going well for me in the legal issues and that I should begin putting my affairs in order to serve my time in prison. Then that same afternoon, my counselor at the treatment program asked me to tell him about my personal belief in God. In response to his question, I recited to him by heart everything I knew about God from growing up in church and Sunday School. He listened for quite a while as I droned on and on, but then, with obvious frustration, he told me that he didn’t want to hear any more. Surprised, I asked him why, and then he proceeded to tell me that I needed to find a real God and I needed to find a real Jesus. As you can imagine this offended me greatly and when I asked him why, he continued by saying, “Well, David, it is pretty obvious that the God and the Jesus that you think you have now hasn’t done you much good. Has it?” When what he said finally sunk in to me, I sat stunned in silence facing the reality that whatever religious professions I had claimed had left me morally and spiritually bankrupt — void of the necessary power to live life successfully. I was more empty than empty.

 

Later that evening I was to meet my friend Bob, the one who picked me up and brought me home. He and I were going to discuss what needed to be done before I went to prison. It was dark and cold as I stood in an empty parking lot, alone and waiting for Bob to arrive. Looking up at the stars, I pondered the failure of my life and I began to pray. This was my life — I was $100,000 in debt, my family would not speak to me, my friends and business associates would barely tolerate me, I had overdosed on several occasions, and come close to being killed a few times. I was in a drug rehab and worst of all, all I really wanted at that very moment in time was more cocaine.

 

Standing there alone, I looked up at the stars and said, “Oh God! I am a drug addict and I don’t even know who You are. I need help and I have nowhere else to turn. I am willing to call You by any name You want me to, but if You don’t help me I am going to die.” At that moment, and for the first time in my life, I found a degree of personal honesty, the beginning of humility, and I accepted myself for who and what I was — a child in need. At that point, suddenly, everything in life seemed unimportant except for one thing — God. Either He would help me, or I was as good as dead. God was no longer just a “religious” belief; God was a life or death issue for me.

Standing there in the cold alone with nothing but my desperate prayer, I heard what seemed like a voice say, “Alright David, now I can go to work.” Startled, I whirled all around looking for who had spoken to me. I looked behind the bushes next to the building to my left, and I looked under the cars which were to the right. I even looked inside the dumpster that was a few yards away. I looked all over that parking lot and there was no one there. It felt like I was going crazy, but I also sensed something big had just happened. Whatever had just happened, I knew my prayer had been heard and answered. I felt deep within me that things could be different for me in the future, that a new experience of life had begun. I had a sense that the battle for my life had been joined with power adequate to change what needed to be changed — me! For the first time I could remember, I knew I didn’t have to be alone, and best of all, I had a real desire to live. By admitting that I was the problem, God gave me a solution. The solution was Him. That night in an instant, I became unconcerned about prison, unconcerned about what had happened to me in childhood; I was excited about life and I became ready to do all I could to fully experience the life God would make possible for me.

 

Ultimately, the court system had mercy on me, giving me the opportunity of long-term rehabilitation and probation. Motivated by a spiritual power deep within me, I continue to seek my Savior and He continues to do the work He promised to do — changing me from the inside out, guiding me and teaching me to surrender my will to His. As a result of His power, I have discovered wonderful gifts such as mercy, courage, love for myself and others, and hope. These gifts have enabled me to do things I have never dreamed of doing. I was baptized while attending my church’s men’s retreat, where I learned that for two years prior to my arrest a group of men had been praying for me. In God’s world, I was loved even before I thought it was possible for me to be loved at all.

Today, many years later, I am still receiving new and wonderful gifts today. My favorite one is gratitude for life — both past and present. My childhood misfortune and my addictions to alcohol, drugs and sex have become an important, and sometimes still difficult, part of what I believe to be a well scripted plan for my life. With the simple surrender of my will and life, which I don’t always do, I continue to discover God in a loving and personal way. He is always willing to reveal Himself to me and to you as well. I now see that the story of my life has really very little to do with me. It has everything to do with God, and everything to do with you. For you see, it is my passion to tell others about the One who gives mercy and grace to addicted sinners like me. Because, if He gives mercy and grace to someone like me, then He will most certainly give it to anyone who sincerely asks for it. Any tragedy I have suffered and all comfort I receive is for the purpose of sharing with those who suffer so they can find comfort too. I have more blessing than I need. 

                         ~ David Zailer 
as printed in WHEN LOST MEN COME HOME – NOT FOR MEN ONLY

 

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion

and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can

comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.- 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4 TNIV
 
You can learn more about David at http://www.operationintegrity.org

To purchase David’s books visit http://www.amazon.com/David-Zailer/e/B004NQUTUI

An Unqualified Success 

  
We have all heard the phrase: God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called! Technically speaking, this is untrue. After all, does that mean that God doesn’t call people who are qualified for a task? Of course not! In this phrase, call is referring to a command or act of service to God. God uses each part of us as believers. Our areas of expertise, our talents, our interests and ideas; all are utilized by God for His purposes. Rather, this phrase emphasizes that our qualifications as believers are from God, not based on our own abilities.
 

So does God call the unqualified? The Bible does have standards for certain positions in God’s kingdom, such as pastors and prophets. (1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9) These standards are in actuality additional commands of God, not what qualifies a person for their position. According to Romans 3:23 all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. None of us are worthy of being part of the kingdom of God except through Jesus Christ. God makes a habit of calling unqualified people!

 

God uses our knowledge, our talents, our abilities and our passions to further His kingdom, but frequently, a command or call He gives to us will be outside of our comfort zone. Acting in faith and obedience can be scary when we are focused on our own abilities! The task God sets for us might be something we have never done before. It may be something we are unfamiliar or even uncomfortable with. This is because our obedience to Him is always an act of faith in Him.  

 

It is easy to misplace our faith in ourselves and our own abilities. When we act from a place of faith in ourselves and our abilities, we run the risk of excluding God. When we reject the command of God in our lives and assume control, we step out from under His lordship and protection. We reject His position as Lord of our lives. When we pursue our own plans and desires rather than God’s we set ourselves in His place. We become our own god. It is essential that our actions be rooted in faith in God and not ourselves. When we surrender to the lordship of Jesus, He protects us from our own pride. God helps us to grow spiritually by teaching us to rely on our faith in His ability, which supersedes our own.

 
Don’t let your unqualified opinion disqualify you for something God has qualified you for! God promises that He will equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 13:21) You cannot fail when you are acting in obedience to God. There is no deficiency that He can’t nullify. The power of God within you gives you the ability to achieve any task that He sets you to. Phillipians 4:13 says you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. When you recognize the strength and ability of God and respond with faith in Him, it becomes easy to act in obedience. God sees you as you are and says that through Jesus, you are qualified for everything He asks you to do. You are good enough because of one thing that takes precedence over everything else. You are HIS.
            ~Dana Smith 

* to see all the parts to this 4 part study series see category Overcoming An Unqualified Mindset 

Master Deceiver 

  
The enemy is smart and he knows what he is doing. He is a master deceiver. He wants nothing more than to keep you from your God givin’ destiny here on earth and Heaven. He is loaded with fiery darts aimed straight for you. 

Depression, anxiety, sickness, adultery, betrayal, and on and on. He will use whatever he can to kill, steal and destroy you. 

The good news is he cannot if you don’t let him!! 

(Proverbs 3:25-26) be not afraid of sudden fear neither of the desolation of the wicked when it cometh, for the Lord shall be thy confidence and shall keep thy foot from being taken. 

If by your faith you are in covenant with our Lord Jesus Christ, then fear not, for He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge and feel His heartbeat with yours.

 His faithfulness will be your shield. 

(Psalm 91:4) He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 

You, my friends are covered safely under His wings and no one can touch you. 

(Psalm 91:11) He commands angels to watch over you.

 The more you seek Him the more you feel His presence.  

He is a God of mercy, grace and love. He loves all His children the same. 

So go out this day that our God gifted us with and remember God is bigger than all our enemies.
                    -Michelle Smith 

  

The Heart Problem – “Unqualified” is an excuse

  

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.                          ~1 Corinthians 6:19-20

 

Sometimes when we believe we are unqualified for God’s plan, it’s not because we are victim to a lie, it’s because we are looking for an excuse not to do it. Whether it be because we think it will be too hard, it seems like too big a risk, or we don’t want to give up the time necessary, it’s important to recognize our excuses as what they are: Rebellion against God.

 

In Exodus, God was angry at Moses because He knew when Moses said “I can’t do it,” what he really meant was “I won’t do it.” The argument wasn’t so much about Moses’s ability to complete the task as it was his willingness to be obedient. Moses was using his flaws and shortcomings as an escape hatch from God’s plan. He attempted to rationalize away his disobedience. Moses had several specific excuses he used to argue against the plan of God. They may sound familiar when we look at each one individually; many believers find themselves thinking the same things even today. Each one is canceled out by the reply of God.

 

1. Who am I?

Exodus 3:11-12

But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?” And He said, “Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain.”

 

It’s easy to feel insignificant in the face of the magnitude of the command of God. “Who am I that someone would listen to me? I’m nobody. I can’t possibly be the right person for this task.” Our own importance is trivial in comparison to God’s kingdom and sometimes even in comparison to the very people we minister to.  

 

God’s reply is that our own importance is unimportant. He is with us. We are accompanied by the God of Heaven and Earth. We are never alone in our efforts. He never leaves our side for moment! (Matthew 28:20) Just like a child facing a bully finds it easier to meet the confrontation when his buddies are with him, we have our own spiritual back-up. We have no reason to be intimidated. God Himself, with all of His power and authority, goes with us into our situation and circumstances. His presence with us gives us the ultimate confidence that we cannot fail at the task that He sets us to when we are obedient to Him.

 

2. What shall I say?

Exodus 3:13-14

Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM THAT AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

 

Sometimes we don’t know how to go about the task God sets us to. We find ourselves looking further down the line, wondering what we should say when we haven’t even begun the first step of going to where He has told us. “What will I even say? I don’t know how I can convince this person. They’re going to have questions I don’t know how to answer!” When we look at the goals that God is setting for us to accomplish, it seems outside the realm of our capability. Our lack of knowledge can often prohibit our obedience.

 

God’s reply was simply – “Here’s what you will say.” When we walk in obedience to God’s plan, we are not drawing on our own knowledge, but on the knowledge and assets of the kingdom of God. We don’t have to have knowledge of what to say or do further down the line, we just have to be obedient to what God tells us. God promises that His children will be led by the Spirit. (Romans 8:14) Every step, every word can and will be dictated by the Father. He will place His words in our mouth. (Jeremiah 1:9) Our job is to remain sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and the voice of God. We hear His voice by spending time in the Word and in His presence. John 10:27 says “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” God’s guidance is there for us in all things, we just have to listen and be obedient.

 

3. What if they won’t believe me?

Exodus 4:1-4

Then Moses said, “What if they will not believe me or listen to what I say? For they may say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you.’” The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” And he said, “A staff.” Then He said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it.

 

Have you ever heard the phrase “You can take a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink?” Even when we have the right words to speak, we can be intimidated by the opinion of others. “If I say that, will they take me seriously? Are they going to think I’m crazy? I might sound ridiculous or stupid! What if they think I’m making it up or lying?” Speaking the truth can be scary because of how it might be received or how others may view us. The error in this logic is that we think that it is our responsibility to convince someone to listen to us.

 

God countered this argument through action. He proved His might and power by offering Moses proof through miracles. First, He turned Moses’s staff into a serpent and back again. Next, he turned Moses’s hand leprous and then healed it. God promised another miracle of turning water to blood.  

 

The fear of failure is overcome by the power of God. It is not our job as believers to convince anyone of the truth of God’s Word. Our job is to be obedient to the Father, speaking and doing as He instructs us to and as we respond to the leading of the Spirit, God draws people to Himself. (John 6:44) The work of convincing and convicting the hearts of men is solely possible to and under the responsibility of God. He is not dissuaded by disbelief or skepticism. He allows the choice to be made, but He is relentless in His pursuit for our hearts. Romans 8:17 says that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. The word of God is alive and able to produce faith, simply by being heard and received.

 

It is interesting to note that God displayed His dominion over both creative and destructive power. In the miracles He showed Moses He revealed the complete authority that He possesses. In Mark 16:17-18 Jesus promises: “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” Those who believe will be accompanied by signs, wonders and miracles. It’s not just a possibility that they might be displayed. The defining mark of believers is the active power of God on display in them and through them. We are fully equipped to show proof of the power of God by allowing Him to work through us. We don’t perform the miraculous. We yield to God and He shows His power.

 

4. I am slow of speech and slow of tongue

Exodus 4:10-12

Then Moses said to the Lord, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” The Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say.

 

Sometimes we are excruciatingly aware of our shortcomings and flaws, especially when they might be on display. “I’m not good enough to do that. I have flaws that will stand out. People will see that I am not talented or even adequate in this area. They will think someone other than me could do a better job.” Our personal flaws and deficiencies do not disqualify us from being successful when God tells us to do something.  

 

God replies to Moses by making it clear that He is fully aware of Moses’s shortcomings. He created all men; He is intimately informed in all areas about each and every one of us. He has the power to not only create us, but to overrule us. God promised Moses that He Himself would be “with Moses’s mouth.” He expressed that although Moses identified his mouth as a weakness, God was present in that weakness with His strength. In 2 Corinthians 12:9 God said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” God takes joy in using our weaknesses because His strength is made more apparent. God’s limitless power overrules any limitation that we present when it is covered by His Spirit. When we walk in obedience, our weaknesses are hidden and canceled out by His Spirit working through us. The power, strength and ability that is displayed is not our own, but God’s.  

 

5. Please send someone else.

Exodus 4:13-14

But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.” Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you.

 

After all of his previous excuses have been addressed and dismissed, the heart of Moses’s reluctance is revealed. Moses didn’t want to do it. Even after the reassurances he received and the miracles he experienced, he still wanted God to send someone else. Sometimes when God gives us a command, we offer excuses and try to justify our reasons for not obeying. Those reasons are just a dressed up way of saying “Please don’t make me do that! Send somebody else!” God was angry with Moses because Moses was not only still arguing, but baldly stating what God had known all along: Moses didn’t want to obey. He was challenging God’s position of control over his life.

 

It isn’t always easy to recognize rebellion when it takes root. Sometimes it can look more like reluctance than outright defiance. If we are not obeying God, we are not in submission to Him. A heart that is fully yielded to God will be obedient to the will of God. The problem we often encounter as believers is that we try to hold on to control in our lives. God has given us free will. We are free to choose to obey or disobey Him. He has a path set for us, but we get to determine whether or not we follow it for ourselves. However, the Bible says that the choice God sets before us is between life and death, blessing and curse; choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19) When we choose our own control instead of yielding to God, we are choosing death.  

 

A task that we may think of as small or inconsequential can have devastating results when we are being disobedient. A rebellious heart can cause us to be unable to hear God when He is trying to speak to us. (Ezekiel 12:2) Even a small disobedience can lead to completely losing the guidance of God. His guidance offers protection that we find only by obeying Him. Deuteronomy 30:17-18 says “But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed.” When we choose not to obey the command of God, we are turning our heart away from Him and bringing destruction into our own lives.

 

How do we yield our heart to God, when we are caught in rebellion? If we realize we are acting against God or trying to hold on to control, how do we return to the plan God has set for us? If we have recognized a rebellious heart in ourselves, we have to call our actions what they truly are in God’s eyes: Sin. (1 Samuel 15:23) Our rebellious nature is only defeated through repentance.

 

Overcoming the Excuses

Thankfully, the grace and goodness of God is so great that even in the midst of our rebellion He offers us a way out. 1 John 1:19 says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” When we repent of our sin – our wrongdoing and disobedience to God – He offers us forgiveness and accepts us wholeheartedly. When we yield to God and repent for our rebellion, He gives us a new heart and a new spirit. He replaces our rebellious heart of stone with a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26) Once our hearts have returned to their rightful place of submission to God, His command and our will become one. We act in obedience to Him because we recognize His rightful place in our life. ~Dana Smith 

*Come back tomorrow for part 4 – the final post in this Study Series Overcoming An Unqualified Mindset