Thursday, March 23, 2017

Can I do anything right??

Have you ever felt like you can't do anything right? I have. The expectations of hard to please people in my life or my own unmet expectations on how to run my home or homeschool my guys.  Feelings of  constant failure are such a heavy weight to carry. 

I am five chapters into handwriting the book of Leviticus and I am overwhelmed by the amount of law that God gave to Moses and the Children of Israel.  There are even detailed laws and sacrifices required for unknown and unintentional sins.  The only hope found is in the repeated phrase "he will be forgiven".... if all the requirements of the sacrifice are met.  There is a sense of constantly looking for what you have done wrong so that a sacrifice can be made to atone for that sin. 

I wonder how Moses felt as he was writing these laws and then delivering them to the Children of Israel.  Did he feel a heavy weight or hopelessness knowing that they would never be able to keep all these laws?  What was his delivery like? Was it gracious or was it harsh?  It brings to mind how I tend to deliver difficult news to my children.  I try to encourage them to try and do their best.  That failure is ok.  My recent phrase is "You have to learn to fail well, because we all do."  But this still seems hard for me to wrap my mind around.  I imagine Moses saying, "Here are the rules that you will never be able to follow, but you have to do it or God will be angry with you.  But He always will be, because you will never be able to fulfill it all. Have fun with that!"  I imagine Moses feeling the weight of it.  The Law it weighty, God meant it to be.

God had a purpose and a plan in all our failing and in His constant forgiveness.  All these laws were with a specific purpose in mind. God had a plan.  All of our striving leads to  nowhere.  At last,  God steps in with the solution.  Jesus. The weight of the law is still there, but He carries it. I will no longer buckle at the pressure because I am found in Him.   All laws are fulfilled in Him.  My striving has to cease.  And when I pick it back up again, it makes the cross seem worthless.  Obedience out of striving is worthless legalism.  Obedience from the heart gives life.  I want to see these laws with joy in my heart.  That while God required me to fulfill them, He also made a way for me to be able to live in that fulfillment, because of Christ.

Father, let me walk not in the hopelessness of laws and sacrifices, but let me walk in the freedom of your Holy Spirit where obedience from the heart gives me life abundantly in you alone.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Show Me Your Glory!

"Please show me your glory." The words straight from Moses after a pivotal event in the life of the children of Israel.  While he was on the mountain of God for 40 days, receiving the commandments and laws that the LORD was laying out for His children, the children of Israel grew impatient and wanted a god they could see.  Aaron put up no fight and went right to work. 

Out of that came anger, grief, intercession, repentance.  Then God commands that they should move, but He would not join them. 

Moses pleads with God, "If you don't come with us, please don't make us go." God,  I don't want to go where you are not! Don't make me leave you! The people were even grieved that their God, who they betrayed, would not go with them. 

I love how Moses is always into reminding God what He had said... as if He had forgotten His own words.  The thought that comes to mind is that God hides Himself to be found.  He wants me to search Him.  God had not forgotten what He had said... maybe it was to see if Moses would remember and hold God at His word. 

God was moved by the requests of Moses and relented.  He reassured Moses that he had favor in His sight and "changed His mind". But did God change His mind? Just in every grace story, maybe Plan B was Plan A all along. His desire was for Moses to seek Him and ask the hard thing. 

Moses asks to see God's glory but God's response was not a yes or a no... He told Moses that He would let His goodness pass before him  and proclaim before Moses His name "The LORD".  God went on to describe a place where He would put Moses, on a rock and there would be a place for God to cover Moses and hide him from His own glory, because no man can see God and live. 

As I was reading this portion, the words goodness and hide in the cleft of the rock stuck in my mind.  How can I see God's goodness when I can't see Him? When I am stuck and hidden and covered from the most intense part, the part that could result in death.... seeing His own face.  If I can't see God until He is moving away, how can I see His glory and goodness in my life?

During the most intense parts of my life, there is a closeness to God. I can't see Him, though His presence is the strongest I have experienced.  During the times where I have faced death, literally, I have felt hidden and protected.  And I may not see the goodness in those times, but as He begins to uncover me and I begin to see His back as He moves away, I see His goodness and I know Him as "The LORD" Jehovah God.  Sovereign and in control of all.  The God who doesn't need me... yet He wants me.

He covered me in the most intense times in His goodness.  He covered me so that He could be close, so close.  And I know He is there but as He uncovers my eyes, I see Him.  I see His hand over every part of that situation or circumstance.  This is His grace to me.  His glorious goodness. 
Exodus 33