Sometimes…People Expect Me to Be Perfect….So Then I Start to Feel Like a Disappointment​ to God

But Moses said to the LORD, “Since I speak with faltering lips, why would Pharaoh listen to me?”….(Exodus 6:30).

Have you ever felt like a total failure to God? Like maybe He was done with you or you’ve had one too many screw ups for the God of the universe to want to use you for Kingdom work? I’ve felt that way before.
 
There was a time in my life when the enemy and others kept speaking shameful messages into my heart. Messages that spoke loud and clear that my mess ups were not acceptable. I was made to feel stupid and incompetent. It was so oppressive. Wrongfully, I started to think that maybe I was stupid. Maybe I was incompetent and unwise. Maybe I just wasn’t cut out for certain things, because I didn’t always meet the expectations of others.
 
I am so glad that is not how God treats us though. Truly, He is full of mercy and grace. If there was anyone whom God should have given up on for his lack of faith and screw-ups, it was Moses. Moses, at nearly every turn as God called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, questioned God’s ability to work through him. He doubted that God could use someone with deep insecurities and fears like him.
 
Unknown-7
You see, God loves to put our insecurities on display so that He can show off His power in our lives to work through them. Moses had some kind of speech impediment, but God challenged him, time and time again to go before Pharoah and speak to him. You see, it wasn’t Moses words that were important or the way that he said them. Moses didn’t understand that. He kept focusing on himself and his fears and God kept asking him to go to the place he feared the most and trust Him. Maybe someone told Moses that because of his speech impediment he should just stay quiet and not embarrass himself.
 
I am so sorry if someone has said something similar to you. It’s easy to focus on our insecurities and the parts about us that aren’t perfect, but all God is looking for is someone who is simply willing to be used of Him. He fills in the rest of the gaps with His mercy. Don’t let someone shame you into silence. If they have, just know its an insecurity and fear in their own heart that keeps them from practicing grace. Your heavenly Father uses screw ups every day. He doesn’t give up on you and your story is still being written. Let God write a new story of grace for you and don’t let others put you in a place of shame, Jesus sets you free from that.
 
Lord, truly, you use people with insecurities, fear and everything in between. Moses was willing, but he was also afraid. I totally get that. I live in that place sometimes too. Lord, I want to live in your confidence and in your fullness. Let my life be a testimony to the world of your mercy. Your mercy that uses messy people, just like me, Amen.

Why Did My Life Get Harder When I Started Pursuing Freedom?

Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.”…. (Exodus 5:23).

Sometimes, when we start pursuing our freedom, life gets harder. I mean, a lot harder. Things don’t go our way, we’re met with opposition from the places we’d expect to receive support and it seems as though we never should have started pursuing our freedom in the first place because of how hard our life has now become.
 
This is what happened to the people of Israel. They start pursuing their freedom from Egypt and they are immediately met with a tremendous amount of opposition. Many of the Israelites become angered with Moses and Aaron for even making such a request to let God’s people go.
 
Therefore, Moses becomes discouraged at what God has asked of him. He wants to go back and undo his request, but God will show Himself faithful to Moses and the Israelite people. Moses quickly forgot that God always follows through on His promises and although pursuing our freedom always comes with opposition we need not grow weary of heart. Truly, the Lord will fight for us, we need only be still.
 
images-7
A couple of years ago I started pursuing my freedom too. I felt much like Israel did. I didn’t like how messy things became and how hot the opposition was burning, but I kept holding fast to the faithfulness of God. When the heat of the battle I was walking through starting raging and it seemed as though everything was stacked up against me I let go of control and let God direct the ship. Can I just say, being a bit of a former control freak, that was very hard for me to do, but letting go allowed God to do His thing.
Although the battle was hot for quite some time and a lot of surrender was required, eventually, God came through for me. He wants to do the same for you. All He’s asking is that you’d simply trust Him and walk by faith. We don’t need all of the answers, we simply just need to learn how to surrender.
 
Lord, I need your grace to keep pursuing my freedom. Help us all to be courageous when it comes to pursuing our newness in you. Lord, pour out your mercy for each new day. I trust you, in Jesus name, Amen.

What’s in Your Hand?

 Then the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?”

“A staff,” he replied…(Exodus 4:2).

The staff of Moses was used by God to perform signs and wonders. It was a powerful tool, not because of what it was, but because of who was empowering it.
mosesstaff
 
We may think we have very little to offer for the Lord. Small talents, little gifts, and not much to use for Him. Yet, the Lord simply asks us to come willingly with what we have. Many times God uses what people simply had in their hands to accomplish great things through His power. The sling in the hand of David. The jawbone in the hand of Sampson and the fish and bread in the hands of a small boy.
 
Don’t be discouraged if you feel as though you have nothing to offer for God. God’s not looking for people who are overly confident in what they have to show. He’s simply looking for people who are willing, with the little they hold in their hands to be used of Him. This willingness will take us far with God if we are wise not in our own strength. The small amount of money, the simple things in your home, your sense of humor or quirky personality. The little bit of energy or the small amount of joy. God can take all of that and supply His power behind it to make us fruitful for the Kingdom. We just have to simply come as a willing vessel.
 
Moses simply threw his staff down on on the ground or raised it as God commanded and God supplied the power. I’m not sure what you hold in your hands or what you bring to the table today. Maybe it’s very little and that is good because God loves to take the little of our lives and multiply it greatly for His Kingdom. However, we cannot hold on too tightly to what we hold within our hands. It all belongs to God. Truly, I must hold everything loosely as I follow Jesus, knowing that at any time, He can ask for it back and He is good and right in doing so.
 
Lord, take the little I hold in my hands and use for it for your namesake. I don’t ever want to hold on too tightly the things you’ve blessed me with. Lord, I know that sometimes I get selfish and unwilling. Forgive me. I want to be like you, in Jesus name, Amen.

God Meets with the Humble

“Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”…. (Exodus 3:11).

God often picks those who have been humbled to continue on in great work for Him. He meets with Moses, a man who had been humbled in the wilderness, Paul, a man blinded on the road to Damascus and Peter a man who had hit the bottom of the pit after denying His Lord three times.
 
Each one of these men shares a similar story. A story of humbling and having their pride stripped from them. It was then, after the pruning and stripping of their pride that they were now ready for leadership in God’s Kingdom. Many of us want to be leaders for God and many of us will be given opportunities to lead, but the problem is we have not yet been stripped of our pride. Until we get to that point, we will never truly be ready to be leaders in the Kingdom.
ten-reasons-to-revel-in-being-chosen-lxybhmml
 
I’m only saying this because I’ve seen it to be true in my own life. As a young leader, there was still quite a bit of pride in me so much of my ministry was centered around making sure that my ego was being stroked and that I was protecting myself and my good name.
 
Now that the Lord has taken me through such a devastating season of stripping there is very little pride left in me. Yes, of course, pride still comes knocking from time to time, but I have noticed it rarely comes anymore. You see, once you have been humbled by God and have sunk down to the bottom of the rung in the eyes of the world pride gets washed out fairly quickly as the Lord gets you to the bottom of yourself.
 
Moses was a prince in Egypt but he would become a nobody tending sheep in the desert. After HIs pride was washed away, he was ready. God met with Him and called Him out. Moses responds in humility by saying, “Who am I?” Essentially what Moses is saying is, “I’m a nobody, why would you pick me?” I suppose for the same reason God chose a humble young teen in the town of Nazareth to become the mother of Jesus. Simply because of His grace and because of a humble disposition before God.
 
Ask the Lord to strip you of your pride. It is a painful process, but trust me, it is very purposeful. Once you’ve been stripped of it you no longer feel entitled to certain positions or Kingdom work. You only feel a deep sense of gratitude that the Father would use someone like you for His Kingdom work.
 
Lord, thank you for taking me somewhere so deep in my heart that you cleaned out so much pride. Lord, help me continue to live and walk in humility. Father, I’m just so thankful that you would choose someone like me for your Kingdom work. Use my life for your glory, in Jesus name, Amen.

When Life Gets Hard Sometimes I Just Want to Get Away From It All

but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian… (Ex 2:15).
 
Have you ever been tempted to run when life got hard? I have. Have you ever actually done it, leaving people that you love behind because you just didn’t want to face the hard facts in front of you?
 
That’s why so many children live with absent parents, whether that’s physically or emotionally. That’s why so many marriages fail and why friendships dissolve. Something got hard, we might have made a mistake, and instead of dealing with it, we fled.
 
God had some work to do in Moses heart and mind before he was ready to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. He had to become a different man. His fleeing showed that he wasn’t quite ready for the task of being God’s man to lead the Israelites out of slavery. Moses first had to go to the desert where God would reshape him and his character. You see, in Egypt, Moses was known as somebody, but in the desert of Midian, Moses was a nobody. Sometimes God has to walk us through seasons of extreme humbling before He can fully use us for His glory.
 
I’m sure Moses thought that he would never return to Egypt. I’m certain those voices of fear and failure were speaking loud and clear into His heart and mind. I’m sure he thought, well I ruined my chances and I fled. I’m such a failure, resigned here now to the desert of Midian. However, God even used that desert season as a time of preparation for Moses and He can do the same for us.
3a304f74aa38abe001f64aee629d2716
 
God eventually called Moses back to Egypt. He asked him to go back to the place of his deepest fears. God will often do the same for us. He’ll ask us to go back to the places we fled from so that he can redeem what our fear made us run from in the first place. God is always seeking to redeem and restore. He’s always looking for ways to bring us back. We have a choice to make in the matter, will we continue to flee or will we face our deepest fears and trust God? Moses chose to trust God. Would you be willing to do the same?
 
Lord, when my heart wants to flee I pray that I would stay faithful to you. Father I don’t want to give way to fear I want to stand firm on my confidence in you. Thank you for the desert, because you changed me so much there. Lord, help me now to be strong and courageous and not fear my past, but to stand firm in my confidence in you, in Jesus name, Amen.

Sometimes I’m Jealous of Others….

And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins…. (Mark 1:4).

Have you ever wanted to play a role that wasn’t yours to play? I have. Have you ever been jealous of someone else because their role in the kingdom seems far more significant than yours? Yeah, that’s been me too.
 
What I’ve noticed in my heart during those times is really just an unhealthy need to look good to other people. A drive and a desire to get more praise from people and have my name be known before others.
 
You see, God has a specific task for all of us to play. Some will be given roles like Peter, John the Baptist or Paul. Others of us will be a John Mark, a Barnabas or a Rahab. Our parts to play will be much smaller, but they will still have great significance in the kingdom because they are the parts God has destined for us to play.
Unknown-6
 
One of my biggest hiccups in life has been submitting my will to the Father. I’ve spent far too much time asking Him to make me this or make me that, instead of resting, with contentment, in who He has made me.
 
Yes, the Lord loves to use His children and He delights when they use their gifts, not for the praise of man, but to simply serve out of their love for their Father. Truly, this is how our Father serves us. He doesn’t come for praise. Nor does He come for approval. Even Jesus Himself became lowly and despised for the sake of the Father’s will and for the saving of many lives.
 
Would I be willing to do the same? I hope so, but I know how I have been in the past. Therefore, I live keenly aware of my own pride as I lay it down so I can become small in the eyes of the world so that I might bring great joy to my Heavenly Father as I live fully alive in His love.
 
Lord, I don’t want to be jealous of others. I want to live to serve your name. I want to be fully alive in your love. Forgive me when I make life all about me. Forgive me when I grow jealous of others. Thank you, God, for using me in simple ways. Thank you for showering your grace upon me, in Jesus name, Amen.

No More Sips…Young People Are Ready to Start Drinking in the Word of God

he taught them as one who had authority…. (Mark 1:22).

It saddens me to see the word of God watered down for young people. It saddens me because I see the hunger in their eyes for something real, something authentic and lasting, but we serve them more pizza and games than the life-giving word of God.
 
You see, people were drawn to Jesus because He was a man who taught as one who had authority. How many of us seek to teach in the same manner? How many of us seek the true wisdom of God as we teach and proclaim the good news to those whom God has given us to teach.
 
Maybe we watered it down because we’ve only taken small sips of it. Since we’ve never fully immersed ourselves into God’s word, it’s hard to bring others out into deep waters when we’ve not spent much time out there ourselves.
 
I think one of the most beautiful things we can do for a person is to bring them into the life-changing word of God and help them experience it. Yes, God’s word is not just meant to be read or heard. It was always meant to be experienced. A true teacher knows how to take people beyond words on a page and into a life-changing memorable experience with the beauty of God’s word. As the Holy Spirit works through them, enabling them to do so.
experience-God
 
Maybe I’m passionate about this because I see so little truth and so many hurting teenagers. Maybe its because I see how much potential so many youth ministries could have, but how so few are actually checking into this kind of power. Maybe its because I used to be that kind of leader who cared very little about the word and desired to gather a large crowd and have a lot of fun instead.
 
I think what many of us need to do is what I did years ago. We need to repent of our lack of love for the word of God. We need to take others deeper, because, trust me, they’re longing for it and they can handle it.
 
It’s time to stop sipping and its time now to start drinking in the word of God. Yes, drink it in and let its love flow through you. Its power is so life-changing. It is full of wisdom and truth. It sets captives free. It has the power to change you and me and set us on fire for God. Which in the end, spills out into everyone we meet. Until they say, “This person teaches as one who has authority,” because of how the Spirit is working through you.
 
Lord, I long for your word to be something that I love and something that I drink in deeply. It is so beautiful and it has so much to teach us. Oh Lord, let my heart be captured by your love. Oh Lord, help me through the Holy Spirit to be one who teaches with authority because others see Christ in me! Let it be so, I pray, in Jesus name, Amen!