Scripture of the Week
“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
This will not surprise many of you. But I put a ton of pressure on myself. I put extreme amounts of pressure on myself again and again to be perfect and meet expectations people never had of me. And then I beat myself up when I fail to meet the expectations I was never capable of meeting to begin with. That pressure, frustration, and failure eventually points me back to the one who has the power. But I always forget, and some cycles take longer than others. It is a constant dance as I allow God to work on my pervasive source idols of Control, Power, and Pride that drive me to a point of placing extreme pressure on myself time and time again.
I recently preached a message where I stated that “The more pressure you put on yourself to be perfect; the more you have forgotten how good God really is.” I learned that one from experience. We forget so quickly how good God is, and then we beat ourselves up over our failures.
Matt Chandler has repeatedly said that “No one has betrayed you more than you have. No one has lied to you more than you have. And no one has stabbed you in the back more than you have.” That is so true. It is easy for me in the busyness of life to say I don’t have a problem and lie to myself for a season. But the truth is that I am constantly discovering new parts of my soul and walk with the Lord that need to be handed over in glad surrender to Christ. And one of those is the pressure I place upon myself to be perfect.
So what does that have to do with Psalm 46:10? Only this. That as I cap off a summer of exciting and fruitful ministry I need to be still, and allow God to be God. Over the past week there have been a handful of silent moments in my life. Silence that forces me to face who I really am and has exposed parts of my soul that still need to be filled by Jesus. Busyness is an enemy of spiritual health and Psalm 46:10 has been a dose of the truth.
As I have thought about this verse I am very aware that many of us know the first part. “Be Still”! Duh, it is on every devotional journal at Lifeway. But do we really get it? Do we understand that God is God and we are not?
The last part of the verse is so powerful and was overlooked and forgotten by me until last week. It states that God will be exalted among the nations and in the earth. As I leverage my life for Jesus and the gospel I can easily begin to put a ton of pressure on myself to do what only God can do. But what a relief to know that God has it.
In short, Psalm 46:10 taught me over the last week that If I cannot be still and know that God is God; I am building my own kingdom and not His. In those moments I am trying to be god instead of trusting in God. And that is not where I desire to be.
May we therefore be Men and Women of God who value being still. And may we always see God as God and long for the day when He will be exalted among the nations in all the earth. #EvenSoComeLordJesus!
I would encourage you to meditate on the passage above as God leads and take some time to be still!
Quote of the Week
“Guilt says I did wrong, shame says I am wrong!” – Christine Caine
The quote above from Christine Caine is one of my favorites from her book “Unashamed.” I am sharing it will all of you because I am so thankful that the cross of Christ has done away with guilt and shame. We don’t have to walk in bondage to sin, guilt, or shame anymore. We can be free because of the blood of Jesus.
Sermon of the Week: (38min)
As I have continued to write this blog on a regular basis, preach, teach, and disciple others I have a slight tension in my soul. That tension is that while I have been called to boldly proclaim the excellencies of Him who called me out of darkness into His marvelous light I am still human and desire to be authentic. I feel like sometimes people start to see me as perfect and super Godly. (Maybe it is all in my head.) But I do not view myself as special or above anyone and desire to preach God’s word and Gospel with Grace and Truth. This will always include the realities that God’s grace is amazing and all of us still fail (Including me). We are never perfect; but always in progress.
The sermon below is a great conversation about that balance. The frank reality that “We are wrought with inconsistency and there is a gap between word and deed. Between head and heart.” But the spirit of God is at work in us closing the gap. No one is outside of the grace of God. And that is only possible because of our awesome Lord and Savior.
“Jesus is our treasure. He is our hope. He is the giver of salvation. It’s all about Jesus! And what Jesus has done… And we are Jesus people!” – 11m46s
Matt Chandler – July 24, 2017
Sanctification (Overview) – Colossians 3:1-17
“You can tell whether or not you really understand the gospel by what you do. Not when you are doing great. But when you fall. When you blow it. Do you run to Him? Or run from Him?” – 34m