Identify!

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There are times when we don’t quite believe who God says we are. But that never changes who we are or the plans He has for us.

There are even times when we put a lot of energy into making excuses and explaining to God why we aren’t who He says we are. But that doesn’t change anything either.

Case in point: Exodus chapter 3.

A man named Moses finds himself in a conversation with God, who informs him that he, Moses, will be the one to go bring the Israelites out of Egypt. He is going to be the voice that frees six hundred thousand men and their families from slavery.

Moses’ response?

  • “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh…” (3:11)
  • “[But] If I come to the people of Israel …and they ask me ‘who sent you?’ what do I say then?” (3: 13, paraphrased)
  • “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice…” (4:1)
  • “I have never been eloquent…I am slow of speech and of tongue.” (4:10)
  • “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” (4:13)

With each comment, God continues to explain how He has chosen Moses, how He will influence the Israelites to listen to Moses, how He will enable Moses to handle whatever is ahead, how He will display His power through Moses, how He defines who Moses is and He has decided Moses is the man for the job.

But Moses responds with more excuses. Moses simply refused to buy it. He was sure he was a nobody, and that the best place for him was right where he was, in obscurity taking care of his father-in-law’s sheep.

So finally, in 4:14-16 God essentially says “Fine. Your brother Aaron will go with you and he’ll do the talking. Does that make you happy?” (My personal interpretation, of course…I’m pretty sure none of that was in the original Hebrew text.)

But here’s the rub  – pay close attention now – because if you read through the next 9 chapters of Exodus, in all the interactions that took place with Pharaoh, not once do you read “And Aaron said unto Pharaoh…

The only place we see Aaron taking the lead is when they first talk to the Israelites (4:30). From there on out, Moses is the point man.

To me, this is significant, because it is one of the starkest examples in scripture of what Bob Perdue and others refer to as the concept of the true self.  It says “You are who God says you are, not necessarily who you think you are.”

As much as we try to hedge and detour and deflect and make excuses, God knows who we really are. He knows because He defines who we really are.

Our maneuvering, our excuses, our doubts, what we think we’re capable of or not capable of – none of that trumps what God planned from the beginning of time.

Our mistakes, our past, our faults or failures – none of that disqualifies us from what God planned from the beginning of time.

The Creator of the universe, designated you for a purpose and then designed you to meet that purpose.

Trust Him, you’ll find that the person he designed you to be is exactly what brings deep fulfillment, more so than your highest personal aspirations. (I’m pretty sure that in the end Moses knew that what he accomplished was a whole lot more fulfilling than another 40 years of tending sheep).

So stop making excuses and believe who God says you are.

He knows what He’s talking about.

 

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Living In The Now

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[15] The eyes of the Lord  are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry. [16] The face of the Lord  is against those who do evil, To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. -Psalm 34:15-16

I remember a while back when I was in a time of meditation and ‘listening’ prayer, and God whispered “Psalm 34”.

I opened my Bible and began to read that passage.  When I got to the verses above, I at first kept on reading for a line or two.  Then suddenly I was struck with the realization that when I had read verses 15 and 16, my mind had automatically and imperceptibly categorized me in verse 16 because of my past.  Subconsciously, I’d read “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous…” and thought ‘that’s nice.’  Then, subconsciously again, I’d read “The face of the Lord is against those who do evil” and thought ‘okay, that’s me.’  And I moved on.  But God brought me back to it.  

And then came an even greater realization.  I am not one of “those who do evil.” I had done evil, yes.  But what I did didn’t carry over to what I do, and subsequently what I am.  This was a freedom-generating concept. God had revealed to me a deep-seated, faulty thought pattern.

It’s too easy to get caught up in what we did, and then classify ourselves as evildoers because of that dark stain on our past.  But that’s a lie of the devil and it smells like smoke, as a pastor friend of mine is fond of saying.  If you are redeemed and living in freedom and victory, you may be an evil-did-er, but you are not an evil-do-er.

God has freed us from our past.  We are renewed.  That doesn’t mean the old nature doesn’t creep in.  But it does mean that we are transformed…because He says so.  

We are “a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).  

We are “a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).  

It is to us that John says, “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4), and Paul, “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

So don’t you dare allow the devil, the world, or that incorrigible inner voice to tell you that you are an evildoer.  Verse 15 was meant for us as redeemed believers dwelling in Christ.  

“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry.”

Read it again.  Let it sink in.  He is watching over you, believer.  He is our righteousness, and so we are verse 15.