Yesterday at Cross Point we started our “More” series. Over the next several weeks we are exploring what life would be like if we did not settle for the mediocre. What if we could get “More out of Life”.
A couple of the points that Pete brought up really got me to thinking.
The first was related to our hiding place.
Where is it that we go to hide that keeps us from reaching our full potential in life?
He threw out a few suggestions, fear, pride, procrastination,failure. I didn’t really relate to any that he mentioned, so it got me thinking ….what is MY hiding place?
I think several of you can relate. During my younger years it would be more the inadequacy that dominated. I am the youngest of two and a “PK”- aka preacher’s kid. Everyone always seemed to have such great expectations for us. My sister always held the bar high as far as academics, appearance and personality. Being only a little less than two years younger, this could be a little daunting at times. I always felt like I was competing in everything. During my teen years this became increasingly hard and other verbally abusive relationships just made that inadequacy stand out even more. I never felt like anyone noticed me or really cared, especially not God. If he did care,then why were things so hard. It became my crutch. So I would go to my hiding place, not developing my true potential, because after all I wasn’t “good enough” for anyone and especially not God.
Of course, when someone feels unworthy and inadequate, that usually leads to behavior to find worthiness, that can lead to feelings of guilt and then to being unworthy again.
A vicious cycle I couldn’t break.
There were moments where I had a person or two invest in me and I did grow. What I realized after those seasons passed, was that acceptance by others does not equal growth….. only acceptance by God.
As humans we often are drawn to what we are used to, so that cycle didn’t really change when I got older. In fact, it got worse. I continued to have unhealthy relationships that led to needing acceptance and produced feelings of guilt. It wasn’t until after my divorce about 6 years ago, that I finally wrestled with this guilt and sense of inadequacy. God truly came beside me in an amazing way to help me rest in him as my hiding place. I truly think since that moment I have quit feeling sorry for myself. I quit beating myself up over things I had done and couldn’t change and really started to embrace the “More” in life that he had for me.
Psalms 32:7 “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”
What a BLESSING?
I know what you are thinking, because I have felt it myself.
I have cheated on my husband or wife.I have been dishonest in business. I have withheld love or verbally abused my family and kids. I am addicted to gambling, drugs, alcohol, sex, food. I gossip. I am prideful about my appearance. I have a disability.The list can go on small and large. It doesn’t matter. It all produces feelings of guilt and inadequacy.
So it poses the question-
?How Can God possibly use ME?
Well to some of you this may seem like a surprise and to others you already know this …… but have you really taken it to heart?
I am convinced that God uses the most messed up people!
A few examples:
- Genesis Chapter 9: Noah got drunk, yet he was the one person that God thought was worthy to carry on civilization. Noah believed and obeyed. He wasn’t perfect but he did Great things.
- Exodus:Moses was a murderer, fearful and even had a speech impediment. Yet he finally consented to letting God use him and he is only one of a couple of people who had such a close relationship with God that he actually was able to be in his presence face to face. He led the Israelites out of Egypt.
- 2 Samuel 11:David was a real piece of work. He was a murderer, adulterer, filled with pride. Yet, his heart for the Lord was so pure in his confession of his sin, that his relationship with God was unprecedented. The lineage of Jesus came from the birth of a child from a women who he married after having an affair with her. David was greedy and had her husband killed after he found out that he had impregnated her. He wanted her for himself as well as to cover his wrong doing. The child of the affair died, however, God still used David and his lineage to bring forth the biggest offering of grace and sacrifice through his son Jesus!
So for goodness sakes, if he can use them to do such big things, how can we be so arrogant to think he can’t use us despite our messes and disabilities!
This is not to say that their aren’t consequences to our actions. There are. Sometimes BIG ones. When we let God shape us and find our hiding place in him and not other things, it gives him the ability to do “MORE” through us. I love this because that is where I was six years ago.
The last thing that stuck me,I will mention briefly, but I think it is important to note. Everyone is not called to be in the spotlight, to do something “Big” in the eyes of men. Everyone is not called to go overseas for missions, or preach from a pulpit, or be the popular one. Sometimes, it is not the big leaps of faith that brings us more out of life. Sometimes it is the little steps. Maybe you are called to love or befriend one person who won’t get you public recognition. Maybe your “job” ,whatever God has called you to be, is to be ethical and open in your faith no matter where he has placed you, so he can shine brightly through you to bring ” MORE” in your life and the life of others. God calls us to a life of obedience in faith.
Luke 16:10 “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.”
Come out of hiding and soar to new heights….
Take that first step of faith …. there IS MORE out there!
What is holding you back from getting “MORE” out of life? What is your hiding place?