Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are!

Have you ever read the opening chapters of Saul’s story? That’s what we talked about at Glow this week. It is remarkable. And familiar.

Here is this amazing guy—King Saul, before the King part. He is the son of a wealthy and influential man (1 Samuel 9:1). He is the most handsome man in all of Isreal (1 Samuel 9:2).  Yet when the Word of the Lord comes to him concerning his future, his destiny in God, he says these heartbreaking words: “But I’m only from the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest tribe in Israel, and my family is the least important of all the families of that tribe! Why are you talking like this to me?” 1 Samuel 9:21

Man. I wonder how many times we do that ourselves? God comes and speaks to us through His amazing Word and tells us things like “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” in 2 Corinthians 5:17. Or maybe “Christ has truly set us free.” in Galatians 5:1 Or perhaps Jeremiah 29:11 has leapt off the page for you: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

What great promises! What amazing things God has said to us! But then immediately we think like Saul—“But I’m only so and so from so and so…” “I’m just the smallest. The littlest. The least.”

Right off the bat, I relate to Saul! I, too, have spoken words like these. But I see that his words simply weren’t true. Because 1 Samuel 9:1-2 tell us this: “There was a wealthy, influential man named Kish from the tribe of Benjamin. He was the son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, of the tribe of Benjamin. His son Saul was the most handsome man in Israel—head and shoulders taller than anyone else in the land.” Hey! He was somebody! THE most handsome man in Israel?! Son of a wealthy and influential man?! Why so insecure, Saul?

But of course I relate again. Why so insecure, Raina? Why speak small and tiny things in the face of the greatness of the Word of the Lord? I don’t know what kind of words you throw up in your mind when you read the great and precious promises of God for you, but if they are excuses as to why those promises couldn’t possibly be for you, then I challenge you to ask yourself why you do that. Because whether your invalidations are true or not, the Word of God is ultimate Truth. And insecurity can keep you from accepting God’s Word into your heart, and thus living it out in your life.

Those whispers of “I’m only so and so from so and so” have come to us all. Ever wonder why that is? For sure and for certain the enemy lies to us. Jesus told us this plainly in John 8:44 when speaking of the devil: “There is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.” 

Many times as soon as the Word comes, the lies arise in our minds and drown out the promise. And when that happens, it’s like a barrier keeping the powerful Word out. An insecurity barrier. Listening to the lies more than the promise will lead to insecurity every time. 

So what’s a girl to do? Listen to the promise. Over and over. Make it louder. Because it is surer. It is truer. Raise up the promise at the first hint of doubt. Raise up the promise at the first feeling of insecurity. Raise up the promise at the first whisper of “but that can’t be for me”.

Psalm 93:1-4 in the Amplified version is beautiful. Here it is:

“The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty; the Lord is robed, He has girded Himself with strength and power; the world also is established, that it cannot be moved. Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting. The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up the roaring of their waves. The Lord on high is mightier and more glorious than the noise of many waters, yes, than the mighty breakers and waves of the sea.”

The Lord on high is more glorious than the noise.

Maybe you feel like Saul—the promise came, but all you could hear was the roaring of the waves. Remind yourself that the Lord is mightier than they are. The Lord is more glorious than the noise.

As Saul’s story goes on in 1 Samuel 9 and 10, we see that God, through Samuel, gives him sign after sign after sign that the Words of God for him are true. And still, when the time comes for the promise of God to be fulfilled for Saul, this is what happens:

“And finally Saul son of Kish was chosen from among them. But when they looked for him, he had disappeared! So they asked the Lord, “Where is he?” And the Lord replied, “He is hiding among the baggage.” 1 Samuel 10:21,22.

Now this, too, is familiar. How many times have I been found hiding among the baggage?! Hiding behind lies, hiding behind insecurity, hiding behind fear? Too many, that’s for sure.

But just like Saul, God knew exactly where I was. And just like Saul wasn’t disqualified for not being front and center, I haven’t been either. And neither have you.  We have a gracious and merciful Heavenly Father who sees you not only where you are now, which may or may not be among all the baggage, but He sees you with the end in mind. He sees all the Promises coming true over you, through you, in you. He sees the destiny coming to pass.

There is a law at work in the Kingdom of God—we see it clearly in Romans 11:29. This is from the Amplified version: “For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.]”

Please stop right now and read that again!

Amazing, right?!

What a beautiful thing God does. He gives us all these gifts and callings and promises. And then He gives us free will to use them for His Kingdom, or not. But even if/when we don’t, He doesn’t rip them away. The gift has been given.

The call was still on Saul’s life! God didn’t change His mind just because Saul wasn’t running to the front of the line to accept it. God didn’t change His mind because Saul was scared. And whatever words or emotions or feelings you have had that don’t seem to “line up” with the call of God and the promises of God over your life does not disqualify you either.

God hasn’t changed His mind about you. You’re still the apple of His eye. You’re still the one He sent His Son Jesus to die for. He’s still crazy about you.

So come on out from behind that baggage. Don’t stay there just because it is familiar. 

Here’s one way you can break down that baggage of insecurity and begin to walk in the promises of God this very moment: Make the Lord more glorious than the noise. Because He is! Read the Bible. He has given you this Book full of good, good promises for your life! Make it loud in your life! Make IT more glorious than all the other noise. Find a promise—there are oh so many to choose from. And say it to yourself. Look yourself in the eyeballs in the mirror and say it. And remind yourself it is Truth. And because these aren’t your words, or the words of the enemy, but God’s Words, they are living and active. They are sharp and powerful. Say them loud. Say them often. Make them louder.

Here’s a good one to start with, I think: “…Overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39

You say that over yourself over and over, because it is the truth about you! You can be secure in God’s love. Secure enough to come out of hiding.

Love you all!