Dumb Sheep

Many times throughout the old testament, God asks his people to remember, to recall all the ways that he has saved them, been faithful to them, provided for them.

“You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you.” (Deuteronomy 15:15)

Remember. Recall

Why does he keep reminding them? Why does he have to tell them again and again, that he will be there, that he will help them, save them?

Because they are dumb sheep.  In the midst of the desert, far away from the only home they have ever known, they have forgotten.  God pulled them out of slavery, saved them from the on coming armies. He parted the Red Sea!!! Given them food again and again, but yet they still complain.

Because they are dumb sheep.

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It is easy to look at these stories and think, how could they possibly forget something like that?  How could they forget being saved from slavery and being in a foreign land? How can they forget what God has promised them?

But just like them, we are dumb sheep.  We forget the ways God has been faithful.  We forget the his works so easily.  We quickly forget who He says he is.

THAT is why he commands us to remember.

OH and I need to remember.  Today, tomorrow, and the next day and next.  I will need to remember. To remember his faithfulness and his goodness to me.  

We need to remember to mark those moments, those days, those situations where God worked out the details, brought you through when all seemed impossible.  To count up those answered prayers as a bank of faithfulness to cash in on days when it seems like he isn’t present or he isn’t answering your call.  

So we can combat the lies that have their hooks in us.

Like the lie that constantly creeps up in my mind, “I am all alone”.  It’s a lie that I have been fighting since childhood. Feeling out of place, not belonging, unliked, or forgotten feel like a constant companion.  Prone to dramatic hyperboles, it avalanches into despair of loneliness.

It still creeps up on a Saturday night with no plans, even though I love a chill Saturday night.  The enemy creeps in turns up the volume on that age old lie in my heart. And suddenly I am in despair and anxiety.

In that spot, I need those words from the Lord.  

Remember.  Recall.

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And in that moment, I have to stop and count the ways.  List out the answered prayers. I have to remember the friends, the family, the life that God has given me.

God has been abundantly kind and given me a group of friends that I have known for over a decade.  I think back to the day as a teenager that I longed for a best friend.  And remember that he has provided. I think about my dear sweet friends whom I love and that are patient and kind and reach out to pray for me.  I think about the memories gained because I am friends with them.

Those memories, the pictures, bring me back a place of belief and trust that God has got this.  That the whisper from the enemy is a lie designed to make me doubt and despair.

It maybe something else for you.  Some other lie that has a hold on your heart, that never seems to go away.  A lie that you would long to be rid of for good, like those last 5 pounds.

  • That you won’t be able to pay your bills
  • That you your prayers mean nothing to him
  • That you are a mistake and a failure
  • That you won’t get through the day after a night of zero sleep.
  • It will always be this way.

So friend, recall, remember, the ways in which God has provided.  Mark it. Write it down to look back at when the lie seems louder. 

We won’t always be in a season where God answers in the way that we expect him too.  We won’t always be in a season of harvest or abundance. On this side of heaven we won’t always understand or see how God is working, but when we recall his works, we will see that he is not a God of inaction.  His ways are higher than our ways, and thoughts are higher than our thoughts. 

And His ways are more powerful that we will ever understand.

“I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us,and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction. And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the LORD your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.” – Joshua 2:9-11

These verses are Rahab in the Old Testament, talking to the men who are going to conquer her country.  Because she had heard about the powerful acts of God, she knew…her heart melted because of who God is and what he has done.

What has he done…more than we ever thought possible.  Conquered the grave, given us a healer for our broken hearts, and provided the ENOUGH that we need in Jesus.

So squash down the disbelief with the powerful acts of God.  Let your melt your heart with remembering.  Help each other recall.   Tell about the His mighty works, and let the power of the cross remind you of who God is and always will be.

 

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When did it become about other people?

 “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant<sup class="footnote" value="[b]”>[b] of Christ.” Gal. 1:10

Don’t get me wrong, I am all about helping and serving other people.  I am a teacher, I live my life to serve and love my students.  I want to love and serve my community as well.  I want to be a good person.

However, somewhere along the line in the last year, things shifted in my brain.

See, I started on this journey to change my physical body, discovered it was just as much about my soul and lots of things changed.  My self-view changed.  I had more confidence and joy.  I enjoyed meeting people because I was confident and comfortable in my own skin.  I saw myself more than the in the background person.  I began to shine, enjoy life and was excited about the future.

But something happened……. 

disappointment turned into heartbreak and I didn’t even realize it.

I tried to ignore it and cover it up.  I went back to living my life to please other people, seek satisfaction in what they thought of me, in whether I was doing it right.  Even living healthy and running became about other people and competition.

It was an exhausting year.  I fought to keep my head above water and still have hard days. Slowly, the fog is beginning to lift as I take one more step toward the only ONE who can satisfy, who is already please with me, and rejoices in me big or small. 

As I ran this morning, I began to think about my beginning motivations for losing weight and living healthy.  It was first because I was tired of living in the impossible.  It was about proving to my 7th grade self that I could do what I never thought possible.

This last year it became about proving to other people I could do it, it became about reaching goals others set for me, it became about becoming skinny enough to get a date (I know totally lie, but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a motivation.)   Somewhere in the midst of busyness and stress, I let my motivations begin and end with other people. 

Not that things will change overnight, they didn’t the first time, but it only takes a moment to make up your mind.

Why is it that we make things about other people and what they think?  Why do we want to prove to other people that we can do it and not fail?

You see, I think, we want approval, we are born with that need.  However, we misplace it in people.  People cannot give us what we ultimately need.  They cannot give us the everlasting approval.  

Until I can get it through my thick skull and deep into my heart that He has already called me worthy and already approved of me, that I don’t have to go after it in other people.  When I fully understand that, the disappointments, the stress and the hard things in life, will not derail me.

With that, I have made up my mind that my journey will not be about other people.  I will do this for myself.  All those miles I run will be fore me, all the sweat will be for me, all those crunches will be for me. 

Who are you living for?  Whose approval are you looking for?  What does it take for you to change that?