Guys, I’ve been bad. I’ve been lazy. I’m sorry. I haven’t posted a Shine Bright post for what? Three weeks? Oops. Ouch. *wincing*
I’m making it up though, today with a little message from some of my Sunday notes! You ready? Here we go!
Scripture: Psalm 78 (Focus: Verse 7)
You read it? Awesome. Let’s see if you picked this principle up: We unlock hope through obedience to God. It’s okay if you didn’t—I probably wouldn’t have, either, without hearing it myself first! But we’ve got it now. :)
In this passage, we see that God moves with grace and power. GOD is the one who initiates rescue and provision with this power—not us. (Verses 24-26) That’s a hard truth for control freaks like me! But it’s good news, because God splits seas for His people! We have to be careful, though, not to confuse God’s provision with giving us what we want when we want, but instead giving us what WE NEED. (Like giving us Jesus so that we can live a rescued life!)
So we’ve got at least one principle, right? God provides. God cares for you! Remember the verse “Cast your cares on Him because He cares for you”? It can be tempting to think that God provided “back then” (splitting the Red Sea, delivering the Israelites from Egypt) but that He doesn’t anymore. It’s hard to see sometimes, isn’t it? But God still provides: we just don’t see it. We treat it like its not worth anything and complain about what we don’t have. But God spits the sea to care for you!
Now let’s take a look at verse 17. What does the verse say? God has done all this (split physical and metaphorical seas), but they SINNED EVEN MORE AGAINST HIM. “In spite of this [God’s love]”! It’s tempting to think “Can you believe that? After all God did for them, and STILL they sin even more?” But we—I—have to remember: don’t I do that same thing? Isn’t rebelling a cycle with me too?” Seasons of suffering should highlight the sinfulness of our souls. It’s so easy for us to be unmoved by God: just living how we want to live. “Their hearts are not steadfast.” Is my heart stuck on God or something else?
Let that soak for a moment.
Most likely, we feel hopeless because we fail to understand that our rebellion is causing it: if we would simply obey and repent, we would have hope! If we’ve got sin in our life, don’t wink at it, don’t play with it: treat it seriously and repent. Don’t give God just lip service. Stop playing games, get real with God, and be broken about our sin.
And that’s so hard for me. You too? Let’s keep going and see what we find.
“Then they remembered…” (Verse 36) They honored God with their lips but we’re not faithful with their covenant. Is that what I’m doing? Or is my service more than words? What do I want it to be? How do I want to live? Who do I want to honor? God? Or me? God’s not interested in me being a good church person—He’s interested in me being faithful to Him.
Here’s three take-aways:
1. God moves with grace and power.
2. Get off the merry-go-round of rebellion.
3. Embrace brokenness, not lip-service.
“The righteous cry out and the Lord hears them…because the Lord is near to the broken-hearted, and the Lord rescues those who have a humble spirit.”
The end point? Stop rationalizing sin, ignoring sin, and excusing sin: our lives will only be empty if we continue in it—that’s stiff-arming God, and there is no way to have hope when we reject repentance!! Be broken over sin: STOP PRETENDING. Don’t be arrogant about sin: be repentant.
And that’s all folks! I’m sorry if that sounded a little forward, but remember all that is directed at me too! None of us are perfect. :) I hope maybe you’ve been touched by this and I pray that God will continue His marvelous work in you!!