Embarrassed for the Glory of God
Want to hear my most embarrassing moment?
Ok, well, Durango, the cute little town I lived in for 10 years has a beautiful river running through it with a bike path right next to it. Well, I was on a walk with God, just praying and I found this little spot along the river where a lot of trees blocked the bike path from the river. So, there I was right on the edge of the river with the trees behind me separating me from the sidewalk, confident no one could hear me. So, I decided to sing to God. Ok, so let me just tell you that getting me to sing in front of people takes a lot. Singing just feels so personal. It's like your wearing your heart on the outside, I just feel so vulnerable. So there I am singing. I have my eyes closed and I decided to raise my hands to praise Him with everything I could. After singing a couple of songs I opened my eyes I saw three rafts full of people who had floated down the river right in front of me! They were probably not more than 10 feet away. Seriously, how embarrassing! They did not make a peep. Why would a whole boat full of people not say anything! Not even a throat clearing or something. If singing in front of people is not too difficult for you, then I am not sure you can feel the real weight of this.
I still wonder what the people in those boats thought. I mean seriously, what would you think? Wacko comes to mind. When I got embarrassed, it was quickly about me, rather about God. Here I was, wanting to offer Him a sacrifice of praise. He gave me the opportunity and the first thing I did was get mad at Him and throw a little fit. Something that started as a pure offering ended in a fleshly tiffy.
But really, the question arises, why would God do that? Why would He take something so private and expose it? Why would He do something that caused me embarrassment?
I bet the Israelites felt the same way.
They had 400,000 guys and went to stand up for injustice and fight the Benjaminites with 26,000 men."Now the sons of Israel arose, went up to Bethel, and inquired of God and said, "Who shall goup first for us to battle against the sons of Benjamin ?" Then the LORD said, "Judah shall go up first." So the sons of Israel arose in the morning and camped against Gibeah. The men ofIsrael went out to battle against Benjamin, and the men of Israel arrayed for battle against them at Gibeah. Then the sons of Benjamin came out of Gibeah and felled to the ground on that day 22,000 men of Israel. But the people, the men of Israel, encouraged themselves and arrayedfor battle again in the place where they had arrayed themselves the first day. The sons of Israel went up and wept before the LORD until evening, and inquired of the LORD, saying, "Shall we again draw near for battle against the sons of my brother Benjamin ?" And the LORD said, "Go up against him." Then the sons of Israel came against the sons of Benjamin the second day. Benjamin went out against them from Gibeah the second day and felled to the ground again18,000 men of the sons of Israel; all these drew the sword. Then all the sons of Israel and all the people went up and came to Bethel and wept; thus they remained there before the LORD and fasted that day until evening. And they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD." Judges 20:18-26
They asked God about going to battle and they ended up loosing. God had them go to battle but they didn't win, they lost, big time, to an army 15 times smaller than them. How embarrassing! So opposite of the prosperity gospel. And how crazy is their attitude. They encouraged each other and got up to do it again. I did not have this attitude when I was embarrassed. I was mad at God. Having felt those same feelings, I'm proud of these guys. Then they ask God again if they should fight again. God says Yes and they loose again! God sure does not do things they way we think they should be done sometimes. And yet their response is to turn to God again and fast. Wow! Sometimes those silly Israelites do offer us a great faith example and here is one of them. Thanks Jesus for this!
Thank You Lord for people who have gone before us that have had things happen in life that are not how they expected but turned to You anyway. Thank You for telling us this story in Scripture that we can see the big picture of how You ultimately did come through for them. You are just plain awesome God and we like You a whole lot.
This is an excerpt from my devotional through Judges. Check out the reviews here.
Laura, the founder of Missional Women is married and has six kids, two of whom are adopted. Laura and her husband have been missionaries to college students for 14 years serving with Master Plan Ministries where she is the Women's Development Coordinator. Laura has authored 5 books, including an award winning 12 week Bible Study on First Samuel, Beholding Him, Becoming Missional, Reach; How to Use Your Social Media Influence for the Glory of God, A Devotional Journey through Judges, and Discover God's Calling for Your Life. Most recently her resource for Bible studies, The Connect Cards was released by Cru Press. You can find her on facebook, twitter, pinterest, youtube, instagram, periscope, blab and her author site.
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8/17/2016 08:04:46 am
So encouraged by this, Laura! Yes, oh might we keep the focus on Him, despite the outcome of the battle! Your singing analogy made my morning! Love your heart & your transparency!
8/18/2016 08:16:39 am
great encouragement - and so funny - amazing, no throat clearing, etc. But maybe they knew they were on holy ground (and too embarrased to say so!) I love it that the Is. turned and turned back to God when they were continuing to lose. Next to you this morning at TPT.
Laura - as I was finishing reading your post, I kept hearing secular song with the phrase that goes...'when I get knocked down, I get up again.." I have no idea who sings it, or even the whole song, I just know it cause I think it was in a Shrek movie -- hahaha but I digress. I love that you sang outloud and with your whole heart - eyes closed in the moment... maybe the people in the boat where so touched by the singing that they were having their own moment with Jesus too ? Your neighbor today at #FreshMarketFriday
9/7/2016 07:55:51 am
Laura what a great story! I imagine it was a moment of unexpected beauty for the rafters, and you will never know this side of heaven how God used that singular moment to speak His love into even one heart. Oh the lessons God has for us in the most unusual places of our lives! Love having you sharing here at Fresh Market Friday!
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