More of God and Less of Me

Self-Esteem-Self-Confidence-Healing

Does God use infected saints? He chose Moses. Out of all the kings, warriors, and competent leaders, God chose a meek shepherd who had trouble putting his thoughts into words. He chose Moses to do an incredible task… to be His mouthpiece to a million Israelites. Moses had a speech impedement and zero confidence. High priority mission led by a shepherd who stumbled over his words and had no desire to lead is a recipe for disaster. All Moses insecurity paralyzed him as he stood before that burning bush and heard the voice of His God.

You can almost see Moses looking down and fidgeting as he protested,”Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?… Oh my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before or since you have spoken to Your servant, but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue” (Exodus 3:11; 4:10). We feel Moses here. He didn’t have what it took to do this. He wasn’t even close to capable. I have felt that myself. When your body temperature rises as you flush from shame over your own insecurity and weakness. The harsh reality that you don’t measure up to what the moment demands. You want to go hide. I have been there many times. God knew Moses insecurities. Did He sympathize with Him?

Actually, God’s response to Moses was not sympathy but anger. He was not moved by Moses’ humility over the recognition of his own lack of ability. He was angry because Moses failed to respond by faith in God’s ability. God responds, “Who made man’s mouth? Who makes him dumb, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak” (Exodus 4:110-12).

Moses was paralyzed by his insecurities and unworthiness. What should our approach be when we have a strong sense of our unworthiness and uselessness? Though billions of dollars are spent on books and seminars on the subject, self-esteem is not the answer for what ails us here. Notice God did not say to Moses, “Don’t cut yourself down. You are a somebody. You matter.” He doesn’t boost His self esteem. What God said was, “Stop looking at yourself. Stop focusing on your lack of talent and ability. That mouth you think doesn’t work well. I made it. Quit looking at yourself and look to me. I will help you. I will lead you. I will not call you to something I do not equip you to accomplish.”

The answer to our feelings of low self esteem is not to increase our self-esteem; it is to fall more on God’s grace. No matter how much you boost your feelings of self you are still unworthy and your self esteem is merely a facade of what is actually true about you. On your own you don’t measure up and that is ok. You don’t need too. God’s grace is more than sufficient!

Our value does not come from what we do. Did you get that? You sure you are receiving that right now? Our true value is found in Christ. The measure of our worth is in his faithfulness not our own. We do not need higher self esteem… we need less self.

I no longer live but Christ lives in me!

Dax

SIN OF LEGALISM

Legalism is alive and well in churches today, and none of us are immune from its ways.

At the root of legalism is selfishness and pride.  Legalism feeds the selfish nature.  The legalist relies on willpower to do rightly, believing this pleases God and earns His favor.  This makes sense to our mind, but it is not the way God measures value.  We all need to be very thankful for that!

Legalism is appealing.  We like it because it appeals to our self-reliant nature, but self-reliance is antithetical to all that Christianity stands for.  The Gospel condemns our acts of righteousness.  Our righteousness leaves a stench to God.

It is not because we cannot do anything that is good.  It is because anything we do that is good is tainted by a wicked, glory-hungry, heart.  All our attempts at goodness are tainted by sin.

This gets to the heart of legalism.  The problem is motive; our actions are not enough.  Motive is essential.  Even Jesus said follow what the Pharisees teach, but do not live like they do (Matt 23:3).  The Pharisees did good works by following the law, but their motives were impure.

Everything the legalist does in the name of God, feeds their hunger to gain value.  And that is the problem.  It is impossible for man to earn enough value to be found worthy of God’s standard (Rom 3:23).

Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for being clean on the outside but rotten on the inside.  It’s all about the heart, the motive behind what we do.  When Christ has transformed our lives by the Gospel, we have a new heart, a new motive, that looks to honor God.  Christ becomes the motivating factor of our actions.  The Christian desires to give glory to God through his actions.  The legalist desires to give glory to self by their actions.

Legalism is alive and well today and takes many forms.  From style of music to versions of the Bible to facial hair to dress. It’s vital that churches preach the importance of relationship and not rules, that Jesus is exalted and not man, that grace abounds and not works-righteousness.  It is the call of the Church to safeguard the Gospel from anything that lessens the centrality of Jesus.