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Monday, March 30, 2020

No Shame, No Blame, Just Engaging God's Plan Part One

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Can I ask you a question? Be slow to answer. What are you hiding? What don’t you want others to know about you? What do you feel like you are secretly failing in and would be ashamed or embarrassed if others knew? Pause and think about that for a second.
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Hiding things is not unique to you or anyone else. Seems like most everyone has things they'd just a soon keep hidden. It started with Adam. When Adam and Eve sinned against God, they hid. Genesis 3:7-8 NLT says, “At that moment, their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they strung fig leaves together around their hips to cover themselves. Toward evening they heard the Lord God walking about in the garden, so they hid themselves among the trees.”

People do hide things they aren’t proud of—even little things that in the big picture are inconsequential. But I hope we all know that we can’t hide from God. Nor should we ever want to! Not for a second! He is the one we should run to! There's nothing to hide. He knows everything so why hide, lie to Him, or lie to ourself? We should spill our guts and tell Him everything. He's the only one perfectly trustworthy to do so. Confession is honesty. It's truth. Truth will set you free. Truth is good for the soul, your mind and emotions. Truth is where healing of the heart begins! We should spill our guts and seek Him for help and for His grace. And don’t ever forget this: He is not like an earthly parent that runs out of compassion and grace. God is gracious! He is compassionate! He is full of mercy! And He can help and wants to help. So, forget hiding and covering up one speck of what you are doing wrong. Just lay it out. God can handle it. But, as you do, be reverential toward Him and sincere in seeking His help. Don't talk to God disrespectfully. He is not your problem. He did not create your problem. But Jesus is your answer to speak to him reverently! As Proverbs 29:23 (NIV) says, "A man's pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor."

Then know that God is not random. People are way too random. They just let life happen to them while hoping that something is going to magically change. And then they are disappointed when it doesn’t and things don’t get better. God is a planner. Everything in life is a plan. He knew every human being’s choices (without violating their will or free choice) before the foundation of this world. Read it in Ephesians chapter one. He took all the choices mankind would ever make (of their own free will), to craft His master plan. He plans. And He has a plan for you—a good one. And it's always been His will for you to get quiet enough to listen to Him speak to your heart so that He could lead you in it! Jeremiah 29:11 says, “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.“

As you read your Bible, you see that God created the earth from a plan and has laid plans from the beginning. He has the plan for mankind laid out from beginning to end, revealed in His Word. I tell you that because you were created in His image and He has created you to have more than a random life that embarrasses you and that you have to hide behind. You want to cooperate with God because to do so is to be led by His Spirit into the plan that will unfold over time before your very eyes. For good change to happen in your life, He wants you to get a plan! And that plan begins with receiving Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and beginning to learn of Him.

Proverbs 2:1-7 (TLB) says it like this: "Every young man (person) who listens to me and obeys my instructions will be given wisdom and good sense. Yes, if you want better insight and discernment, and are searching for them as you would for lost money or hidden treasure, then wisdom will be given you and knowledge of God himself; you will soon learn the importance of reverence for the Lord and of trusting him. For the Lord grants wisdom! His every word is a treasure of knowledge and understanding. He grants good sense to the godly—His saints. He is their shield, protecting them and guarding their pathway."

So not hiding, but running to God about everything is the beginning of eliminating and receiving healing and help from things we are embarrassed of. And though some people may not get you, God gets you! And so He wants to lead you in a plan. And next time, we'll talk more about that. For today, can we just top hiding? Whatever it is we're hiding about—those embarrassing secrets or whatever, can we just spill our heart to God and let Him turn shame and blame into forgiveness, mercy, and success through Him? Pray about it! More about the plan next time...

Proverbs 19:21 (NKJV) "There are many plans in a man's heart, Nevertheless the LORD'S counsel--that will stand."


In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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