Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I Am - Lesson 6

This is Lesson 6 in the I AM study. Please join us at any time at The Preacher's Wife.

I get a daily devotional from John Fischer called "Catch of the Day". Last week he talked specifically about the whole burning bush scene. I thought that it might add to the study we were doing - so I have included a copy of it here or you can link to the full text here and read the comments.

Shoes off
by John Fischer

When God met Moses through a burning bush, He told him to take off his shoes because He was standing on holy ground. I've been thinking about that holy ground lately and wondering why God had Moses remove his shoes. In my research I came upon the teachings of a few rabbis whom I would assume have the inside track on the cultural meaning of this practice. I found there were not one, but a number of possible explanations.

One possibility is to symbolically remove the dust and dirt (contamination) from the world so as to enter the holy place. The priests in the temple remove their shoes in this manner.
Another was the idea of humility. One rabbi remarked how Jews cover their heads as a sign of respect, but uncover their feet. That would seem to indicate to both humility and vulnerability.

Rabbi Yaacov Haber commented about that vulnerability. "With shoes, one can walk over stones, glass, water, even fire and not feel a thing. Without shoes, one can feel everything. Step on the slightest protrusion, even a little Lego, and the pain climbs right up the spine."

If you're going to be a leader... you must remove the insulation that you wear to protect yourself.... It will hurt but you must be able to feel every bump, every nick and cranny; you must be able to feel the pain. A person who is responsive to external conditions or stimulation is a person who will be susceptible to the attitudes, feelings, or circumstances of others. It is this individual who can develop a meaningful relationship."


s if this wasn't enough, there is still one more interpretation of the metaphor, and perhaps it is the most important. For Moses, the burning bush represented the presence of God. Today, the kingdom of God has come; His Holy Spirit is here; and thus the presence of God is everywhere. So Rabbi Melanie Aron can say, "The place upon which you are standing, that is the exact situation in which you find yourself, is a holy place. In whatever distracting and difficult situation you find yourself, there are opportunities for holiness."

1. How current is your God? Is he up to date on all your issues or do you have old hurts you still hold behind your back?

I think that for once I can say that my old issues are laid to rest in God's forgiving hands. Every once in awhile I am reminded of my past and must revisit to move forward. He leads me through the landmines of my life and allows me to see the truth and to be okay with that. My God is working today - presently and always.

2. Has the enemy ever told you there are situations that are 'old news' that are better left stuffed down? Or perhaps because they were so long ago they can't possibly be affecting you now?

As I have mentioned in other posts, I continue to deal with having a child out of wedlock. My husband and I have never been married without a child around. We talk about life after children (sort of - they never really leave). This particular "sin" will affect me my whole life.

I do my best when I am getting to know someone - like the women in this bible study - that I make that information part of my history. That I don't just skim over it as if it never happened. My husband and I are blessed to have broken the odds - and this is only because or our shared belief in Christ. We would definately be overwhelmed without His ongoing help. This was not in my plan, but God uses it to open up conversations and allow others to be real. Satan loves to have us hide, but speaking the truth - whether I like it or not - is very freeing.

Maybe I don't mind talking about it now because the results are good. I also know that certain things I must deal with in the company of really good friends. I don't ever want to be false, but I don't want to "throw my pearls before swine" either. There is always a balance.

3. In the matter of established authority, does God truly reign in your life? Where are you when He calls your name?

Most of the time, yes. God is the center of my life. Yet, I feel like I fill my life with busyness. I am working on not being busy just for something to do, but to be ready when He calls my name.

4. Do you ever feel God has forgotten you in your 'west side of the wilderness'?

Not anymore. It seems that it is usually me that has walked away from Him to be in that wilderness. God always finds me, but it is me that walked away in the first place, not God.

5. Have you ever experienced a time of cleansing where God has illuminated and rejuvenated you? If not, do you find you are in need of this now?

I think I have done that many times - times when I really felt the hand of God. And guess what? It usually occurred during the valleys of my life - when life was really hard. It isn't as monumental as when I was younger, but I still have times where I cry - literally cry - out to Jesus and thank him for "cleansing" me. It never gets old to be reminded of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross.

Hope you have a great week! I am going to go see what the rest of you said.



Mindy said...

HI Cyndee.
Thanks for visiting my blog and thanks for your sweet comments.
Thanks also for your honesty in your answers.
I enjoyed reading them!

Denise said...

Bless your beautiful heart, I enjoyed reading your answers.

The Preacher's Wife said...

Can I relate to #3..!! I too wrestle with knowing the things to say 'yes' to. It is very hard to say 'no' to something that is a good thing. The challenge is recognizing whether it is 'my' thing or not...

Thanks for your answers!!


Connie Barris said...

If I could just say one thing... I hope I'm not being to bold..

But you say you still struggle...
as a Christian counselor (just in case you say, well who are you!!!!)

I would love for you to walk in freedom...

What did Jesus do when He died on the Cross?
Ok, I think I heard you say, He died for our sins..
OK.. which sins...
Past present and Future

You are forgiven.. NO sin..

Read Romans 6:1-2
there are consequences... you did not have a marriage alone without a child...
but you have a wonderful child... and you had to make adjustments...

BUT YOU ARE FORGIVEN .... I would reconsider thinking you ever have to bring that up again as a SIN...or telling anyone that you had your child out of wedlock unless there is a need to know... because it's long gone... slate wiped clean...and you can say it just like that...

I'll be happy to talk to you further.. or you can run far from me.. smile..


Deborah said...

Hi Cyndee, thank you for coming to my blog, I just want to encourage to hold on to Him. Love always me

MiPa said...

Cyndee thank you for sharing your heart. Your resolve to not ignore the past but to minister through it is so refreshing. Bless you!

Etta said...

I agree with Connie--

You can't change your past, but you can change the way you VIEW your past. We all have things in our past that we are not proud of and that changed our life dramatically. But if there is one thing God has and is still teaching me, it's that what Satan meant for evil, the Lord can use for good.

Karla said...

Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog!

Lori Madison said...

Dear Cyndee,

I am grateful that you included Shoes off by John Fischer in this post. I felt a stirring in my spirit as I read this. Thank you for visiting my blog and I would like to revisit you next week and see what your take on next weeks I Am lesson will be. God be with you..

Crystal said...

Thanks for your honesty in this study......God never wastes an experience we all have to learn from our mistakes, the key is not to have to relearn the same lesson over and over......sometimes that is the challenge for me!

Susanne said...

Hey Cyndee.
Thank you for your beautifully honest answers. I am haunted by my past a lot, too. While I don't want to focus on it (I can't if I want to move forward) I agree that is not something I want to "gloss over" either. I know that God can use my past experiences to help me relate to others who need him, but he wants me to be free of it, too. I will pray for you dear heart, that you truly come to know Freedom in Jesus. (Could I recommend "Breaking Free" by Beth Moore??? It did wonders for me!!)
Blessings on you and yours!!