Grace · Lessons · Love · Mess

struggling… with the mess…

The mess made yesterday… leaning on my own understanding… continues to weigh…

Grace… hard to receive… when you don’t feel deserving…

And the question comes…

How does God feel about me… when I make a mess of things…? leaning on my own understanding…? trusting me…?

People from Scripture come to mind…

David… he leaned on his own understanding… staying home from war… shirking his duties…

Maybe he thought… I deserve a rest

In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle,
David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. …
But David remained in Jerusalem.
2Samuel 11:1 ESV

This decision… led to the mess with Bathsheba

Adultery… cover-up… murder…

Yet… in the New Testament… God still refers to David as… a man after My heart

Samson… here’s a man… who lived by his own understanding… at least when it came to women…

He chased… and married… all the wrong ones… foreigners… but God used his flaws… He knew who Samson was…

But his father and mother said to [Samson],
“Is there not a woman among the daughters of your relatives,
or among all our people, that you must take a wife
from the uncircumcised Philistines?”
But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me,
for she is right in my eyes.”
His father and mother did not know that it was from the Lord,
for he was seeking an opportunity against the Philistines.
At that time the Philistines ruled over Israel.
Judges 14:3-4 ESV
The results of Samson choosing women… right in his eyes… led to a big mess
Loss of strength… eyes gouged out… imprisonment…
Yet… when Samson prayed… for strength one last time… He answered…
And when He wrote a history of the faithful… in the book of Hebrews… He included Samson…
And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets — who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions…
Hebrews 11:32-33 ESV
Then… Hosea… the prophet who married the prostitute… at God’s command…
When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea,
“Go take to yourself a wife of whoredom
and have children of whoredom, 
for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the Lord.”
Hosea 1:2 ESV
Talk about a people who made a mess…
The Isrealites… rescued from slavery in Egypt… led by God across the desert… for 40 years… (the trip so long… because of the messes they made…)
Finally… brought into the Promised Land… God fulfilled every promise made to them… 
And they… turned away… leaning on their own understanding…
In those days there was no king in Israel.
Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
Judges 17:6 ESV
Israel rejected God as King… and forgot the law… and His ways…
They made a big mess of things…
Oppression… famines… captivity…
Yet… God used Hosea… to reveal His great love… for the Israelites…
And the Lord said to [Hosea], “Go again, love a woman
who is loved by another man and is an adulteress,
even as the Lord loves the children of Israel,
though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.”
Hosea 3:1 ESV
He knew we were a mess from the beginning…
He knew He would need to rescue…
He knew He would send His Son… 
He came to clean up a mess… He didn’t make… all because of love…
So… how does God feel about me…? when I make a mess…? leaning on my own understanding…?
He loves me…
And He loves you… too…
Consider the last time you made a mess… because you trusted yourself… leaned on your own understanding…
Did you beat yourself up for a week…?
Did you harden your heart with pride…? saying… It doesn’t matter…?
Or… Did you receive His grace…? His love…? and rest in the mess…? as you did the best you could to clean it up…? and learn from your mistake…?

No matter what mess His people make… He loves them
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but in order that the world might be saved through him. …”
John 3:16-17 ESV
Lord… You and I both know…
I’ve made much bigger messes in my life… than the one yesterday… 
Yet each mess leaves me tempted to wallow… in condemnation… 
Thank You… for this lesson… Thank You for Your love… 
Bless me with the ability… to fully receive… Your grace… and love… 
Bless me with faith… to trust You… and not me…

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