God broke me yesterday. I realized that I can’t fan the flame. God has to do that. As long as I try to do it myself, it can not burn hot and bright as I move forward in all that God has for me to give as well as receive.
Hebrews 12:29 states, “for our God is a consuming fire.” (NIV) I sat at His holy feet yesterday morning, and I got burned by His gentle conviction. It was painful. It stung. I cried as He tenderly cradled me in His loving arms and comforted me as I nursed my wounds. You see, as I sat with Him, He then used another purification process to show me what has been going on all along.
Day 4 of this week’s study focused on God’s instruction to the priests, specifically Aaron and his sons, that they were not to enter the Tabernacle without first washing their hands and feet. Beth then sent us over to John, Chapter 13, which describes Jesus’ washing of the disciples feet at the Passover Feast.
In verse 8, Peter tells Jesus that He shall never wash his feet. Note Jesus’ reply, also in verse 8. “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” Beth points out that Jesus’ washing of only their feet seemed to imply an ongoing cleansing enabling them to walk with Him. It was about relationship and the need to maintain it, but washing their feet was also about servanthood.
In verse 14 of that same chapter, Jesus then tells them they should wash one another’s feet. It is in this next part that God showed me what I had not seen before.
Beth lists seven reasons why we have difficulty following Jesus’ command to wash one another’s feet.
One is we lack the assurance of who we are. She points out John 13:3 which says that Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under His power. “He knew His position with His Father. He had nothing to prove; therefore, He was not humiliated by humility.” (Pg. 86) “If you know who you are in Christ, your personal ego is not an issue. Sadly, most Christians do not have the confidence in Christ to humble themselves.” (Pg. 86)
That’s when it hit me. I finally understood what the problem has been all along. It hasn’t been fear. It hasn’t been a lack of confidence, at least not in the way that I had thought. No. Instead, it has been something far worse. Pride.
Pride. The truth is, I haven’t wanted to face rejection. I have worried about what other’s would think of me. I worried I would fail. I thought perhaps it was fear, but I was wrong.
I knew I was sinning by disobeying, but it was more than that. I was being prideful. And I didn’t even know it.
I was right about the lack of confidence, but mistaken about the specifics. The lack of confidence came from not trusting in who I am in Christ. As Beth points out, Romans 8:17 tells us that we are co-heirs with Christ. Jesus knew His position with His Father, and I can, too.
I don’t need to worry about what other people think of me. My success or failure is in God’s hands. If I am rejected, it matters not because my confidence stems from who God says I am. The rejection might bring more humility, but I need not be humiliated by it. My personal ego is not an issue. It is not necessary for me to prove anything. I only need obey.
And so, I am standing again. I have picked up my poker and am stoking the burning embers. It’s not a raging fire yet, but it is growing in intensity. And while I did receive some burns along the way, those will heal, and my relationship with Him is more the richer for it.
All quotations with page references are taken from A Woman’s Heart, God’s Dwelling Place by Beth Moore.