Facing Truth

Recently, I found a couple of my family members and I having a discussion (and argument) about hurt that we have and are experiencing with one another. Letting someone know that their actions and attitudes are causing pain can be difficult as well as hearing that your actions and attitudes are hurting someone can be uncomfortable. Hearing how someone feels or hearing truth can be unsettling, discouraging, and maybe even embarrassing if we are honest. It can even make you mad and respond back with more hurt. That is why healing is so imperative. When we face truth, God wants us to be able to respond from a place of love and eagerness for allowing God into every area of our lives, including the painful ones. Sometimes we put up barriers and shut down. Oh, I know that all too well. I would also shut down even when someone offended me or if I disappointed them in some way. Conflict was difficult for me. But thank God for His constant teachings, His grace, and therapy even with Him. I still have a ways to go but He has brought me a long way.

This morning, as I read one of my Bible plans and it discussed repentance, I began to also repent for the times I wasn’t totally honest with people in fear of how they would respond. I subsequently thought about the woman at the well and how she could have responded to Jesus during their dialogue. Jesus was frank with her although He preceded in love. He drew her in by validating her existence and showing her respect despite her reputation and although Jews didn’t deal with Samaritans like that. And he continued with addressing something she had to face. She had been married several times and her latest boo wasn’t even her husband.

Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did). So he left Judea and returned to Galilee. He had to go through Samaria on the way. Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?” Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?” Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.” “Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her. “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied. Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!” “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?” Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus told her, “ I Am the Messiah!” Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked to find him talking to a woman, but none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?” or “Why are you talking to her?” The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” So the people came streaming from the village to see him. Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus, “Rabbi, eat something.” But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.” “Did someone bring him food while we were gone?” the disciples asked each other. Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest. The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true. I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.” Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.”
John 4:1‭-‬42 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/jhn.4.1-42.NLT

Notice though that she already knew the state she was in. Hence she traveled to the well at such an uncomfortable time so she can avoid others who looked down on her (dummies.com/religion/christianity/the-bible/spiritual-rebirth-the-samaritan-woman-at-the-well/). And she clearly states that she is not married. She also knows the “messiah (Christ Jesus) is coming and will proclaim all things to us.” However, what intrigues me when I read this story is how Jesus was so frank with her and how she did not run away from Him in despair or offense. She received the truth about the sin in her life and her thirst for a savior. She was so excited about such revelation, Him knowing what was going on with her. She was also excited about the fact that He can meet the need of eternal salvation and fulfillment, whether she fully understood it or not. She ran boldly in to the village and told others about Jesus. This resulted in many of the people believing that Jesus is the Savior.

Much of healing is discovering truth, truth about what’s going on inside of you and your heart. As God exposes some things for you to face, repent from, and heal from, don’t run from God in despair or offense. God wants you to heal. God wants to have a relationship with you. God wants you to know He loves you and He is here to fulfill you. And God will give you the grace and strength to endure this part of the healing process. Don’t avoid the pain, the emotions, the truth, the forgiveness, the repentance, and the Savior when He comes waiting for you at the well. Let us face the Truth–Jesus.

Father,

Help us to allow You to bring those things to the surface in our lives that You want us to face and we have been so afraid to deal with. It is uncomfortable and disheartening at times but give us grace to hear the truth and face it. More importantly, let us receive the Truth, the Life and the Way which is Your Son, Jesus. And help us to see ourselves and others the way You do. Your grace is sufficient and the joy of the Lord is our strength. Renew our minds and let us begin to heal. But first we must seek ye first Your kingdom and righteousness and we will have all we need including the things we need to heal and grow. Comfort us too and envelop us with Your unfailing love. Help us to give You all of our failures, fear, disappointments, traumas, and heartbreaks. You love us beyond measure and You care for us with Your omnipotence and mercy. In Jesus’s name, amen.

Not From A Distance

If I can be honest, this verse and circumstance of Moses have always been frightening to me. How could Moses do all of those great things in the Lord, meet God face to face, have such awesome faith and still not make it into the promised land? His anger and his unholy act towards God cost him the promised land. He could only view it from a distance.

That same day the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Moab, to the mountains east of the river, and climb Mount Nebo, which is across from Jericho. Look out across the land of Canaan, the land I am giving to the people of Israel as their own special possession. Then you will die there on the mountain. You will join your ancestors, just as Aaron, your brother, died on Mount Hor and joined his ancestors. For both of you betrayed me with the Israelites at the waters of Meribah at Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin. You failed to demonstrate my holiness to the people of Israel there.
Deuteronomy 32:48‭-‬51 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/deu.32.48-51.NLT

According to GotQuestions.org, “first, Moses disobeyed a direct command from God. God had commanded Moses to speak to the rock. Instead, Moses struck the rock with his staff. Second, Moses took the credit for bringing forth the water. Notice how in verse 10 Moses says, “Must we [referring to Moses and Aaron] bring you water out of this rock?” Moses took credit for the miracle himself, instead of attributing it to God. Third, Moses committed this sin in front of all the Israelites. Such a public example of direct disobedience could not go unpunished. Fourth, it seems that God had intended to present a type of Christ in this circumstance. The water-giving rock is used as a symbol of Christ in 1 Corinthians 10:4. The rock was struck once in Exodus 17:6, just like Christ was crucified once (Hebrews 7:27). Moses’ speaking to the rock in Numbers 20 was to be a picture of prayer; instead, Moses angrily struck the rock, in effect, crucifying Christ again.http://www.gotquestions.org/Moses-promised-land.html

And for that Moses was not allowed to go into the promised land. His resentful anger, pride, and disobedience rerouted him from what God had for him.

How many times have we come close to our breakthroughs and promised lands only to view it from a distance. It is like chess. We have to be careful how we move.

The sin and ungodliness, the lack of surrender, the diversionary battles, the fear, the doubt can all hinder us or cost us a move or win on our board of life. It could delay us and cost us some time and impact of those around us. It doesn’t mean God doesn’t love us, can’t save us, or that God won’t deliver us. We now have Jesus as our mediator and His blood as the seal of our new covenant. However, there are times God will let us face our consequences like any other parent. He will say “no, you can’t go. Not this time.”

God has kept us and covered us from the perils of life. He has loved and still loves us unfailingly. He desires the best and wants the best for us. He desires relationship and joy between Him and us. He wants us to succeed and to fulfill our destinies. He wants us to enter into our promised lands. Don’t let fear, pride, resentment, anger, lack of surrendering to Him, unforgiveness, disobedience and doubt, sin and lack of holiness keep us out of them.

I dont want to view my promised land from a distance. No way! I am going in in Jesus’ name with Him leading the way. But first, forgive me Lord for my pride, disobedience, fear and sin that have kept me from pursuing you and help me to seek ye first the kingdom of God and Your righteousness.