I think one of the greatest hindrances to the ministry God has called us to is our shame. No matter who you are there is something in your past that you wish you could do over. No one is perfect which also means that we all wish there were mistakes that we could take out of our past. Some are small and some are big and we have an enemy who likes to bring those moments back to our minds, especially if we are stepping into something new that God has planned for us. Sometimes our shame isn't from something we've done, but from something that has been done to us. It is almost as if it is one last chance of stopping us from claiming the promises that God has given us. This morning, I am continuing on in my unprepared study by looking at what happened with the Israelites after they crossed the Jordan River. Please use the link and read Joshua 5:1-12.
First, I want to point out that in the first few verses, we read that all the kings throughout the region were afraid of the Israelites because of what God had done for them at the Jordan River. I think this is important because something we need to remember is that when we are stepping out in faith and we begin to do what God has called us to do, we have an enemy who doesn't like to see what is happening. I believe that is why he uses shame as a way to stop us from moving forward. The Israelites had their own shame that they were carrying. They were slaves or the children of slaves. In fact this entire generation hadn't even been circumcised, which was a sign of God's promise. So, not only were they slaves, they didn't even have the physical mark of God's promise that He had commanded.
But that wasn't going to stop God because God Himself has no shame. God can dismiss shame and that is exactly what He did at Gilgal. He told the Israelites to be circumcised and when they obeyed, God told them that he rolled away their shame from their slavery. This may not sound like a big deal, but it is! Think of what bothers you from your past. What is in your past that you hope other people don't find out? What do you wish didn't exist? Or maybe everyone knows about your past and you don't think that God could use you because of what you believe people perceive about you? Shame has a way of stopping us from going forward because it is also full of lies. But, there is something to remember - God is the One who takes away our shame.
I want to show you a few New Testament verses in relation to our shame. Luke 24:1-3 says, "But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didn't find the body of the Lord Jesus." Jesus died because of our sin; He took our shame to the cross. But three days later the stone that held Jesus in the tomb was rolled away and He rose from the dead! We have all even experienced a spiritual circumcision; Colossians 2:11 (NLT) says, "When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature." How incredible is that!? Romans 10:9-11 (NIV) says, "If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, 'Anyone who believes in Him will never be put to shame.'" What amazing promises we have!
I don't know about you, but I would rather believe that when God rolled away that stone from Christ's grave He also rolled away our shame. Christ shares His victory over death with us when we believe Him! We can believe that we have no shame in Christ. Instead, God can take those moments of shame and use them for His purpose and show His victory.
Do you beleive that God has rolled away your shame?
This post is linked with Faith Filled Friday.