I guess there can’t be many people who don’t have things they feel ashamed of. And, if someone says or does something that brings the shame to the surface, we feel a good deal of emotional pain. So, we tend to keep it below the surface – buried. The trouble is, it’s still there – lurking!
Here, David says that he ‘clings to God’s testimonies’. Testimony is what someone, who has witnessed – seen or heard – something, says. God’s testimonies are what God says He’s seen and heard. Which makes ‘clinging’ to them a bit risky. You see, God looks on the heart and His word has a way of exposing what lies hidden there, including the things we feel ashamed of.
A little while ago, Sue said something to me that touched on something about my inner attitudes that I didn’t like. If someone had done something that I thought was stupid or incompetent, I would enjoy telling other people about it. I think it was something I had picked up from other members of my family when I was growing up. And it was still there, deeply embedded. So, when Sue quoted Luke 6:45: ‘the mouth speaks what the heart is full of’, I felt the shamefulness of that attitude and, to be honest, quickly covered it over again.
Was God putting me to shame? No, He was exposing something of which I should be ashamed. Why? Because He wanted to deal with it.
A week or so later, I was sitting quietly during a ‘reflection time’ at an Ellel course, when God showed me something. I was standing near the edge of a cliff. The sea was below me. I was digging into the ground with my fingers, trying to extract a stone that was firmly embedded in the soil. It wasn’t easy. I knew I had to throw it into the sea.
And I knew that it represented the bad attitude that God had exposed. But when I had finally got it out, I became a bit reluctant. After all, the stone could be quite useful – to repair a wall or put in a rockery. Come to that, if it were cleaned up, it might be ornamental. Or, if I needed it, it could be useful missile! But no, I would throw it into the sea – be rid of it. I swung my arm and chucked it as far as I could.
And then, something amazing happened. I expected it just to clear the cliff-edge and drop into the sea – after all, it was quite heavy. But as soon as it had left my hand, it suddenly accelerated away, and I saw the splash as it finally fell into the water, far further than I could ever have got it.
I had to take the initiative to get rid of something that God’s ‘testimony’ had exposed. But once I had done that, He ensured that it was ‘hurled into the depths of the sea’ (Micah 7:19).
Prayer: Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24). Amen.
Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship. Provided full acknowledgement is made to Seeds of the Kingdom as the source, you are also welcome to use it in a non-commercial way and reproduce it in magazines or other Christian websites. The copyright for any commercial use of the material remains with Ellel Ministries International.