INTERPLAY BETWEEN CONFIDENCE AND SHAME
Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes. Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments. Psalm 119:5-6
Satan lied to our first set of parents, Adam and Eve, about the importance of keeping all of God’s statues. He encouraged them to question. “Did God really say that?” In doing their own thing, which was really Satan’s thing, they were filled with shame and went to hide. Shame destroys our confidence with God. We no longer have the guts to stand before Him, look Him in the face, and engage in the relationship. Sin clogs the line of openness and what was once free and easy is now full of cobwebs. John encouraged his spiritual children to go boldly to the throne of grace. He wrote passionately about the confidence that can be mine as God’s child; confidence that I am loved and wanted. When I ignore God’s ways and wander off to run my life by my own gut, the first thing that goes with it is my assurance that I can go home to Him. I will begin to avoid prayer. The Psalmist knows that he must be intentional to embrace all of God’s ways. He knows that deviating will bring the same kind of shame Adam and Eve felt as they hid in the garden, covered in clothes.
I hear from women every day through email, by phone, and I talk to them at our conferences. Many tell me the same thing. I am not comfortable praying. I don’t want to pray. I can’t feel God. I can’t hear His voice. I have no joy. In other words, my relationship with Him is in trouble. One of the first places to start is to assess where the relationship went astray. God did not change. So, perhaps the dynamics changed when a detour was taken from the way He told us to live. Whenever I rationalize and run my life myself, my sin veils God’s face. He’s there but I can’t see Him. He’s reaching out but I can’t perceive it. He wants me but I can’t feel it. He’s calling me but I’m turning a deaf ear. He’s looking for me but I’m hiding.
Confidence can be mine again but the road home must be paved with humility, introspection, then repentance.
I’ve known the hopelessness of life without You. I did not make it a point to treasure Your ways, daily, and commit myself to follow You. I remember the shame but I love our new relationship. There’s nothing like confidence that comes from obedience. Thank you for teaching me that. Amen