No Shame

Psalm 119:6

I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.

John 4:31-34

Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.”32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 33 So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.

20160924-kleb-woods-9733

Protected tips of a bush hog long abandoned at Kleb farm from a recent NWHPC outing.

The church meeting was somewhat tense. I was serving in an advisory capacity for a church that was searching for a new senior pastor. During the process a group had sought to use some code language in order to turn certain people away from interest in the position. When I suggested that it wasn’t the best way to go about that process, I was asked what seemed to be a simple question. I provided the answer in a simple (and perhaps somewhat naive manner. When I did one of the persons in the meeting sprung the trap he had set, accusing me of being unfaithful and un-Lutheran. I hadn’t seen the trap.

Have you ever been taken for a ride? Not an auto ride, but a trip down deception lane? If so, it might be that these words from Psalm 119 are a welcome invitation: Fixing our eyes God’s commandments will sustain us in every situation. But there are times when we must look beyond the obvious to see the fullness of what God is calling us to do.

In the case of the situation I faced a few years ago and several counties away, my eyes were on God’s commandments. I was being as faithful as I could be, and as such, I need not have been shamed. In fact I wrote to the gentleman who sprang the trap on me and ended by telling him that I had hoped he would have been more gracious in his assessment of me.

If we are centered in God’s word and commandments, and seeking to do his will, we may still get taken for a ride. But God’s kingdom work will be done. Jesus has provided the way for this, the example of it, and the strength for us to serve him faithfully.

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