Beth Moore - Your Faith Map - Part 5
Slavery and captivity. Know the difference? Well, this one, this one's always gonna be for us after we know him. This one will always be that there was a warning. I've gotta tell you something. From the time that I ever was writing, you know, I come from a very, very difficult past and, oh, such a, just a hard road, and God has so persevered with me and been so gracious to me and, over time, taught these very, very broken legs how to be healed and how to begin to walk on the road instead of constantly tumbling in the ditch like I did in my younger years, and I'm so, so grateful to him, but I started when I wrote "When Godly People Do Ungodly Things," because there really is, there is a spirit of seduction, and, listen, warfare is hardball, but seduction is curveball.
It's you did not see it coming. I mean, it's something that hit you from the side, and, I mean, you're, like, drunk on it before you know it... anybody? Where you just think like, "Man, I could hardly even think". It could be like an affair in your workplace that, I mean, like, you cannot even think, and, I mean, you have loved God since childhood, and you are wigged out in an affair, and it is one of those times when God is goin', "Where are you?" and you're in another man's bed. It's like, "What am I doin' here"? This is what we're talkin' about. So I interviewed one person after the next, and I've continued to do it all these years, long after I wrote the book, long after I wrote the book. I've continued to ask the same question of believers, not to those that were in slavery, in other words, they had never come to know Christ.
But those who are in Christ, the Holy Spirit does his job. He does his job. There's no way he's not harassing us, holy harassment from the inside when we're wigged out in sin. He does his job. He does his job. And so I ask over and over again, "Did you get a warning? Did you get a warning? Was something in you? Did something in you go, 'Oh, man, this is gon' be trouble?'" There's something where, at the very beginning, when you still had some kind of brains... anybody? You can think well enough to go, "Uh-uh, uh-uh, I better move back from this," and then, whoosh, we don't resist it, and in we go. What differs between captivity and slavery? We do better. We knew better. That's why this one, for me, personally, this does not drive me near as crazy in my own journey with God as this one. I knew better when I was in this mess. I knew better. It wasn't even in my heart to do, I would've thought. I mean, it's, like, I loved God, and then just got caught in depravity over someone else that might be an addiction, whatever it is. This is like, "What am I doing here"?
And, for somebody today, this is your day out. This is your day out, and some of you are thinking, "No, it'll kill me. It'll nearly kill me". No, God's gon' be so good to you, but you're gonna have to trust him like you do back in the wilderness because you're gonna be goin' through that again where you're in a wilderness, tryin' to get back to your place of abounding. You do not belong in captivity. It is for freedom that Christ has set you free. Get your tail out of it. Get your tail out of it. It is time for you to be back in your place of abounding. It is all that will matter. That's what's gonna matter when you get home. That's what's gonna matter from eternity to eternity. The first landmark in captivity are idols, always, always. There's always something we have made another god when we are in captivity, always, always, always. It's either idol or idols.
The next one is an increasingly heavy yoke. Like, at first, we may think, "I mean, I feel free, I feel free," but the thing about it is the longer that we are held captive, when we are believers in Christ, the longer we are held captive to sin, the heavier and heavier and heavier that yoke gets. What are our directions? The very first direction is so beautiful, it's so simple: repent, repent. I'm gonna tell you something, church. The scariest thing that could happen to us is for us to lose the word "repentance" from our vocabulary. Do you understand that repentance is our right? He said preach repentance from sin and forgiveness of sins throughout all generations. Preach the gospel, and part of the call of the gospel is you are invited to come repent of your sins, just turn around, turn away from it, and go to Jesus, go to Jesus.
In Acts chapter 3, it says, "Then times of refreshing will come". Listen, there's nothing like it. When I repent and I confess my sins, the Word of God says in 1 John 1:9, "I am completely purified". I mean, like, you stand up from there, and it's like, "I'm forgiven, I'm forgiven," that he's made me clean. Repent. It was exactly even what Solomon prayed when he dedicated the temple in Jerusalem, and he said, "If we go after other gods and if we wander from this place, if we repent with all of our heart and all of our soul in the land of our captivity where we were carried captive, and we pray toward that land and then hear from heaven, from your dwelling place, maintain our cause, forgive us, bring us back". Repent. Take down the next few: Submit to God. Submit to him. "Okay, Lord, I'm just, like, I'm yours". And, to me, I see this. I see "submitting," if I'm gonna think of it as a posture, to me, it's bowing, and I'm just like, "I'm bowed down to you. Lord, I've made such a mess of my life," and I'm just telling you, from my own testimony, places that I've been with him when I've just said to him, "I've made such a mess. I don't know how to fix it. I don't even know how to tell you to be God here, but I'm gonna tell you, I repent. I've really messed up, and I submit myself to you".
And the third one is endure discipline faithfully. Endure discipline faithfully. Hebrews chapter 12, I want you to hear something. This has just been life to me. I love it so much. We had talks about the discipline of God, that "he disciplines those he loves," in verse 6, of Hebrews 12, but listen to where it says this, 11-13, "No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your tired hands and weakened knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated but healed instead". "What is lame may not be dislocated but healed instead".
Listen, listen carefully because this was so, so consoling to me that when God is bringin' me through a time of discipline and when some of the consequences of it are really, really hard, getting over an addiction, withdrawals, the things that we go through, we need support, we need people around us, and it can be tough. God can deliver us in an instant, deliver us from all yearning for that to which we've been addicted, but many times, it's also just a day in, day out, I have to trust you. Give me this day, my daily bread, this day, my daily strength. I will make it on you this day. I don't know what happens in five years, but this day, I'm gonna trust you, and this night, I'm gonna hold close to you. I'm wanna get through the night on you, that we just continue, and we endure, and we endure, but what he says is the whole purpose of that kind of discipline, the divine discipline, is that that which has been broken would be healed.
Listen, something, when we find ourselves in a really big enslavement, in captivity, something's broken somewhere that needs healing. Something's broken. Find out what, and know that your God is after healing you. This one is so important, and I put it in all caps, and I want you to put it in all caps too, and do you know I've got such a lump in my throat, I can hardly say it to you: Never forget how loved you are. Never forget how loved you are. When you're goin' through a time where you're gettin' over somethin' that, a tremendous foolishness in your life when you know, see, there's the thing about captivity is, well, we asked for it.
That's one reason it's the hardest part of my testimony as I look back, and I'm thinkin' to myself, "Oh, my gosh, this wasn't a hardship that was brought on me. I mean, I asked for this". Somehow, I mean, this was a decision I made. I got myself in this mess, and it can be so demoralizing, so the most important thing that we could possibly remember when we're there is, you know what? At no point, in the worst of my sin, was I ever loved one iota less. Never, not for one second, not for one second did you cool off the heart of God toward you. He is incapable of, he cannot love you less or more. He is complete. God is love. So for him to love less, he has to be less God, because God is love, so you'd have to detract, you'd have to subtract from God's godness to be loved less because you'd have to make him less than who he is because God is love.
I think I want you in Psalm 19, but I just want you to lay it open for a little while and let me talk to you for a few minutes. Remember, perhaps, earlier I told you that we were going to end our time together in abounding. We've talked about four different locations. We've been using our Bibles as our location app. We've been opening it up, looking for life application, that's where our app comes from, looking for life application in the Word of God, trying to answer the question if God were to ask us, "Where are you"? or like he said to Elijah... has this gone through your mind at any point this weekend? "Elijah, what are you doing here"? Listen, and for many of us, okay, this is "Yes, okay, I'm in abounding. I just thought it wasn't supposed to hurt at all. I didn't think there was supposed to be any kind of fight here, but there is. Okay, that's good, that's good, I get it now, I get it, and I'm refreshed in it". Maybe that we've decided, "No, I'm somewhere I don't wanna be, but I know where I'm supposed to be, and I know where, by his divine power, God has called me to be".
And so there were four places, and I wanna hear all four of 'em before we settle on the third one. We've got, first of all, what? And then? We've got deliverance, and then? Abounding, and then we've got, and so what we're gonna try to do for the rest of our life is hopefully stay out of captivity. Psalm 25, verse 15, see it? You might mark it because this is really wonderful for someone that wants to just really stay in the land of abounding because it says in verse 15, "My eyes are always on the Lord, for he will pull my feet out of the net".
One of the things I ask him to do continually for my children, my grandchildren, and my husband and I, is that he would just snatch our feet out of a net that, if somehow we have stepped into a trap, that we will know it quickly. One of the things, if you're a parent, one of the things you wanna pray for your kids, and then don't despise it when it happens, pray that they get caught early on. Pray that because the earlier we get caught when we're heading toward a pit, the better. So that's not a bad thing. Don't shame them to death if they get caught taking something small. Just understand, "Isn't God good because you got caught way over here? Now, let's work this through, and let's call it what it is, and let's sort it out and come to a place of repentance and come to a place of restoring this, and understand that God caught you early". If you catch 'em cheating, pray that God caught 'em early, and we want that for us. "Lord, convict me early".
Well, it's hard to know how we're really doing here because, if you're like me, it looks so messy. My own life looks so messy to me, but one thing that does help us is how much time lapses between sin and repentance. That is really helpful. How long can I go when I've talked really ugly about someone before I'm, kind of, like, pierced in the heart about it? You know what I'm talkin' about? Like, how quickly does it go, okay, that was really off base. That was really off base, fun for a moment, yes, but really off base. You know what I'm talkin' about? So it just, that kind of thing gives us a little bit of an idea, but where we want to be is abounding, abounding. Now, I gotta tell y'all something. What do we have up here? We've got our, and this is representative of our place of abounding, 20 times, in the Old Testament, God put it in these words: He called the Land of Promise, or he called Canaan "the land flowing with milk and honey".
Now, one of the things that you and I have talked about that's so important is that the manna wasn't laying on the ground, and the water wasn't gushing from a rock, and the quail wasn't flying in the evening. Instead, he was like, "I've given you cows. Go milk them. I've given you," what we're gonna learn today, "is bees and honeycomb. Go drain it". And I gotta tell y'all something that, some of you, if you keep up at all on Instagram, you already know this, but I am a novice beekeeper. I'm only one year old in my beekeeping, and I don't mind telling you, it is one of the most fun things I've ever done, and, listen, it has not been all fun and games because I got a bee stuck in my hair. Yes, I did, yes, I did, right in the top, and, you know, it just kept stingin' its way out. It was upset. I was upset. We're just yelling, like, "Get out, out with you, out with you," and it was like it was trying to flee for its life. It was goin' like, "I have never been in such a trap in my life". You talk about a bee that is just, like, crying out with Psalm 25, "Remove her hair from my feet".
That was us, but I have a really good friend that plants flowers in our yard from time to time, and she's just fascinating, a fascinating person, and her whole thing, I mean, anything landscaping, anything, she lives to watch stuff grow, and so this is one of her loves, and she said, "Beth, I'm gonna teach you how to beekeep". I said, "Do it". And so we started about 14 months ago, and, you know, you start with a Flow Hive, and it goes from there, and so we got our own bees from our own area. She said, "All of these, all of these," she said, "you've got a great queen". I said, "I want a great queen". "You've got a great queen". "Oh, I'm so happy to have a great queen", and then collects all these bees, and they're just buzzin' all the time in there right about, oh, I'd say, we live out in the country, but I'd say, what you'd consider about a city block from our front door, and I am obsessed with it, absolutely obsessed, but this is our first year to have an actual honey harvest 'cause it's taken all this time. They've been building up.
We've been watching it through the glass, and it's just crazy because you could just hear 'em humming and working inside of it, and so we've done the whole thing, and I brought a little video, and I'm gonna show it to you, but I want you to understand something: This is the very first time I got to do it. All right, it should start comin' out. All right, so this is what I did. Oh, here it comes, here it comes, here it comes, here it comes. It's comin' faster than the other time. Yes, this is so exciting. Y'all, honestly, it was the funnest thing. I got jar after jar after jar. I just need you to know, this right here is my own honey from my own bees. And, you know, I gotta tell y'all something. It's given me such insight into the land of milk and honey. One of the things that's very exciting that I learned this week that I wanted to bring to you is that, for a long time, it was believed that the honey, in reference to "the land of milk and honey," was that which would come from, like, figs or dates.
They felt like it was that kind of honey instead of bee honey because they just didn't really have a reference in the Old Testament to actual beekeeping, and they thought maybe it's just that kind of honey, but in 2007, there was a particular, and it's called Tel Rehov, Tel Rehov, and it is in the Jordan River Valley in the northern part of Israel, where they had been doing an archaeological dig, a group out of Hebrew University, and they dug up an apiary that had at first, they first found, like, I think it was like 30 different hives, and then they would ultimately discover a hundred, and it would've been, it dates all the way back to King Solomon's reign, and why that's so important is because, with the establishment of the temple, he is the king that God had put on the throne when the temple would be established, so it was officially the dwelling of Israel in the Land of Promise, and so there would've been all of these hives, and so they're saying now, "Oh, no, that wasn't just date and fig honey. That is bee honey".
I learned from my research that it would have produced an estimated half a ton of honey every single year. Half a ton of honey every year, just what they found there alone. So it was just stunning when, you know, all these years pass, and then the New Testament era opens with the very last of those Old Testament prophets with the mouth of John the Baptist going, "Repent and make way for the Lord," and we know about him that it wasn't crackers and honey for him. He had a little bit of crunch with locust. I reckon he just dipped his locust right in. You know, it probably made a little cup, you know what I'm sayin'? Just dipped it right in and just, like, it had all the elements, a little bit of crunch, a little bit of soft, absolute perfection, and that's what he ate, and this is this wild man comin' out with this wild honey, and Scripture uses it. You're in Psalm 19. Scripture uses it as a gorgeous metaphor several times, but specifically right here, I wanna read to you Psalm 19, starting at verse 7: "The instruction of the Lord is perfect, renewing one's life. The testimony of the Lord is trustworthy, making the inexperienced wise".
Do you know what that's saying? We don't have to learn everything by experience. There is another way as well, and that's that we can have more wisdom than our experience because we're people of the Word. We're people that received the instruction. "The precepts of the Lord are right, making the heart glad". If we're really studying the Word of God with the Spirit alive and active in us, then it makes our hearts glad. Yes, we'll sorrow with repentance, and then we'll get on with it. We'll repent, and get on with it and to have our gladness and our joy. "The command of the Lord is radiant, making the eyes light up. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are reliable and altogether righteous. They are more desirable than gold, than an abundance of pure gold," and here it is, "and sweeter than honey dripping from a honeycomb. In addition, your servant is warned by them, and in keeping them there is abundant reward".
Do you see both sides of it of being in the Word of God, of really studying the Word of God? He says, "By it, you can receive a warning". You'll know, "Uh-uh, I'm headin' to trouble," but also, "By it, there's great reward". So it is that, like, "I wanna keep away from this, but, man, I want this. I want this". It's a beautiful portion in Ezekiel chapter 3, in verses 1 through 3, where the Lord comes to Ezekiel in this vision and he hands him a scroll, and he says to him, "Eat this scroll". I love the translation that just says, "Eat this book," and he said, "So I ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth".
There's a saying through the centuries of being honey-tongued, and that's just to have sweetness on your tongue. I pray out of Proverbs 31, often. It's one of the lists of scriptures that I lay out with my journal, and I pray out of it on a regular basis, and it says that "the law of kindness is on her tongue". I'm not always kind, but I want to be. I want to be. I want there to be honey on my tongue, and I want it to come from the Scriptures, and I think you want that as well, this beautiful, beautiful promise that is here, this beautiful picture that is here. There's so much bitterness in life, and I think that one of the last things I wanna say to you today is that it's time we demand our sweetness back.