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Watch 2022 online sermons » Beth Moore » Beth Moore - My Feet Almost Slipped - Part 3

Beth Moore - My Feet Almost Slipped - Part 3

Beth Moore - My Feet Almost Slipped - Part 3

Remind me how many points that I told you we were gonna have, all right? How many points have we got? All right, and what are they? So start with number one. What is number one? That's exactly the way the psalmist begins the 73rd Psalm. He wants us to know, from the top, "God is indeed good". But he's gonna then testify to us that he struggled with the concept for a while, just like a few people in this room have surely done along the way. We talked about the fact that this psalm is just inspired, as inspired as any other chapter of Scripture as well as every other lament, that these were given by God to us, to give us language how to get out of our hearts what is seated inside when the enemy wants to come at us with faithlessness.

So number one is "God is indeed good," but number two is, what? "As for me, my feet almost slipped," and it brings us, the true crisis comes. He words it in a question that falls in verse 13, and we've got it in a capsule in point number three, and what is it? "Did I do all this for nothing"? I just, oh, just wonder, would you just show, with a hand, if you've ever thought to yourself, "Did I do all this for nothing"? And the feeling of that, especially when something has been a ton of hard work and you put everything you had into it, and I know what that is like. I know what that is like. I did not think about sharing this with you, but I think I'm going to because, when we were praying this morning, very insightful things come out of our prayer times. It's as if we will listen that God, by his Spirit, will tell us things to pray.

We're praying according to his will, praying for things that we wouldn't even expect to pray about necessarily, and this morning, as we were praying about what we hoped God would do in this house, one of the things we prayed about, one of our team members prayed specifically for somebody to just be set free from the shame of feeling like a failure, and I thought what an important word and work, and I wanna tell you, I wanna testify to you for a couple of minutes, and, again, this is not in my notes, but I'm going to go ahead and bring this vulnerability to the table this morning about the biggest time I have ever felt like a failure.

Now, I've had tons and tons, I've come from a sinful past, so I've certainly failed in committing sins. I felt like I failed the Lord in the way I have committed sins, but I'm talkin' about something that I tried my hardest, and it didn't work. Can I see anyone relating with me on that? We had a little guy in our home. Some of you that have been in the really, I mean, the first Bible studies, some of the ones that were not, some of them I redid, and we did a revised version, and so what he wouldn't have been as common in those, the new ones, but any of you that have been around and had studied with me for somethin' like 25 years, you are aware of this. Keith and I had entrusted to us, for seven years, a little boy from the time he was four till the time he was 11, and he was the child of one of Keith's cousins, and there was no legal adoption or anything like that, but we took him in, believing that he was ours and ours forever, and I will not get into the whole story, but I will tell you, that seven years, I have never worked so hard at anything in my life.

Now, I don't know how I got this in my head, but it was early on in my parenting, and, you know, you have these lofty notions of how parenting is going to go. I was naturally maternal from the beginning. By the time I could walk, I had dolls. I'm very affectionate. I am maternal by nature. It's just my way, and so I have been a flop and a lot of things, but I thought, to be able to mother something, I could mother a little bird. I could mother a little kitten. I could mother a little possum. It's just like, you know, I just, like, a porcupine. I mean, I don't wanna birth it, but I could love it, you know? And so, I was just like, 'cause he was so broken and had come from such a broken situation, and I was like, "I'm gonna love him to wholeness. I am absolutely going to love him to wholeness". Anybody else try to love somebody to wholeness in this room?

So, anyway, I didn't. I've never tried so hard to do anything in my life. I know God had purpose in all of that. We just, you talk about gettin' every kind of help you could possibly get, every kind of doctor, everything, everything, everything, every kind of school involved. I was on speed dial with the principal, I mean, like, all the time. I was in the school office. We did everything. Our other kids were in public schools. We went private with him. We did everything we knew to do, everything we knew to do, but it just did not pan out with the fruit. And it led to a time that then his birth mother was ready to have him back. And so then that started another set of dramatic events. But have you ever had something that you just thought, "What? What was that"? Where all you felt was scarred by it, not the worthiness of the love of the precious child.

Don't get me wrong. The child did not scar me. This is a precious child created in the image of God, but the process of thinking, "We can do this. We can do this. We can do this. We can do this. We will work our hardest and do this. We will all work our hardest and do", where you're just like, and then everything just, like, blows up. You're like, and all these years later, I'm still goin', "What was that"? I still can't make any sense out of it except this is what makes sense to me out of it: Every time, and I don't do it really often 'cause I can't ever tell when I'm gonna have a breakdown over it in the middle of talkin' about it.

Right now, I don't feel emotional about it. Sometimes I can't even get through the story. But here is what has come out of it. Every time I say, "I know what it is like to feel like you tried so hard and you failed," more people relate to that one thing than most things I ever have to share out of my personal testimony. That one thing, just to go, "I get it. I get it," when you tried your hardest, and you're goin', "I still don't know what happened there". And when you're looking at other people that did the same thing, and they did it, does anybody ever wonder why we're, "I don't get it". I wouldn't have taken their success from them in doing it, but there are a lot of people this goes well for. "Why couldn't I have been one of 'em"?

I need to know if anybody in the house can relate to what I'm saying. "Why couldn't this have gone well for us"? And it just sits there. It just sits there. Feel the heart of the psalmist: "God is indeed good, but as for me, my feet almost slipped. Did I do all that for nothing"? That is a recap of verses 1 through 16. Would you go with me now, I want to go to 16 and start reading now 17 through 26: "When I tried to understand all this, it seemed hopeless until I entered God's sanctuary, and then I understood. I understood their destiny. Indeed, you put them in slippery places. You make them fall into ruin". Remember, his big thing is "Why are the wicked prospering"? That may not be your big crisis, but for him it was like, "Man, they got all the shalom. We're the people of shalom. We got no shalom. They've got all the shalom". "How suddenly they become desolation".

Verse 19, "They come to an end, swept away by terrors. Like one waking from a dream, Lord, when arising, you will despise their image. When I became embittered and my innermost being was wounded, I was stupid and didn't understand. I was an unthinking animal toward you. Yet I am always with you. You hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me up in glory. Who do I have in heaven but you? And I desire nothing on earth but you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever". I'm hoping someone in this room or someone within hearing or seeing of a screen has perhaps heard that portion of the psalm, "Whom have I in heaven but you? And, on earth, who do I desire but you? My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever".

I hope you've heard that somewhere along the way, but I wonder if you knew it was in this context? Because this is the thing about pulling verses out of context, even though I love to see little Scripture segments here and there. I love one with a good picture. That can be a gorgeous thing. But we lose the beauty of him coming to that point if we don't know the first verses of Psalm 73, where he is in an enormous crisis, and I just present to you, would he have ever worked it through till he got to the point where he said, "Everything about me may fail, but he is the strength of my heart, and he is my portion forever, and whom have I in heaven but him? And, on earth, what could I desire more than him"? Do you see what comes out of lament?

One of the things, if you're like me, that bothers you is when, especially in the Psalms, when it talks about God's goodness and his blessing over those, like it does in verse 1, who are pure in heart, and when he says, again, "Did I purify my heart and wash my hands in innocence for nothing"? in verse 13, I start squirming anytime we're gonna talk about that we have to be pure in order for the Lord somehow to love us and work in us and work through us. Anybody know what I'm saying? 'Cause I'm goin' like, "How pure"? Anybody else? Like, "How pure does that have to be"? Because I am trying and pursuing godliness and wanting to walk and, in the will of God, but, you know, I also can be a train wreck sometimes and can get really mad at somebody. Anybody else kind of get mad at somebody every now and then and, kind of, think some thoughts about 'em?

And, you know, when I suggest to God... So, you know, "How pure do I have to be"? Because I don't know. I can't get fixed. Anybody else? Like, you've got it goin' now. I mean, yeah, like, you hit, you've somehow got yourself, and that train's in the right track, and, like, you've been rollin', livin' righteously without faltering to the right or to the left for 20 years, and I just say, "God bless you. I never knew you". You know what I'm saying? I don't know. I'm glad for you. I don't know. It's just not gone that beautifully for me. It's been a lot messier than that. Anybody had a messier time than that? I just had a messier time than that. And so these kind of words, like, I don't know.

What does that mean? Well, "purity of heart," the heart of it in the psalmist, and right here in particular, according to the scholars that I studied out of these passages, it meant earnestness and honesty and that you're in it. Like, it's just like, it's not that we're not gonna ever blow it. It's that we... no, we are sincerely in this with him, sincerely in this. That's what it means to have, bring our heart, "pure in heart" means you're not playin' here, that what you're... it's not a pretense with you in this relationship with God. You're bringing the sincerity. This is what you want. This is what you're after. And I don't know if that helps you, but it helps me.

I want you to see this with me. I want you to notice the wording here, 16 and 17. Let's go back to 'em. "If I decided to say these things out loud, I would've betrayed your people. When I tried to understand all this, it seemed hopeless", look at 17, "until I entered God's sanctuary". Until I entered God's sanctuary. I want you to write down point number four, and it's this: "Understanding seemed hopeless until I entered God's sanctuary". Isn't "until" a marvelous and profound word? I don't know that I've ever really thought about it until this particular preparation of study because not many regular, everyday, unimpressive, seeming vocabulary words are more fundamental to our belief system in Christ than the word "until". I looked up.

Do you know it appears in the Scriptures 534 times? The word "until" is a time marker. It's like a due date. It's when something changes because something is there "until," and then there's this change. So I want you to think of it that way, and so I just, I started looking up, I ran the word and looked up hundreds of times that it appears in Scripture, but I thought, "I wanna look at it from our point of view under the New Covenant as New Testament believers in Christ", and I pulled out some of the key ones, and just listen to 'em, and listen for the "until," whatever the phrase is that begins with the word "until".

1 Corinthians 11:26, "For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes". Philippians 1:6, "I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until this day of Christ". Hebrews 6:11, "Now we desire each of you demonstrate the same diligence for the full assurance of your hope until the end". James 5:7, "Therefore, brothers and sisters, be patient until the Lord's coming". 2 Peter 1:19, "We also had the prophetic word strongly confirmed, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts".

Revelation 2:25, I think maybe this one's best of all: "Only hold on to what you have until I come". Those are words straight from the mouth of Christ. "Hold on to what you have until I come". I'll read one more to you 'cause I love this because do you know that Jesus is also waiting on an "until"? I just love it. And this is not once but several times. This is one of those Scriptures that is quoted several times in the Word of God, the one that says, where God says to Christ, "Sit at my right hand until I put all your enemies under your feet and make them a footstool". My favorite part about this whole thing is that it does not say what happened. Isn't that perfect? "Until I entered the sanctuary", well, what happened? I want him to tell his testimony. "Tell us exactly. I mean, how did it feel? How did it look? What was said? Tell us exactly".

Don't you know it's so much better than it's left blank? Because we have no idea what it was. What changed it? Do you know how many times he would've been in the sanctuary? Why that time? 'Cause it was just time. Sometimes there's no figuring out why it was this time. It just was time. God must wear a watch, and he goes, "Time". Just, "Time". What if it's this time? Would you look at somebody around here and say, "It may be this time. It just may be this time". Okay, so what could that blank be filled in with? He could use anything. It could've been the Scriptures read aloud. It could've been the music. Maybe he left his cymbals alone and just had to listen instead of... liturgy, confession, it might've been an encounter for us this side of the cross. Maybe it's Communion. Maybe it's baptism.

Do you know what sometimes it is, for me, that will just like overwhelm my heart with the goodness of God and his faithfulness? Sometimes, for me, it's just being in the presence of the saints. I'm a big believer in the local church, a big believer. I'mma tell ya something. You're not gonna ever find a perfect one, but pursue one, a Bible-teaching one, a Bible-teaching one, and as imperfect as it is, plant your life in it because there's something about the community of saints we cannot get from the internet. You cannot get that from podcasts. I love podcasts. You cannot get the community of saints from a podcast. You can't. You can't. I'll give you a perfect example. I don't even know why this is big. You know how you just, like, you have a moment, and you don't really know exactly why it meant a lot to you. It just did, but it's moments like these.

Okay, so, some weeks ago, I'm in our worship service at church, and I am... remember when I told you in the earlier session that I've just been kind of brokenhearted about something lately, something I've waited on so long, and, just, like, "It ain't happenin'. This is gonna be this hard and this painful always". Anybody else got that on, and every now and then, we're just like, "I feel so sorry for myself"? You know, it's just that kind of thing, and so I was kind of feelin' that way, and so I brought it because I don't feel ashamed to bring that. I don't leave my stuff in the car. We did that growin' up, and it never worked. It never worked 'cause all that trash was still waitin' on you in the car. I take my trash into church and I do. I just go take my estate in there and go, "This is where I am right now".

And so, we always have a time of prayer at the end of our worship services at church. No one is coerced. We're singing at the time, and I could see that it was gettin' pretty packed up there, and I saw a couple step out, and they did it toward the end. I knew we were narrowing down toward the end of the song, and sometimes it's till then that somebody gets the guts to step out. You know what I'm saying? They've probably been in the row, going, "Should we? Should we? Should we"?

And then, finally, they just step out, and so I saw them step out, and they're way in front of where I am, and it's a man and a woman, and I see that they look around them, and nobody can take them yet, so there's that awkwardness: "We've stepped out now. We're standing in the middle of the row with the front of the church, and there's no one to take us". Well, I mean, without hesitation, I mean, it was like this quickly, a couple that I have known for somewhere around 35 years, I mean, just, automatically, it was as smooth as butter. I don't know how to explain it. It was like the wind blew 'em. I mean, there was not a second, a second between them standing there, looking around, realizing no one was there, and this couple, I don't even... did they even say to one another, "Let's go"?

They didn't seem to. They just, like, stepped out of the aisle, and they took them by the arm and stepped over to the side, and there they were just prayin', and, I mean, they were praying it down. And what I knew about that couple is that, I mean, their house flooded not long ago. They've been through some hard things, and they've been faithful people. Sometimes it's just the quality of the people that you love, just, that you know that Miss So-and-So, I mean, she's been sittin' in that wheelchair 15 years, and she comes every single Sunday, and she helps in any way she knows how. She intercedes for people who are in distress. You know what I'm talkin' about? Just, like, sometimes, it's that, that just reminds you, "God, you're so good, and you're so faithful".
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