Beth Moore - My Feet Almost Slipped - Part 4
I was cleaning out my purse the day before yesterday. Small animals, enough food for a family of four, none of it any longer in the packages, I'm just saying. If you were that hungry. And I had all these keys. All these keys. All these plastic keys to hotel rooms. And you know, none of 'em work. They've all been recalibrated. None of 'em work, all these keys. So I've got all these keys to nothing. And sometimes I get so frustrated 'cause, you know, you open up Twitter, you open up this or you open up that, open up all these blogs, and it's all like "Eight Steps to Being Happy Forever," "Six Steps to a Perfect Marriage," "Fifteen Steps to Perfect Children".
And sometimes I just get so tired of keys, 'cause sometimes I think, "Those keys don't work. I've tried a lot of 'em". This Psalm uses the word "heart" six different times. Six different times. Six different times. It says over and over, "My heart, my heart, dear heart, dear heart," six times, and I got to tell you something. God really does have the key to your heart. Oh, he really does. He really does. We've got a lot of keys that don't work, but let me tell you something, he knows what works for your heart. Oh, yes, he does.
And I want you to see the wording right here, because it is so profound the way he says it in verse 21: "When I became embittered and my innermost being was wounded". Number 5 is "I'VE BECOME BITTER AND MY INNERMOST BEING, WOUNDED". Can anybody really step into that and feel it? Remember that? We'll remind you what the four were prior to it because I want you to feel the process of the Psalmist. "GOD IS INDEED GOOD". "BUT AS FOR ME, MY FEET ALMOST SLIPPED". "DID I DO ALL THIS FOR NOTHING"? "UNDERSTANDING SEEMED HOPELESS UNTIL I ENTERED GOD'S SANCTUARY". "I'VE BECOME BITTER AND MY INNERMOST BEING, WOUNDED".
See, he realized even in the sanctuary, ah, this is what has happened to me. That in the safety of God's presence to go, "Oh, I get what I've been so undone about, I can face here in the safety of my God who is not gonna shame me or turn me away, who's saying, 'This is exactly where to bring how mad you are. This is exactly where to bring how discontented you are. This is exactly where to bring how disappointed and devastated you are over the way that turned out and how deferred your hope was. This is exactly where to bring it.'" Because in his presence, we get insight into this is what had happened. I've become bitter and my innermost being was wounded. It's a word, if it was in a literal sense, and it's not really being used in a literal sense here, but if it were, it's a word that means, in Hebrew, "for the kidneys to be pierced". Just to be pierced, impaled.
Sometimes, we know the moment we were wounded. Is that fair to say? Like, you'd be able to look back and go, "I could tell you," the moment you found out that he'd had an affair, the moment you heard from the doctor, "I don't hear a heartbeat," the moment you learned the news about the diagnosis, the moment you got that difficult call, the moment you lost your home, the moment of that accident. Other times, it's such a slow piercing, we don't really know what happened. We just know something in there has never healed. You wanna know something beautiful? We have come today to deal with that. God has invited us into his presence to bring us some healing over some wounds that for some of you may be a few months old and for others a few years old and for others 20 solid years old.
God's grace is timeless. It's not that the longer you've had it the less able he is to heal, like, "Whew, if you'd come to me a week sooner, I could have done something about it, but now you have waited too late". I looked up the word "bitter" in the Hebrew, the word that is translated bitter for us in the English, and I mean, it's what you'd expect it to be, but I still think it's so powerful. It says this: "TO BE OR BECOME MARKED BY STRONG RESENTMENT OR CYNICISM". I had not thought of cynicism being a form of bitterness, but it is. If you have gotten cynical, it is tied somehow, it's rooted in bitterness, and bitterness, we know this from Hebrews chapter 12, it says: "A root of bitterness". Bitterness always, I mean, it's a root. It is a root.
And so what is it rooted in? What is at the bottom of it, 'cause that cynicism, it's just a happier way to be bitter. It feels better because cynicism is bitterness with a little bit of anger with it, a little bit of snarkiness with it, and so it feels good to us 'cause we feel smart when we're cynical. So, but it's still bitterness. Still bitterness. It means to be sharp, to be fermented, to be sour. I don't know about you, but I don't really wanna be fermented where people think, "You know what, you taste sour to me".
I was thinking about Psalm 51:6 that says, this is David saying to God: "Behold, you delight in truth in my inward being," it's like this innermost being here in 73:21. "You delight in truth in my inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart". He says, "I wanna put truth in your inmost part, and I wanna put wisdom in the secret heart". I looked up what it meant to be, cause I thought that's an interesting phraseology, "secret heart". And it really just means heart, but it means something more than that. It means the part that's hidden. It means the part we're keeping hidden. What if we let God in that vault today? And let him just, like, turn the light on in there and get that thing cleaned out of so much, it's like, I just can almost picture it being like an old storage room with bottle after bottle after of some kind of toxin. Just get it out. Let him tend to it and put truth in the vault, truth in the vault.
Look at 21 and 22, it says: "When I became embittered and my innermost being was wounded, I was stupid and didn't understand; I was an unthinking animal toward you". I mean, isn't that crazy? "I was like a beast toward you". You know what he's talking about here? He's talking about times when we become irrational. I want somebody to relate with that. When was the last time you just were flat out irrational? Someone goes, "Last night". Funny how that happens. That moment when, honestly, I mean that's just you think, "Where did that come from"? Oh, it's coming from something. It's coming from so much in there that all of a sudden you react to something and I react to something in a way that is completely irrational, completely irrational. I mean, and sometimes, we can feel it when we're doing it. We're going, like, "I'm being irrational".
Someone will say to us, "You're being irrational". We go, "I am not"! "Perfectly clear-headed". And you know, we've grown like, grown four or five heads, you know, just like, manifesting everything under the sun. Irrational, irrational. That's coming from something, it's rooted in something. We just lose it. When was the last time you just lost it? Just lost it? That's rooted in something. That's not coming out of nowhere. What is under that? Tell me to, well, you're not gonna actually verbally tell me, but think. Think of the last time you just lost it, the last time you were totally irrational. What were the circumstances? And ask God today, "What is that rooted in? What is that coming from"? Jealousy can do that. Nothing can make us act like bigger idiots than jealousy.
Am I telling the truth to somebody? I mean we just act like an idiot, like, insecurity, anger. What's it come from? Ask him, ask him, ask him, ask him for insight. That's not coming out of nowhere. It's coming from something. It is coming from some kind of untreated wound. What is it? It is time today to let God clean out that wound, sew that baby up, and bring us some healing. I'll tell you something, you know, one of the things that happens on the other side of our irrational episodes is that we're just embarrassed. Some of you feel like, you know, "I acted irrational at my church and now I can't go back. I acted irrational with my friends and now I can't go back. I acted irrational with that guy that I really, really like and that's gonna be over now".
And I just wanna tell you something, you got a lot of company in some of your irrational behavior, because most of us in here would own up that we have, honestly, watched ourselves be the biggest fools. And in Jesus, you always get to come back. You just always do. I got to know. You know what, I got to know. I, yeah, I circled back around a couple of years ago to somebody who had known the old me, ugh. There is just no end to the regret for our old sins, it seems. Just no end.
And I was so embarrassed and felt so shamed, and a little later, as the Lord tended to me, I just held my chin back up and I thought, "This is what the cross of Christ was for. No, I don't, I repented. I repented. I don't have to do that. If he can't accept that I'm new, I can't help him. That's his problem. But I'm not that woman anymore. I'm not that girl anymore. This is who I am now and I'm not even gonna be just this person in 10 years. So don't even hold me responsible for today in 10 years, because I'm changing and I'm being transformed from glory to glory". Anybody else in the house? And I belong to Jesus and you don't get to shame me. Yes, I wanna face my sins and repent of my sins and confess my sins, but when I do, I'm cleansed of my sins. I'm purified of my sins and you don't get to put shame on a child of God. We are covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. We are covered by the blood of Jesus Christ, and no one can uncover us.
Let me tell you, I can almost not read the part where he transitions into 25. "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, my portion forever". What does it mean exactly, "I desire nothing on earth besides you"? Because I don't want somebody to get the wrong idea there. I don't want you to think, "Gosh, my desire to possibly have a mate or children or to have a home that doesn't have a roof that leaks, doesn't have the cabinets off its hinges".
I don't want you to think that those are sinful desires. So what is he talking about here? He's talking about those times when we're in the presence of God, and please understand with me, God is present with us always. Jesus said when he departed from their physical side, and the apostles were just like, standing there, just gaping at him. He told 'em, "I will be with you always, even to the end of the age". And so that's us. He's with us always. He's with us always.
We're to be mindful of that presence and to be aware of it. What we would call to some degree, even though it's not something we can see with our eyes, a manifested presence, where you just sense him, perhaps in worship today, you know what I'm talking about. Where just like a separate, there's so much happens in that moment because there are times I just want you to see if you can lean into this. Have you ever noticed, if you really let yourself be completely absorbed in worship, have you ever noticed that in that moment there's really just nothing else on earth you want?
Have you ever noticed that in that moment, that just in the throes of it, and one reason I like loud music is so let it fill up where I can't, see, I can't hear my phone, a text coming in on my phone, like, I can't hear, I don't know what's going on outside. Let this room be filled, and I do this in my home. Let this home be filled with music. Let me worship you where I'm not thinking of anything else, and in that moment, there is nothing, nothing I desire but him. Nothing, I mean, I am satisfied entirely in his presence. It's that kind. Sometimes, it can be in a moment of prayer. It's not a mystical thing. It's just this wonderful, wonderful thing.
And here's what I want to tell you that so many times, you know, I want a thousand different things. You ought to see my journal sometimes. I'm asking this and this and this and this and this and this and this. But you cannot even count all the times I'll circle back around and say to him, "But more than anything else, I want you. And so if any of this that I have just asked you for is gonna undermine that, then this is the one I want to carry the whole prayer time. It is you that I want. I ask you for a hundred things for my children. I want this and that and this and that and this and that".
My granddaughter has a dance competition this weekend. I've asked for her to do well on it and feel good about her performance and, ridiculous, completely temporal, but I can ask. But more than anything else, I want my children, my grandchildren, I want them to have Jesus. I want them to know Jesus. And I wanna say something to you today, that in his presence, and the awareness of his presence, what it means is all our craving's quiet. Have you ever noticed that? Everything else just fades into gray and it's just him, bright, brilliant, beautiful. Every color of the refraction of light through a prism and yet completely unseen, like Moses, Hebrews 11:27: "Who persevered as one who sees him who is invisible".
I want you to know something. You are your truest self in worship. You are never your truest, if you are in Christ, you are never your truer self. If you wanna know really who you are, it is not when you're all wigged out in sin, not if you belong to Jesus. You're acting according to a false sense of self, when you are wigged out in sin and when I am wigged out in sin. Oh no, that is not the true you. That woman, that man for a couple of our brothers, that is in worship, holy and completely focused on God, satisfied completely in him, without a single craving for the things of the flesh in that moment, that is the truest you, you will ever get.
That is why... please help me, Lord. That is why we see so much of heaven and the life after this one that is wrapped up in worship because this is the best we know how to lean in to what heaven will be like, the closest you ever get to it, the closest you ever get to the fulfillment of what it will be like, is when you are in the throes of worship without another care in the entire world. There's nothing like that. Nothing like that. "Whom have I in heaven but you? And on earth what do I desire besides you"?
I wanna show you one thing. Look at verse 26. See that it says: "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart". Is that what most of your translations say, "God is the strength of my heart," "God is the strength of my", does anybody's translation say anything different? Okay, listen, listen carefully. That word "strength" means rock. It means rock. It is literally saying, "But God is the rock of my heart". "God is the rock of my heart". It's the most beautiful thing. Do you realize that when he is the rock in your heart, your heart doesn't have to be as hard as rock? 'Cause he's, I mean, he's the rock in your heart. Like, it's the most beautiful thing. "My strength in", "My body may fail, but God is the rock of my heart".
I want you to write that down as number 6. Number 6, "THEN I REALIZED I HAVE YOU, THE ROCK OF MY HEART". Okay, our final reading is in 27 and 28: "Those far from you will certainly perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you". But look at 28: "But as for me," this isn't even the good part yet. "As for me". I want you to understand with me, he is very purposely repeating. He ends the Psalm where he began it. I need somebody to get excited with me, because this is such perfection. Verse 2, after he had stated, listen: "For sure, God is indeed good. But as for me, my feet almost slipped". So he takes us through this whole journey with him, I'm about to cry, saying it to you, and then he draws it to a close, and he says the same phrase again: "But as for me, God's presence is my good".
Some of your versions say his nearness is my good. That's beautiful too. I've heard a song with that terminology in it, gorgeous, gorgeous. But I have never seen a translation that more resonated with me, and I can assure you this will go down in my memory work, this final verse. I love it so much. "But as for me, God's presence is my good". Did you hear what he's doing here? He said, "Oh, listen, God for sure is good. God for sure is good. But as for me, my feet almost slipped". Works all the way through and gets to the end and goes, "But as for me, God's presence is my good". And this is what we take home with us: "EVIL PERSISTS FOR NOW, BUT AS FOR ME, GOD'S PRESENCE IS MY GOOD".
I'm gonna have to swallow this lump in my throat to be able to read this commentary excerpt to you. I don't even know if it will feel all this profound but I've gotta tell you, to me, to me, this has been everything. To me, this has been everything. Listen to this. This is Bible commentary writer, Marvin Tate, and it's out of "Word Biblical Commentary". He says, "Verse 1 is affirmed". In other words, he's coming back around to it. Verse 1 is affirmed, where he says, "God is indeed good".
Verse one is affirmed, "but the understanding of," and he puts this in quotation marks, "'how God is good' has changed. Divine goodness is not prosperity, but presence". It's his presence. The most wonderful thing he has given you. When we go, "But they all got this and they all got that", and he goes, "I gave you everything I had. I gave you me. I gave you me". If you think it is a sacrifice, that you missed some things but you have an overflow of the presence of the grace of God in your life where that space stayed empty, if you think that is a loss, you could not be more mistaken, because there is no gain like that one on the earth, and I will take it every time. And sometimes, I still cry, but I will take the presence every single time.