Beth Moore - Strong Sisters - Part 4
We're talking about God working in the inner man, and it's so imperative that we're in the Word of God; because if we're not, we don't know how his character goes and what is absolutely contrary to anything he would ever say. Can somebody step in that with me? Case in point, in a very wonderful way, my friend Jan Morton left me an audio text yesterday, and she was praying for me for today. And I was striving listening to it, and I had it over my blue tooth, and I just was amening. I was telling the Lord, "Man, I receive it, I receive it". But what was amazing to me, and when I was able to stop, I was able to text her back and say this. What is so fabulous about stellar, strong women of God that are in the Word, as a day-to-day practice is that the woman's prayers were so informed by the Word, everything she prayed over me, I was matching up to a Scripture. I knew that everything she was interceding for, I knew she was drawing it from Scripture. She wasn't just drawing it out of the clear blue sky. She was drawing it from Scripture.
And so, I did an audio text back to her, and I told her, I said, "Jan, this is such a beautiful thing because I think it's why", in John chapter 15, do y'all remember when Jesus uses the metaphor of the vine and the branches, he says, "If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, that ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you". I mean, that is like a tall order. That's something else. And he's saying it to those immediate disciples, and we would not doubt that, you know, especially in that particular New Testament era there was an impact that that was to have, that perhaps we can't just take a note that that's gonna be every single promise to us 100% across the board. But I will tell you this: I think the concept is there. I think the more we are informed by Scripture in our prayers, the more we are likely to pray in the will of God; and when we pray in the will of God, 1 John chapter 5, we will have what we ask.
And so, the more we walk in Scripture, and the more Scripture is walking around in us, the more we start praying accordingly. And you talk about having prayer answered because we're getting in there with him, and we're thinking like Scripture says he thinks, and we're beginning to pray that out, and it is profound. But one of the things I ask him to do often, especially when it's this inner prompting, it's the Holy Spirit that's inside me and I think, I think that, I think he's directing me to do this. Now, he says in his Word that we will be led by the Spirit, led by the Spirit. And so, I've gotta depend on that. And so, very often, I will say to him, "Lord," a very simple prayer, "do not let me make stuff up". Anybody know what I'm saying to them, today? Just, "Lord, I'm asking you a very simple thing here. Please, help me not make stuff up". That we're just all capable...
Can I see anybody's hand if you know good and well you are capable of just making something up, just making something up? I mean, like, what's one supposed to do? Well, for all of us, all of us, we have learned that everything that comes to our mind it's not necessarily the Word, the will of God and the Word of God. I'll just never forget a friend telling me that she had awakened, and she just thought, "I had a dream". And then she just thought, "Go look at Philippians 6:4". She said she jumped out of the bed, went to look, and it was like, "The Lord is speaking to me. The Lord has spoken to me. Go look at Philippians 6:4". And she said, "You know what? There weren't six chapters in Philippians".
I want you to notice something with me in Esther 4. Did you notice Esther's very measured speech? By that, I mean, did you notice that she sent back word and said, "All right, I'm gonna do it. But I mean, you fast for me for three days, day and night. Fast for me". I mean, she's gonna take it slow because what she's got ahead of her is important, and her life is at stake; but if she doesn't do it, all of their lives are at stake. Measured speech, measured speech. She was quiet before she spoke. Let me tell you something. If we never shut up, then we need to quit saying what God has told us to say because we have not been quiet enough to hear it. Anybody know what I'm talking about? I don't trust speech of somebody delivering me God's message that never shuts up enough to hear what he's saying. Quiet. Spend time in intense prayer and preparation. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, "Right speech comes out of silence, and right silence comes out of speech". I want to say that again. "Right speech comes out of silence".
A couple of times, I just talked off the top of my head. And you know what? Because I did that, I don't know for sure if it was God or not. I thought it was, but I don't get to know, because I wasn't silent before I spoke. Can I hear an amen from anybody? But there have been some other times that I've spoken up about something, and things that really got me in a lot of trouble, but I had been dead silent, spent a whole night, whole morning, poured over God's Word, and then said it. And then no matter what kind of trouble I got in, I knew in my heart, "Man, I'm so fallible. I'm so flawed". But as well as I knew how to be silent and listen, I pursued that, and there's peace.
There are two verses I want you to write down before we go to the second part of this lesson, two Scriptures. I want you to write down Exodus 4:12, Exodus 4:12. Use these addresses. You can look 'em up later 'cause I'm gonna read them to you. Exodus 4:12, and then I want you to write down Psalm 4, 4 through 5, Psalm 4, 4 through 5. These helped me a lot. The first one I go back to over and over and over again. It's, of course, Exodus 4 is gonna be right there after Exodus 3, which is where Moses was on the back side of the desert. He sees that a bush is on fire; only the bush will not consume with the fire. So, he knows that's a strange sight. So, he goes over to it. Of course, God calls to him out of that bush, tells him to take off his sandals because he's standing on holy ground, and that is where he introduces himself to him as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the one who is I Am That I Am, I Am Who I Am, I am the Lord. That is who is sending you.
Well, of course, Moses has every reason, it's like, "Lord". One of the things that makes me smile just a little bit, I don't know how Moses had guts enough to say it. But did you notice that he says to him, if you go back and read the text, he says to him, "I'm not an eloquent man, and I'm still not, even after you talk to me, I'm still not eloquent". In other words, "You know, Lord, you're big, huge, but I've not really seen any transformation here since you've been here". Do you know what I'm saying? "I'm really still in exactly the same situation I was. So, you know, I still feel a no in my spirit is what"... "You know, then you didn't understand me well. Go". So, it's this kind of dynamic, but he says something that I find so compelling, and so I just want to see if this resonates with you. He says to Moses in 4:12, "I will teach you what to say. I will teach you what to say".
Now you're saying, "Well, that doesn't even sound like a big deal". Well, you look in every single major translation, because the most common thing for us to assume it would say is, "I will tell you what to say". Lord, tell me what to say. We're constantly, "Tell me what to say, tell me what to say, tell me what to say, tell me what to say," when God's going, "You know what? I want to teach you what to say. I want to put it in you. I want to live in you". We're all about just like telling somebody something. "No, no, I want you to go with me on this journey. I want you to be able to teach the truth out of the faithfulness that you have seen of me. I want to test it in you. I want you to know how they feel. I want you to be able to weep with them and go, 'Man, I've been exactly the same place, exactly. I've had that same level of self-loathing. I have been in exactly that same place of chronic regret. I get it. I want to teach you, not just tell you'".
Everybody, everybody, we all want to just like, ears out of the mouth, ears out of the mouth, ears out of the mouth. He goes, "No, no, no, I want to put it in your bones, where, girl, you're not even gonna need an outline. You understand what I'm saying? 'Cause I wrote it in the marrow of your bones. I taught you this lesson. Now go tell not just what I told you. You go tell what I taught you". He kills me, absolutely kills me. That's a game changer for me. I love this Psalm 4, 4 and 5. I'm gonna read it to you. It says, "In your anger, do not sin". It doesn't say that there are not times we get angry. It says, "In your anger, do not sin". James brings up the very same thing in his letter. "In your anger, do not sin". And it says, "When you are on your bed, search your heart and be silent".
Search your heart and be silent. We have got to learn, if we are going to be good communicators of truth, and I'm not just talking about in a formal sense, as speakers. Every one of us are meant to be engaged in speech that brings witness to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Every one of us, no matter how quiet, no matter what an introvert, we're all meant to have tongues that have been tipped by the fire of the Holy Spirit, where we can testify, "This is who Jesus is. This is how he transformed my life". He's reminding us, "Search your own heart. Be silent. You mad at somebody? Search your own heart. Search your own heart and be silent".
I was thinking to myself that no telling how many in this group of people, how many movers and shakers we have. We're so different in our personalities, and there are those that are really reluctant to get up and with it, and there's others that are like, "Rah, we just live with it, umph"! I mean everything is a, "Ready, okay"! I mean, we're just like, but see, if movers and shakers don't learn how to be stillers and stayers, we're gonna move and shake our way right out of the will of God. And you know the worst part? We're gonna be the last to know. We've shaken ourselves long ago, long ago, out of the will of God. But do we know it? No, we're too busy shaking. Keep moving, keep shaking. That way you'll never know, Beth, what kind of disobedience you're in 'cause you're too busy to know. Ooh, I'm getting in my own business, today.
Let me remind you that what we're doing in this session is we're looking at some extremes. We've looked at Esther who's, like, at the top of it. She is the queen of Persia, the queen of Persia, and God is going to use her magnificently to the salvation of his people. And now we're gonna look at 2 Corinthians chapter 1, and we're gonna see somebody at the dead, last bottom, and I'm gonna start at verse 3. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all of our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation. If we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same suffering that we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that as you share in the sufferings, you will also share in the comfort. We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters"...
I want this on your radar because so often, particularly in leadership, we don't want other people to be aware of what we've been through. And it is an enormous disservice to the body because so often they think they're the only ones. They have no idea that their leaders have been through some of the same things. Now, I'll tell you what's fair. What's fair is working it through. We have a responsibility in leadership that we could get our words straight and get the order of our mind back together, but we don't need to be counseling in that state anyway but to be able to own up and go, "Man, I have so been there". He said in 8, "We don't want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, of our affliction that took place in Asia. We were completely overwhelmed, beyond our strength, so that we even despaired of life itself".
This is Paul talking. "Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death, so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a terrible death, and he will deliver us. And we have put our hope in him that he will deliver us again while you join in helping us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gift that came to us through the prayers of many". This is such a powerful Scripture. I love how he says, "Listen, he has delivered us, he is delivering us, and he will still deliver us. Our God is a deliverer". They said, "We despaired even of life itself".
Such an odd thing happened to me Tuesday morning. I live with my sweetie, my husband, Keith, out in the country and in the woods. So, we have enough acres that I just love to let the dogs run wild. And I put a collar on our youngest one. My border collie, which is my older one, she's not gonna leave me anyway, but the little one, oh, man, there's just no telling. I mean, she would just be to Dallas from Houston like this, if I'd let her because she just is that kind of dog. So, I've got something that I can call her back to me with, and I can make a sound with it, but they get to run free. And so, it's just a beautiful thing. I don't have to have her on a leash. I can just let her run. And so, on Tuesday morning I had my Scripture, my Scripture memory with me, and I was going through what I'm working on memorizing right now, and I was really involved in it. I'd already been around the perimeter one time, and I was on my way around the second time, and what I didn't realize, the dogs were running in front of me, but what I didn't realize is that Creek, and she's about a year and three months old, and is that she had come in behind me. And I didn't realize it. I thought she was somewhere in front of me.
I want you to see, now, this doesn't do it justice, but I thought, you know, I want to tell you how fast the dog can run. This will give you just a little idea, but faster than this, but get a little vision of this. Yeah, uh-huh, but I want to tell you something. I'm walking along, just minding my own business. There's nothing like being hit when you have no idea it's coming, I mean, no idea it's coming. She hit me so hard, and she hit me on the right calf so hard I thought she had broken my leg. She pitches that leg up like this. Well, I go completely airborne, and I'm airborne, thinking, "Uh-oh". 'Cause I'm knowing this isn't good. I'm knowing it. And you talk about time slowing down, you're just going like, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's absolutely gonna hurt, absolutely".
And I know I'm going backwards, so there's no catching myself. You know, if you're going forward, you're able to put your hands out. Oh, no, I'm up in the air, and I'm going backwards, and I hit the ground, the kind that completely knocks your breath out. I mean, like, uh, where you feel like, ah, you can't get your breath. And I mean everything hurts, everything hurts. I can feel it all the way down the side of my head, all the way down, especially on this side. I mean, everything is throbbing just like that, and I am in the dirt. There is a cloud of dirt over my head, and I just, I am so stunned that I can't move. I just lay, and I just lay there. My Scriptures, it's just like, so ironic, my Scriptures are just right there by me. It's like just this whole moment is so bizarre. So, I'm just laying there like this, and I'm seeing, 'cause I'm not moving anything, yet, but I'm seeing the dogs looking at me like, "Get up". And I'm like, "Oh, I'm gonna get up. I'm gonna get up, and you I'm coming for".
Now, not really, not really, but I did not speak to her all the way home, I can tell you that. But I'm laying there, and I'm kind of thinking what to do, what to do. My phone is in my back pocket, but I don't know if I can get it 'cause I don't know if anything's broken. Now, I'm not real fear-driven about this kind of thing. So, I'm not just imagining. I just am thinking. Everything is hurting so bad, I'm thinking something is broken, something is broken. I had fallen on my hand weird, so my fingers felt like they had gotten caught in it, and so I just, I start, I thought, "Well, who do I call"? And Keith wasn't there, and I knew he was across town, so I knew he couldn't get there, and I knew what he was gonna do anyway, that once he found out, he was gonna make me walk her on a leash. Well, I didn't want to walk her on a leash. And I thought, "He's out," so I'm crossing that out. And so, I'm just laying there, I'm just laying there. I'm thinking, what to do?
And so, I start just trying to feel of my appendages, thinking, "Okay, let's see if everything is working". So, just one limb at a time, I start trying to work everything. I think, okay, I think I'm gonna be all right, I think I'm gonna be all right. And so, you know, I just, you know, flop myself over this way, so that I can then get myself up and try to get on my feet. And so, you know, I'm so stunned 'cause it really just kind of knocked the sense out of me. And you know, so it takes me a minute, and I just think, and so, I'm just like, "Well, wow, I'm walking, I'm walking". Well, I had dreaded changing into my pajamas, because I thought, "Girl, you are going to be purple from your shoulder to your foot". Because what happens, my older sisters can testify to this. Not only was I hit so hard that I thought my leg was broken, but older people bruise real easy.
Am I telling the truth, ladies? I mean, all I'd have to do is knock my hand right here, and I just would be purple right here 'cause that's what old people do. You know, we're just like, we're just like going home day after tomorrow to Jesus. You know what I'm saying to you? And so, I'm thinking just a picture, what this is going to look like. You know, I need to tell you something. I need to tell you something. Listen to me, listen to me, and listen. I've been through a lot of things, where I really was badly hurt. I just want to make one point here. I did not have one bruise on me, not one. And I said to the Lord, "What, what is this? There's no way, there's no way. What is this"? And again, I want you to understand, there've been times I've been so broken, but I think what the Lord was reminding me of, in order to come and bring it, is that sometimes we just get like whoosh, we get hit from behind, and we don't even know what has happened to us.
I mean, a crisis comes, and whoosh, we're on our backs, and we don't know. I think I'm broken to bits. It was so weird, and I almost can't tell this without wanting to cry about it. What is so weird is that sometime down the road, months, years, we realize, I'm talking about in the faith, put one foot in front of the other. But wait a second. This should've killed us. And I'm not talking about my little fall. But I have been through things. I started trying to think back how many things I've been through that should've killed me, should've honestly, I mean, I'm gonna tell you, from the time I was a teenager, I had something in me that would just go, "Lord, just, I don't want to wake up. Just please, if you love me". He was like, "I called you to life. I called you to life". But what I'm telling you is I would've had sort of a death wish, a long time ago. And I've had a heartbreak after heartbreak. You know, so often we realize that we're not as strong as we thought we were. But the other side of the weird coin is that sometimes we thought we were a lot more fragile than we were.