Monday, October 31, 2011


I read Leviticus 5 today.  Verse 17 reads,
"Now if a person sins and does any of the things which the LORD has commanded not to be done, though he was unaware, still he is guilty and shall bear his punishment."
 This points to the Holiness of God.  Men have a great need before this Holy God.  He will not allow one stain to remain upon us if we are to actually enter into the fulness of God.  Even many who are unaware of their sins are guilty before God.  There is no way to come to God but to see this truth about our sins.  Throughout Leviticus it tells us that when a man sins and realizes he has sinned he is to confess it and bring an offering of some sort or another for the priest to offer on his behalf to atone for his guilt.  This requires a knowledge of their sins.  I thought about the people who never realized they had sinned.  Bearing any sort of guilt before God is a dangerous thing for He is Holy.

Thinking about all of this, I went for a walk in Ellwood Park in Amarillo, TX.  I was shocked at all of the people I saw there.  Many of them on drugs, homeless people pushing shopping carts, youth sitting around using all sorts of vile speech.  Irreverently scrawled on the sidewalk in spray paint was the phrase, "Jesus was a Jedi".  I felt extremely outnumbered and actually feared for my safety.  Many stared at me as I walked around the outside track around the park.  I wondered how many of them were wondering how much money I had on me.  How many would take advantage of someone like me if the timing were right?  I was sure of one thing.  All of them would stand before the Holy God I had read about hours earlier and face punishment for their sins whether or not they knew about them in advance.  Denying our sin before God will not be an option in the great day of judgment.

I felt shame in my heart as I was too afraid to approach the great numbers of lost in this one park in Amarillo.  I truly felt fear and could not approach them.  When I got back to Melissa's mothers apartment, whom we are visiting this week, I prayed that God would send more laborers into the harvest.  The fields are white; I saw them myself.  It is a frightening world we live in, full of evil men and women who hate God and despise Jesus and the message that His disciples are daily sent to speak about.  Who really wants to hear that everything they've ever done was sinful?  Who really wants to hear that they've got to give everything in this world up to Jesus, who promises a life of heartache for an eternity of bliss?  Everyone in the world wants their treasure now and not later.  Without the power of God working in their hearts I can do nothing for them.  Without God working in my heart I cannot even go to them.  I have really been humbled by this experience and wanted to share it with you all.

Perhaps it does not make much sense.  Perhaps you cannot understand why it was so hard to talk to anyone today.  Frankly, neither can I.  Those that know me know that I am very bold and outgoing on my own and do not need God for help in this area.  But maybe that is exactly the point of it all.  I would go without waiting for Him to send me.  I have before.  God is teaching me to trust Him for everything.  Especially for those things with which I am so confident with myself already.  Humility is what I need.  God is at work and I thank Him for that, even if I do not understand everything He is doing in me.  I do not want to trust in myself anymore.  I saw how quickly I could fail myself today and want nothing to do with it anymore.

1 comment:

  1. This is a powerful and humbling story Joe. As one who knows you at least well enough to say, it was a shock to me to hear you where afraid to speak to them. I guess even the strongest and most confident of people we know face their moments of fear. I am glad that you were able to pull out of that situation what God intended on showing you. It is such a true statement to make that we more than 90% of the time will fail ourselves. Always when we least expect it. Thanks for sharing this.