Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Help!

Help, I need somebody,
Help, not just anybody,
Help, you know I need someone, help.

Most people who know me, know that I am a big fan of the music of the Beatles. A lot of their songs are just silly combinations of words that when put to music, well, they just seem to work (Hello, Goodbye; I Am The Walrus; Hey Bulldog, just to name a few), while others are really thoughtful, and more than once in my life the lyrics spoke to me right where I was at the time (What You're Doing; In My Life; Yesterday), and the song that started todays blog: Help! I'll bring it back around to that in just a minute.

Yesterday I read the chapters in Joshua and I noticed a trend. The Israelites had been told to completely remove the people living in the land of Canaan . For some reason, they didn’t do that. Instead, we see this scenario repeated several times: Joshua 15:63 “ Judah could not dislodge the Jebusites…to this day the Jebusites live there with the people of Judah .” Joshua 16:10 : They did not dislodge the Canaanites living in Gezer; to this day the Canaanites live among the people of Ephraim but are required to do forced labor.” Joshua 17:13 “…they subjected the Canaanites to forced labor but did not drive them completely out.” (this was in a different area than the previous verse).

They were told to remove all of the Canaanites, but they didn’t. In some cases they decided to make them their slaves.

The problem was that years later, the Israelites were hounded, harassed and enslaved themselves by the decendants of the Canaanites they let stay in the land.

God had said they had to deal with them in drastic ways for a good reason. He knew they would later influence the Israelites and try to destroy them.

I see a huge parallel here between the Israelites and the Canaanites and us and sin.

Jesus told us in Matthew that if our eye causes us to sin it would be better for us to pluck it out! That is very drastic isn’t it? I don’t for a minute believe that Jesus wanted us to be gouging our eyes out….but he was trying to tell us that dealing with sin requires drastic measures. Too often like the Israelites making slaves to those they were supposed to get rid of, we try to manage sin. We try to justify it, micro-manage it, and just learn to live with it. It’s no wonder that we continue to struggle with things when we won’t make the hard choices necessary to deal with sin.

Of course, when we boil it all down, it comes down to a matter of the heart. Sin is a heart issue. If we really want be serious about our relationship with Jesus, then we will seriously deal with sin. I think sometimes we love sin more than we want to admit.

It’s time to be honest with ourselves and with each other. And that is where we fail far too often. We neglect to seek help and support from brothers & sisters around us.

Let's jump back to the Israelites again for just a moment. If they had acted as one, instead of individual tribes, they would have & could have driven the Canaanites out of the land and saved themselves a ton of problems down the road. But they didn't. They tried to tackle the problem by themselves & failed. Who knows why it happened. Maybe they were ashamed, maybe the other Israelites got too wrapped up in their own lives, maybe they did seek help, but instead got osctracized because they weren't stronger, or any number of reasons.

We suffer from the same thing. We try and fight the sin without our brothers and sisters, because when we have been vulnerable-instead of being helped-we were kicked. Instead of being helped-we were laughed at. Instead of being helped-we were shunned. And so, next time, we struggled alone. We fought alone. We fell, all alone.

It's time for the church to stop shooting their wounded, but instead help to bind each others wounds with love, kindness, mercy, grace and accountability.

When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody's help in any way.
But now these days are gone, I'm not so self assured,
Now I find I've changed my mind and opened up the doors.

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won't you please, please help me.

And now my life has changed in oh so many ways,
My independence seems to vanish in the haze.
But every now and then I feel so insecure,
I know that I just need you like I've never done before

Help, I need somebody,
Help, not just anybody,
Help, you know I need someone, help.

I cannot, you cannot, we cannot fight this battle all by ourselves.
Pray for me. Walk with me.

Later on I plan on getting more specific about a particular sin that I have been dealing with for a long time. I know I will be taking a huge step making this public, but I beleive it is neccesary in order for me to overcome this.

Now, before the rumour mill gets to going full speed, let me say this: What I will be revealing is something that you will find in every church, without exception. In fact you will find it taking place at church functions. Some may not even think of it as sin, but I do. At least now I do.

How's that for a cliffhanger?

Pastor Dave

4 comments:

Deena said...

That stinks! I wanna know now! Tell me, tell me, tell me....ooh, now you know what I struggle with...being in the know...it's that feeling of being left out, left behind...shunned.
Pray for me, that I will remember that I belong in Christ, and that nothing else matters...I want this monster gone from my life.
(I still want to know, and I want to know NOW...ok, i'm going, i'm going....sheesh!)

veronica said...

ok. I guess that will help develop patience (which I dont do well)
I love the fact that you mentioned that we need to be honest with ourselves and with each other. No more playing church-let the walls come down!

Pastor Steve said...

The heart…as member of the “Lonely Heart Club” this message resonates. Sin robes us of the perfect relationship. The relationship with Jesus…the one person who will not shun, or condemn us, but loves us unconditionally. No one loves us as unconditionally as he does, he has perfected…unconditional…perfectly. The closest we get to this kind of love is through our parents and they are flawed (sorry mom). Sin is serious business you its like a fungus, a cancer that only survives in the dark. The only way to kill it is to drag it out into the light…and let the “Son” destroy it.

-steve

Brenda said...

I have never in all my years (and that is saying a lot,I know) heard those words and felt the same meaning. We waste so much time trying to find someone who will help us, take care of us, love us and we miss out on all the comfort that the True Comforter has to offer. Thanks brother for the lesson and I will be praying for you.....we all have those hidden sins