Psalm 22 (excerpt)
1 My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?
Why are You so far from helping Me,
And from the words of My groaning?
2 O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear;
6 And in the night season, and am not silent.
But I am a worm, and no man;
A reproach of men, and despised by the people.
7 All those who see Me ridicule Me;
They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
8 “He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him;
Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!”
11 Be not far from Me,
For trouble is near;
For there is none to help.
12 Many bulls have surrounded Me;
Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me.
13 They gape at Me with their mouths,
Like a raging and roaring lion.
14 I am poured out like water,
And all My bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax;
It has melted within Me.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And My tongue clings to My jaws;
You have brought Me to the dust of death.
First Relationship Roadblock: Rebellion
1 Samuel 15
1 Samuel also said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the words of the Lord.
2 Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt.
3 Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”
9 But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them.
(God talks to Samuel)
11 “I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.”
(Samuel returns to Saul)
Saul says: 13 “Blessed are you of the Lord! I have performed the commandment of the Lord.”
14 But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?”
15 … the people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, to sacrifice to the Lord your God.
17 So Samuel said, “When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the Lord anoint you king over Israel? 18 Now the Lord sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go, and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’ 19 Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord?…”
22 “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
Second relationship roadblock: double-mindedness
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without disapproval or rebuke, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, without doubt, for he who doubts is like a wave driven and tossed by the wind at sea. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Third relationship roadblock: Veil of Pretence
2 Corinthians 3:12-18
12 … we use great boldness in our speech, 13 and are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading away.
14 But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ.
15 But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; 16 but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
Poem by Dennis Waitley
Don’t be fooled by me.
Don’t be fooled by the face I wear.
I wear a mask.
I wear a thousand masks – masks that I am afraid to take off;
And none of them are me.
Pretending is an art that is second nature to me,
But don’t be fooled.
I give the impression that I am secure,
That all is sunny and unruffled within me
As well as without;
That confidence is my name and coolness my game,
That the water is calm and I am in command;
And that I need no one.
But don’t believe me,
My surface may seem smooth,
But my surface is my mask,
My ever varying and ever concealing
Beneath lies no smugness,
Beneath dwells the real me
But I hide that.
I don’t want anybody to know it.
I panic at the thought of my weakness and
Fear being exposed.
That’s why I frantically create a mask
To hide behind –
A nonchalant, sophisticated facade –
To help me pretend,
To shield me from the glance that knows.
But such a glance is precisely my salvation,
My only salvation,
And I know it.
That is, if it’s followed by acceptance;
If it’s followed by love.
It’s the only thing that can liberate me
From my own self-built prison wall,
From the barriers I so painstakingly erect.
It’s the only thing that will assure me of what
I can’t assure myself –
That I am really something…
Who am I, you may wonder.
I am someone you know very well.
I am every man you meet.
I am every woman you meet.
I am every child you meet.
I am right in front of you.
Please… love me.