Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Consequences of Sin

Been reading the last part of Deuteronomy and it's rolling around in my head. I can't seem to get it out. The end of Moses. His death. 120 years old this guy. Been leading the Israelites since they were a rag-tag group of nomadic slaves trapped in Egypt. Spent his whole life on them. Invested everything. They were the ones he argued with God for. They were the ones he listened to the grumbling. They were the ones who took up all his time helping gain justice and listening to their petty arguements. They were the ones he spent hours and hours intercedeing for. What a pastor!

Now the point of all this was to get them from Egypt and a life of slavery to Canaan - the "promised land". Here they would clear the place out and be blessed by God forever. That's the plan.

But the end of the story is such a sad one. Moses isn't allowed to enter the promised land nor to lead the people in. What?! All this way and you don't get to enter it? That's crazy! How could God do that to a leader. Bring him and the people all that way. Then not let them enter? It would break a man's heart. Especially Pastor Moses who's given his whole life for this.

So why can't he enter? One lousy mistake.

Made it back in Meribah Kadesh. The people were grumbling about water (what's new?). And God tells Moses to speak to the rock and water would gush out and the people would be saved (again). So what does an overtired grumpy Pastor Moses do? He walks over to the rock and beats it with his staff instead. He didn't deliver the sermon that Sunday. He just delivered the water. And that's it. Big deal? Not to me. But it was to God. God was expecting Moses to bring glory to him through the message that day and Moses didn't.

So because of that, Moses isn't allowed to enter the land, just see it from a distance.

And with that rolling around in my head, as a pastor. I'm thinking. Thinking about how often have I really delivered the goods? Really pointed people to God. Really took the opportunities in front of me to have people see God. Or did I allow my grumpiness or self-centeredness to not point fully to God.

O that I may be a reflection of Him in every circumstance! O that people would see Christ in me! O that the new Jesus-filled Dwayne would shine through! This is my passionate prayer today!

I confess that all too often my lack of sleep and grumpiness gets the best of me. I can get pretty selfish sometimes. Please forgive me Lord. Let me complete the mission you've given me. Please don't cut me short of that. I desperately want to be the leader who finishes well. Who completes the mission. Who leads the people to the place where you want them. But I will pass on the baton graciously if you ask me to. Though it rips the heart out of my chest. I do want the people to get to the place of blessing.

I'm crying now. Can't stop the tears. Begging God for my church family. We're not there yet. But He's bringing us and I can see it. I just want this awesome community of people get there. I've seen them come so far. I've loved them pastorally with all my heart. I long for them. Ache for them. Pray for them. Intercede constantly for them. I've given everything I know how to for them.

But I don't know if I can finish the journey with them. Medical leave. It's killing me inside and yet...
I know that great leaders are taking the reigns. How can I bless them? How can I tell them, "Be strong and of great courage!"

Deuteronomy 31:8
"The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

O, God, I long for your people to find that place of blessing and to honor You. Including myself.


At July 07, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"How can I bless them? How can I tell them, "Be strong and of great courage!"

This jumped out at me -- I think it is because you asked a question that has already been answered -- you just need to take a second look -- at yourself -- at those around you -- and even at the comments in your blog. Often times we can lead people by what we say -- by words of encouragement -- by words of direction -- by teaching -- however most people learn through example -- Like I mentioned in my last note to you -- I don't know you and I have never met you -- I have been told about you and I have been reading your blog and praying for you --- Something that I have noticed is that you are a great leader --- sure you may noy be leading from the pulpit on a Sunday morning -- but you are leading by example with your actions -- with your character-- and even by ministering to others through this blog -- I am sure that you have moments of what I refer to as "poor me syndrome" -- however you don't let it show --- I find that the best means of ministering to others -- is being real --- leading others by being real -- It propels people to great things -- I think it is because we are all human and it is hard to follow someone who is aways perfect -- because we will never measure up.

Take heart my brother in Christ -- and know that You are leading -- You may be leading in a forgien way to you right now -- it maybe something new -- but rest assured you are leading your sheep -- in fact -- I can safely say you are leading more than your sheep in your congregation -- for you are leading God's sheep and may attend other places of worship.

Everytime you write another blog -- whether it be long or short -- full of scripture or not -- whether it be short teachings or even venting -- you are blessing others --- YOur transparancey ministers to the very hearts of people ---

I pray that the Lord will encourage you (and your family -- as well as your church family) today -- That His face will shine upon you and that He will love up on you as only He can. I pray that He will show you the answers to the questions you asked in your blog -- I ask that He will minister peace and healing unto your body and that He will you the strength and courage to wal k in the next step of your journey.

I apologize for the length of my comment --- All that I can say is I felt led to write it.

God bless you brother.

~ ~ Shelley

At July 07, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God spoke to me through your blog today.
Pastor Tim Hall

At July 07, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been following along everyday reading of your journey. It has moved me, touched me let me see God working through you. I didn't know when or if to write comments or just keep on visiting your site daily. Your journal has brought myself to pray more often, to listen to God more in my life, to look at my walk with God, and again to pray pray pray!!!!
Dwayne I am one of the very many that read your blog and one of the very many that you have brought closer to God through your daily journal. God has worked in many different ways through you and now through word of mouth , through e-mails through prayers. You, yes YOU Dwayne have been bringing people that much closer to God. I have been learning so much from you and am so blessed to know you, and we can learn so much from you and your journey.
Dwayne, Janet, Ashlynn & Tyler,
You are forever in my prayers as in many other peoples prayers and a good friend of mine has always told me of the importance of prayer. Your family puts that
in me again. You are an inspiration to every-one. I'm not very good at quoting passages out of the Bible so here it goes...
James 5:16
"Therefore confess your sins to each other and PRAY for each other so that YOU may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."
Ashlynn and Tyler,
You are so very fortunate to have a pastor as a dad. Sometimes you may not think so but to grow up as you have knowing Jesus is such an awesome privilege. So many of us did not grow up this way and therefore we had no-one to pray to, didn't know that Jesus was there to help us through whatever we were going through.
We were lost out there in this world. You have been so blessed to have Christian parents to help you, and to teach you and to let you see God's grace and forgiveness and His mighty work through being faithful and obedient to Him.
Dwyne Janet, Ashlylnn & Tyler,
May God stay forever in your hearts, May you be Blessed with every prayer that comes your way, may God keep working through you all to reveal that God indeed has a special plan for all of us.
Keep on Praying! Keep on being who you are for God LOVES YOU!!! I am sending out through this note lots of hugs for all of you and lots of Prayers for all of you. ( A special hug for Ashlynn--Frm Me to you...(from Twyla your old Sunday school leader)I miss you and your great smile and laugh.)
Take care and God Bless your family.

At July 07, 2005, Anonymous Twyla said...

I wanted to let you know that I'm still following the blog, and it's been a real blessing to me this week. Thanks for sharing all of these things with everyone.

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