We cannot believe the lies of the enemy and expect to live victoriously!
By Larry Kreider
Many of God’s people have been hurt by someone they trusted. Some were hurt when a relationship deteriorated after they spent a lot of time developing it. Others were disillusioned when a natural or spiritual father disappointed them, so they gave up. Living in deep despair, they fear the Lord will never be able to use them again.
The enemies of God’s people ridiculed Nehemiah and his workers as they started to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. The wall had been broken down for ages and the stones looked charred and useless. The enemies of God’s people mocked them, saying “Can these burned stones live?” (Nehemiah 4:2).
The devil may be throwing similar accusations at you today: “How do you think you can function with all the baggage you carry from your broken relationship with your father?” or “You’ve made too many mistakes, how do you expect to help someone else?” Devastated by the past, you promise yourself never to be in a position to be hurt again.
Believe God, Not the Lies of the Enemy
We cannot believe the lies of the enemy and expect to live victoriously! As a small group leader, you serve your members as a spiritual parent. If you feel unable to fulfill the Lord’s call on your life because you have believed the lies of the enemy, you will become spiritually paralyzed. You cannot look at your natural circumstances and give up!
Our God is a God who forgives and restores burned stones, restoring those who have been burned because of sin, bad role models, or by not responding properly to tests He allowed in their lives. He wants us back in fellowship with Him and others. He is restoring spiritual fathers and mothers to their sons and daughters (Malachi 4:5-6). He is gently placing them back on His wall of service. He is calling His renewed people to become spiritual parents to others.
We must believe that, although our own resources may seem to be few at the moment, we can carry out God’s work because we are going to trust in the overruling providence of God. The burned stones were charred and looked useless, but God’s people chose not to look at the dismal circumstances. Because they refused to listen to their enemies’ discouraging words, they succeeded in rebuilding the wall.
Drink the Cup
Are you a burned stone? Maybe you think you made a mistake from which you will never recover. Perhaps you feel misunderstood or wrongly accused. God’s Word cautions us from trying to vindicate ourselves when others accuse us falsely.
Instead, we should “drink the cup” and the Lord will vindicate us as illustrated in Numbers 5:11-20. In the Old Testament, a man who suspected his wife of adultery brought her to the priest where she was given dirty water to drink from a cup. If she was guilty, she would get sick and diseased and become a curse among her people. If she was innocent, the Lord would vindicate her. She would be fruitful and bear children. Either way, she had to drink the cup!
It does not help to try to prove your innocence on your own. God has to do it. Your role needs to be one of forgiveness. You need to forgive others just as you want to be forgiven. Luke 6:37 tells us we must extend mercy to others and leave the judgment to God. Mercy always triumphs over judgment! (James 2:13).
God Loves to Use Burned Stones!
When iron is heated in a fire, it gains great strength. Those who have faced difficulties and allowed God to temper them are refined and ready to be used because they are stronger.
If you are a burned stone, receive the grace of God today from your heavenly Father to be made whole through His son Jesus Christ. Then expect the Lord to use you to help other burned stones receive the Lord’s mercy and healing and find their place back on God’s wall of service.
Learn more in Larry’s book When God Seems Silent. Check it out here!
About Larry Kreider
Larry has spent the past four decades training leaders to make disciples with the small group concept. Larry serves as the international director of DOVE International, a worldwide network of over 1,000 churches in 26 nations. Larry has written more than 40 books and travels extensively teaching and imparting practical discipleship to leaders globally. Read about Larry or catch up on Larry’s blog.