Are you an avid social media user? I am. And it’s not always to my benefit, let’s be real.
There are days it seems like my page is full of local news reports of people recently arrested. Their mug shot is posted and a tantalizing header is written hoping to bait the scroller to click on it and read just how awful the person was. Oh my goodness - have you seen the comments people write? We are decidedly a people who have made themselves judge and jury over each case.
(In full disclosure, I’m completely guilty of the same. Totally not a self-righteous blogger here. Done it. Moving on...)
And in actuality, I’m not writing this in defense of all the terrible things many of these individuals have done. There’s no denying some of their actions. In fact, I minister in a women’s prison where many of those faces end up. However, I cease to be amazed at the difference of our view of people is vs. how God sees them.
Recently read a story about a man named Moses. Now if you’re a church goer, Moses is a pretty famous guy in the Bible. Wrote the first 5 books of it, as a matter of fact. But it’s in this particularly fascinating story where God’s heart toward all sinners is revealed - that has just about slayed me.
Exodus 24 tells us that Moses climbed a mountain to meet with God. He’s asked to go alone and basically enters into the actual presence of God for 40 days and 40 nights.
(I would have died. Glad it was Moses. Just sayin.)
Nonetheless, it was during this time that God gave Moses all the instructions for how they would worship Him, offer sacrifices for their sin, who would facilitate the priesthood, etc. When I was reading those chapters, I’m not gonna lie. I was totally tempted to skim through...I don’t have any affection for acacia wood, nor can I typically envision tabernacle measurements, so I have a tendency to want to tune out on those pages.
(Side note: It wasn’t until I recognized that those words were actually spoken by God to Moses that I thought…"Ok Lord, help me understand this” that I tuned back in. Literally, I want to know EVERYTHING God Himself has ever actually spoken.)
Still with me?
Ok. Let’s keep going because this is amazing...
So God is giving instructions to Moses about how worship to Him was supposed to go down. He specifically sets Moses’s brother Aaron (and a few others) apart and says, “...set them apart from the rest of the people of Israel so they may minister to me and be my priests.” (Ex. 28:1)
Great. High calling.
Amazing. We all want it.
But here’s the clincher! It was while God was all “setting Aaron apart”, and calling out his future anointing that Aaron was actually down around the base of the mountain building a false idol for the people to worship!!!
Literally. Right at that moment. Dude was doing the EXACT opposite of what God was saying He would become!
While the miraculous manna was being provided by the One True God.
While the miraculous quail was falling.
While the mountain was covered by a cloud indicating God’s Presence.
While He knew better!
I’m dead. Literally. I can barely take it.
How in the world can God see us actively engaging in our sin and yet at the same time see us for what we will be?
I call that vision.
When I stand in front of inmates I know they aren’t there because they were walking in the fullness of God. But I also know that they can in the future. That’s why the comments I often read under their mugshots really just reflect the heart of man, not the heart of God. Not the future plans of God.
And sometimes, if I’m being honest….it’s not the inmates I’m looking at wondering how God is going to do anything with a life destroyed by bending down to false idols...it’s my own selfish self.
Brothers and Sisters, where are you? Are you anything like me? Do you know you’ve been set apart and yet still crave the quick fix? Do you believe that where you are is who you are? Who you’ll be for the rest of your life?
Stop. Stand up and look up!
When God sees what we are actively doing in the valleyS, He is still standing on the mountaintop and setting us apart for who we’re going to become.
Like Moses did with Aaron’s golden calf, perhaps it’s time for us to destroy all the things that compete for our worship. Get off your knees in worship to your cell phone, food, sex, need for man’s approval, money, things, fill in the blank. I am telling you - God is calling you to greater things.
Like Aaron, you are set apart. And like Moses, He knows your name.
We see our confusion. God sees our clarity.
We see our problems. God sees our purpose.
We see our brokenness. God sees our healing.
We see our today. God sees our tomorrow.
We see our pasts. God sees our future.
We see our behavior. God sees our hearts.
God speaks greater things over your life that are still to come if we would only believe. Press in friends - He’s worth it!
A Little Thought From Heather: I cannot even begin to put this lady into words. There are some people we meet in life and it's as if God takes a megaphone and announces, "This is an appointment I made for your life. This is a connection I've planned and had in the making." I know the Lord had Jayne as a gift in store for me, because while some would view our meeting as coincidental, it was actually a divine connection from the start. No fronts people naturally put up when meeting someone new. Nothing phony or pretentious. Complete genuineness from the start. And three hours later, we were all praying together in a hotel lobby!!! Jayne is iron to me. She is a gift of friendship and a tool to sharpen me. To have her words here on our blog is an incredible blessing. The Lord has called her to teach, and He has given her the most passionate love for His people. If you're needing a speaker for an event, connect with Jayne. She has such goodness to share. And take some time to visit her on her online home at JaynePatton.com ❤ Heather
About Little Bit About Jayne
Jayne is a seasoned bible study teacher and speaker. She previously served as the Director of Women's Ministry at FBC Wentzville and has traveled around Missouri speaking at venues in association with the Women's Ministry branch of the Missouri Baptist Convention.
Jayne is a popular speaker for local MOPS groups, retreats, and other women's events. She believes in crossing over denominational lines and bringing the truth of God's word to all of her audiences. She is currently teaching a monthly Bible study to a 50+ member multi-denominational community group in Wentzville. Jayne provides both grounded and solid Biblical truths at all of her events. Along with her ministry partner, Jessica Smith, she teaches the Word of God to the female inmates at the Vandalia Women's Prison through the Beauty for Ashes program 3 times a month.
Her deepest desire to teach the truths found in the Word of God in such a way that captures the hearts and minds of her listeners. She believes in the infallible nature of the scriptures and believes that authentically applying God's Word to your life has the power to dramatically change it.
She has been married to Mike for over 17 years, and has 3 beautiful children: Michael - oldest, Morgan - middle, and Matthew - youngest. She enjoys reading and can always be bribed with Mexican food. She is often found worshiping with her family at @Element Church on Saturday or Sundays in Wentzville.