Wow, this week’s worship and message were so good! (If you missed last week’s notes, you can find them here.)
The experience started out with “Uncontainable Love” and “God of the Promise” (Not yet released by Elevation Worship onto YouTube) by Elevation Worship, before breaking for a baptism and continuing with “Who You Say I Am” by Hillsong Worship. The worship concluded with “Yours (Glory and Praise)” by Elevation Worship and then Larry Brey, the University City campus pastor, got up to bring this week’s message, “Give Me a Sign“.
The Scripture passage that the message was taken from was Joshua 2:1-21, the story of Rahab.
“Then Joshua secretly sent out two spies from the Israelite camp at Acacia Grove. He instructed them, “Scout out the land on the other side of the Jordan River, especially around Jericho.” So the two men set out and came to the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there that night. But someone told the king of Jericho, “Some Israelites have come here tonight to spy out the land.” So the king of Jericho sent orders to Rahab: “Bring out the men who have come into your house, for they have come here to spy out the whole land.” Rahab had hidden the two men, but she replied, “Yes, the men were here earlier, but I didn’t know where they were from. They left the town at dusk, as the gates were about to close. I don’t know where they went. If you hurry, you can probably catch up with them.” (Actually, she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them beneath bundles of flax she had laid out.) So the king’s men went looking for the spies along the road leading to the shallow crossings of the Jordan River. And as soon as the king’s men had left, the gate of Jericho was shut. Before the spies went to sleep that night, Rahab went up on the roof to talk with them. “I know the Lord has given you this land,” she told them. “We are all afraid of you. Everyone in the land is living in terror. For we have heard how the Lord made a dry path for you through the Red Sea when you left Egypt. And we know what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan River, whose people you completely destroyed. No wonder our hearts have melted in fear! No one has the courage to fight after hearing such things. For the Lord your God is the supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below. “Now swear to me by the Lord that you will be kind to me and my family since I have helped you. Give me some guarantee that when Jericho is conquered, you will let me live, along with my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all their families.” “We offer our own lives as a guarantee for your safety,” the men agreed. “If you don’t betray us, we will keep our promise and be kind to you when the Lord gives us the land.” Then, since Rahab’s house was built into the town wall, she let them down by a rope through the window. “Escape to the hill country,” she told them. “Hide there for three days from the men searching for you. Then, when they have returned, you can go on your way.” Before they left, the men told her, “We will be bound by the oath we have taken only if you follow these instructions. When we come into the land, you must leave this scarlet rope hanging from the window through which you let us down. And all your family members—your father, mother, brothers, and all your relatives—must be here inside the house. If they go out into the street and are killed, it will not be our fault. But if anyone lays a hand on people inside this house, we will accept the responsibility for their death. If you betray us, however, we are not bound by this oath in any way.” “I accept your terms,” she replied. And she sent them on their way, leaving the scarlet rope hanging from the window.”
My notes are as follows:
- Have I spent more time behind a closed door than an open window?
- Have I forfeited more potential than the devil has stolen from me? (Reference to “The Power of Potential” message from 2017’s “Work Your Window” series–one of my all-time favorites)
- Guilt: I’m sorry for what I did–healthy
- Shame: I’m sorry for who I am–unhealthy
- One (guilt v shame) is an inditement on my behavior and the other is against my character.
- One is a gift God gives us for restoration, the other is a scheme from the devil meant to destroy you.
- When I’m living behind a closed door I’m living in a pattern of shame.
- What often starts as a healthy pattern of bringing it into the light gets reinforced in the wrong way and forces it into the darkness; the way it is received determines if it gets repeated.
- When shame is exposed you project on others what you feel yourself.
- Shame is a spirit. It’s like a piece of clothing–it wants you to wear it.
- Shame wants you to give up on the promises of God.
- God needs access into your life and the people in it through your life.
- Access to the glory of God does not come through a closed door.
- 1 Corinthians 1:27-28
“Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.”
- God shames shame.
- We keep asking God for a sign to get us out of something but maybe He wants to work in the middle of it.
- The sign of Rahab’s shame was the sign of the spies’ salvation.
- Shame grows in the dark and hidden places.
- Lamentations 3:22-23
“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”
- The sun may set and darkness come, but every day the sun will also rise.
- The grace of God is greater than the darkness of shame.
- Freedom is not not being found out; freedom is not hiding.
- Exodus 12:13
“But the blood on your doorposts will serve as a sign, marking the houses where you are staying. When I see the blood, I will pass over you. This plague of death will not touch you when I strike the land of Egypt.”
- 40 years earlier the Israelites were saved by covering the doorposts in blood; Rahab was saved by the covering of scarlet.
- Hebrews 11:31–Rahab is recorded as having faith.
“It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.”
- Hebrews 12:1-2–This paves the way for us to have faith also.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”
- God wants to take your sign of shame and turn it into a sign of your salvation.
- It’s not just for the spiritually elite; it’s for the ones who give it to God.
- The battles you fight today are ones your kids won’t have to fight tomorrow.
The experience ended with singing “Who You Say I Am” again and a call to step out of shame and into salvation.
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