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Purging ShamePastor Tim Maxwell

Have you heard of David Beckham? He was a soccer player in the 90’s who played for England, and their opponent was Argentina in the 1998 World Cup. Beckham received a red card during the game and was heavily shamed even receiving death threats. One of the enemy’s greatest weapons is shame, which is defined as a “painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming or impropriety.” The LORD wants to set us free from shame and guilt.


In Joshua 5, we learn about the LORD’s instructions to circumcise the


” ‘second generation of Israelites.’ So Joshua made flint knives

and circumcised the entire male population of Israel at Gibeath-

haaraloth. Joshua had to circumcise them because all the men

old enough to fight in battle when they left Egypt had died in

the wilderness.” Joshua 5:2b-4


Circumcision was the cutting off of shame of the previous generation. We too need to cut the shame from our past. Sometimes we hold onto the past even though Jesus has set us free. “Don’t be held captive by something you’re already set free from.” You cannot step into the promises of God while carrying the sins of the past. Those sins become burdens and chains that hold you back. For without “circumcision, there is not victory.”


“You can’t build a life of righteousness on a foundation of sin.” If you are steeped in regret,

bitterness, anger, lust, guilt or deceit, you can not live the life the LORD died for you to have. He died so you can be free. Pastor Tim shared that he fell in love with Maria July 4th. He asked her out, and she promptly responded,”No.” He could not believe that she answered with no explanation. Later he discovered that Maria had made a commitment to the LORD that she would get rid of her debt before she would start dating. She asked Tim if he would wait for her. December 4th she had paid off her debt and fulfilled her promise to the LORD after which Maria and Tim started dating and were married in 2013. Maria purged her debt and fulfilled her commitment to the LORD.


“We need a circumcision of the heart.” Deuteronomy 10:16 states “Circumcise your hearts,

therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. (NIV) To be stiff necked means to be proud and stubborn which get you no place. Further in Deuteronomy we are advised


“And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart

of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart

and with all your soul, that you may live.” Deuteronomy 30:6 (NKJV)


We need to recognize our heart needs like the Samaritan woman at the well that Jesus went to meet. Jesus told her that He was the Messiah, and He asked her to get her husband at which she replied that she had no husband. Jesus acknowledged she did not have one but five and the one that she was with was not her husband. Eventually the woman recognized the Messiah who told her everything that she had done. She had a huge change of heart after which she ran to the town to tell anyone she encountered of the Messiah. If you were at the well, what would He have to say about you? Jesus is focused on your heart condition. The Samaritan woman allowed Jesus to get “into her business.” Not everyone allows Him access, but when you do, He can free you of the chains of regret, hurt, bitterness, and pain. Do you allow Jesus to get into your business? “Because if He can’t expose it, then you can’t remove it.”


“God’s greatest gift is for the LORD to expose what needs to be purged.” The psalmist

asked the LORD


“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my

anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and

lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Psalm 123:23-24 (NLT)


During the fast in January, one of the pastors recommended that we ask the LORD to reveal of what sins we needed to repent. The pastor recommended that we allow the LORD to work with our hearts instead of telling the LORD what we want. Like the psalmist said,”Help me abandon my shameful ways; for your regulations are good.” Psalm 119:39 (NLT) What a powerful request.


Another significant point is “circumcision also prepares us for battle.” We are fighting against principalities a spiritual battle. This adversary is serious and wants to eliminate us through complacency, bitterness, unforgiveness, and judgmentalness. For example, when the religious leaders brought an immoral woman to Jesus, they emphasized that the law of Moses said she should be stoned. They questioned Him to find out His position. He bent down and wrote in the dirt. He responded,”Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7 (NIV) None were innocent, and they drifted away instead of being able to trap our LORD. They were so caught up in their pride, power, and schemes that they could not recognize the Messiah like the Samaritan woman had. When the woman was the only one left Jesus asked her,


“‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’

‘No one, sir,’ she said.

‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now

and leave your life of sin.’” John 8:10-11 (NIV)


“Jesus does not come down on us with shame but rather salvation.” Both the woman at the

well and the immoral woman were given salvation and grace. “Instead of shame and

dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor.” Isaiah 61:7a (NIV) Hallelujah. What a

Savior.


Remember David Beckham, his red card and subsequent shame? Twenty years later, Argentina won the World Cup, and Beckham posted a picture of Messi as a “young boy with a ball along with the inspirational player holding the World Cup in a triumphant moment.”( newsweek.com ) Though Beckham had been severely ridiculed after the 1998 red card fiasco, Beckham didn’t stay in the shame forever, but he honored his soccer opponent. Beckham is co owner and president of a soccer franchise in Miami, and one of his players is Messi. “We can turn our shame into praise.”


“Behold, I am going to deal at that time with your oppressors.

I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will turn

their shame into praise and renown in all the earth.” Zephaniah 3:19 (NASB)


When we invite Jesus into our hearts to be LORD and Savior of our lives, we give Him access, and He can change our hearts of stone to hearts of flesh. He can reveal to us what needs to be confessed and repented. May we let Him shine His Light on our hearts and allow Him to expose the areas that do not honor Him so that we can be salt and light in this troubled world.

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