“I speak to him face to face,
clearly, and not in riddles!
He sees the Lord as he is.
So why were you not afraid
to criticize my servant Moses?”
The Lord was very angry with them, and he departed.
-Numbers 12:9-10, NLT
God’s anger can be a healing balm to the soul.
Last night, I attended a seminar where we did some memory healing. The Lord brought to mind a memory that I thought was settled and cleansed a while ago.
It was a memory where I was sitting in a rental car on my way to work at a coffee shop. This took place during one of my lowest and most vulnerable times during my first marriage’s demise.
My (ex) father-in-law took it upon himself to give me a “man up” speech as he drove me into work. (I was riding with him due to the fact that his daughter had our only working car at the time).
In this speech, he cursed my calling as a pastor and essentially told me all my developed skills and education–which included a master degree from Yale Divinity School, mind you–was worthless.
He had consulted his wife (my mother-in-law, at the time), and they had agreed I was completely unemployable for what I was trained to do. In his great “wisdom,” I remember him telling me that I should work a minimum wage job (or two) and try to work my way to the top of a company from the very bottom.*
At the time, I–more or less–just took the abuse.
You see, I was still hoping he would help me save my marriage to his daughter. I mistook him as an ally to our marriage as opposed to what his words and actions declared him to be:
My enemy and my marriage’s enemy.
Fast-forward to last night, God brought this memory to mind to heal it.
He brought it forth in me NOT because of anger or bitterness issues. I want to be perfectly clear on this point. The anger–and most of the pain–from the memory was long gone–praise the Lord! We were dealing with something else.
Rather, God brought the memory forth to heal me from the fear it had seared into my heart.
God was breaking me free from the “fear of man” (see Proverbs 29:25). In particular, I believe God was teaching me that He has my back. That He was there in that ugly memory years ago.
During the ministry time, I could “see” with my spiritual eyes that Jesus was with me.
Like God intervening for Moses in Numbers 12, Jesus was in that car with me and my (ex) father-in-law. And His eyes burned with holy, angry fire towards my (ex) father-in-law!
It was as if Jesus was just daring my (ex) father-in-law to cross Him! That look meant business.
Jesus was not one bit pleased with what came out of my (ex) father-in-law’s mouth towards me. It was clear that He took such an attack of me very personal!
Now, why or how was this healing for me?
It reminded me that I was and am not alone. God did not call me then stand back to watch me sink or swim on my own.
He was and is invested in my success as a person like a good Father and a loving brother. Anyone who attacks His call–i.e. His purposes–on my life is attacking Him.
God is not neutral when that happens.
He is furious at such wicked defiance!
This is healing as it puts the power of “man” in perspective. “Man” defies God at his own peril.
As long as we align our purposes with God, we need not fear “man.” God will deal with him–or her–as He did Miriam and Aaron when they defied and undermined Moses.
We are not alone in executing God’s plan. Rather, we are co-labors with God in bringing forth His Kingdom!
*This is not to say working minimum wage job(s) makes someone worthless or that I was “too good” to do such work (after all, I was working as a barista at the time).
What we do for a living does not determine our worth! God already has determined our worth forever by paying the blood-price personally for you and me.