Then the LORD said to Satan,
“I, the LORD, reject your accusations, Satan.
Yes, the LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebukes you.
This man is like a burning stick that has been snatched from a fire.”
Zechariah 3:2 NLT
One of my favorite authors is releasing her newest book next month and I got a sneak peek into what it’s all about. It’s called Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely.
At first I didn’t want to acknowledge – even just to myself in my own head – that I could identify with those words. But all of a sudden tiny memories started popping into the projector in my brain and playing them like a movie… little mental home videos of times I felt less than, left out, lonely. Uninvited. Moments when I hear my inner voice accuse me of being unloveable, unwanted, unable, un… everything.
Why on earth do I still have those memories?! And what makes those feelings so deeply scorched on my brain that I can still feel their pain just from reading a book title?
Luckily God – my absolute favorite author – has some solutions that were released in a book called Zechariah, circa 520 B.C. In Zechariah, just a bit after last week’s message, God gives him another vision that targets my feelings of insecurity and rejection. Check it out:
Then the angel showed me Jeshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD. Satan was there at the angel’s right hand, accusing Jeshua of many things. And the LORD said to Satan, ‘I, the LORD, reject your accusations, Satan. Yes, the LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebukes you. This man is like a burning stick that has been snatched from a fire.’Jeshua’s clothing was filthy as he stood there before the angel. So the angel said to the others standing there, ‘Take off his filthy clothes.’ And turning to Jeshua he said, ‘See, I have taken away your sins and now I am giving you these fine new clothes.'” (Zechariah 3:1-3 NLT)
Jeshua, a high priest (who I’d never imagine would struggle with feelings of rejection) stands here accused by none other than Satan himself. But God just tells Satan I REJECT YOUR ACCUSATIONS. God acknowledges that Jeshua WAS a once burning stick – but he’s been snatched from the fire. Whatever might have been true about the accusations of Satan no longer matter. God clothes Jeshua with a fresh, forgiven future and fine new clothes.
Now, THAT is the vision I want to play in my brain projector every time I feel less than, left out, lonely and uninvited. I see myself in where Jeshua stood, watching Satan spit out accusations that make me want to crumble in self-loathing. Then I see Jesus smile and, without hesitation, firmly tell Satan I REJECT YOUR ACCUSATIONS. He covers me in a rich, elegant white cloth as my dim thrift store clothes turn to ash and disappear. I am wanted. Loved. Invited.
Now it’s your turn: Can you see YOU there?
Dear Lord, thank you so much for gently showing me that I’m still riddled with fear and insecurity. Thank you for letting that title come across my life this week AND for rejecting my accusations against myself. Help me see myself in Jeshua’s place every moment I question my place in your creation. Amen.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/23628513@N00/4757913318″>140:365 – Left Out</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a>