October 21, 2008
"This is the same Moses whom they had rejected with the words, 'Who made you ruler and judge?' He was sent to be their ruler and deliverer by God himself,
through the angel who appeared to him in the bush.” Acts 7:35 (NIV)
Rejection is never fun. Most of us avoid situations where we know we’ll be rejected, and sometimes we give up too soon. Parents, worn down by the defiance of children, give in rather than discipline in love. Friends avoid giving biblical advice when it’s rebuffed repeatedly. Many of us just stop sharing the good news of the Gospel when someone seems uninterested. We may know God asked us to do something, but trying repeatedly is just too hard when we’ve been rejected before.
There is wisdom in knowing when to press on and when to back up. Only the Holy Spirit can give us direction on what to do when we meet resistance. But many times, I wonder if fear, insecurity or exhaustion drives our decision to stop obeying God’s requests. Unless God specifically tells us to stop, we should consider our past marching orders as standing orders and face that possible rejection again.
Moses is an example of someone God called to help people who had already rejected him. In Acts, chapter 7, we read Stephen’s final sermon. It included the story of Moses, an Israelite, who was raised in the Egyptian Pharaoh’s house, full of wealth and privilege. At the age of 40, Moses visited his fellow Israelites who were enslaved by the Egyptians, and in his anger he killed one of them. When other Israelites discovered the murder, Moses fled to the wilderness for 40 years. That was when God asked Moses to return to
Moses was an unwilling servant in the beginning, full of excuses. In Exodus, chapter 3, Moses begins the list of reasons why he shouldn’t go back to
Moses was just like you and me. I think he loved God, but he didn’t want to open himself up to criticism and rejection. And so he quickly identified the list of reasons why he couldn’t do what God had asked. But God had important plans for Moses. Moses was the one God chose to bring freedom to the Israelites. God saw value and worth in Moses, and God sees that same worth in you.
With God’s help and power, Moses returned to the Israelites and led them to freedom. Obedience wasn’t easy, but the end result brought God glory, and freedom from slavery to a million people. Sometimes God may send us back to speak truth and freedom to someone who has rejected us before. When that happens, we can trust that God sees our potential and that pressing through rejection will be worth it in the end.
Dear Lord, thank You for including stories in the Bible of people who faced rejection. Obeying Your will isn’t always easy. Thank You for being with me always, for being my courage and for working miracles every day around me. Help me not to give up too soon. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
The Character of God: Understanding His Heart for Us by Brian T. Anderson and Glynnis Whitwer
What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst
Move Me Aside CD by Lindsay Kane
Visit Glynnis Whitwer’s blog
Make a list of people who have rejected your attempts to invite them to church or talk with them about your faith. Pray over this list. Then try again with one or two of them.
Why is rejection so painful?
What are some common behavior patterns we adopt when we are afraid of rejection?
What truths can you hold on to from God’s Word that will help you deal with rejection?
Galatians 1:10, “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” (NLT)
Luke 10:16, “He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me." (NIV)
Psalm 66:20, “Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!” (NIV)
© 2008 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105