Keeping it Real & Reverence for God

So, I’ve been reading Leviticus. Yep, you read that correctly, Leviticus.

Many of you have graciously inquired in your posts about how I approach biblical research. At some point, I would love to type out a step-by-step process and post it for you, but for now I will simply say that my first step before consulting any biblical resource is always to read the book of the Bible that I am studying in full, all in one sitting. Sometimes I even read the text aloud. I do this because I find that I gain a much better comprehension of the book if I read it all in one sitting than if I break it up into little segments over a longer period of time. After I read the whole book in its entirety a couple of times, I go back and study the chapters, then the verses, and finally the various phrases and words. In brief, my methodology being a very simple-minded woman is to start with the whole so that I can understand the parts.

Well, the last couple of nights I have read Leviticus in full because for the life of me, I cannot remember the last time that I read it. I think it was during my first year at Moody Bible Institute in Old Testament Survey. And mostly I was reading it to get the grade, if you know what I mean. Okay, I was only reading it to get the grade! Anyway…I know reading a book of the Bible in its entirety might sound daunting at first, but ya’ll, Leviticus is only 27 chapters, which means that it took me less than two hours to read it the first time and just a little over an hour the second time. This is not that much time if you think about it, considering we spend at least two-three hours a day feeding ourselves and almost half that much time blow-drying our hair and putting on make-up. If a book can’t be read all in one sitting, then the next best thing is to break it up over two sittings. You get my drift!

Back to Leviticus…Since we are living on this side of the cross of Jesus Christ and are not “Levites” per se and are certainly not camped out in the Sinai wilderness, what relevance does Leviticus have for us? Perhaps the main theme of Leviticus can point us in the right direction as to how we can apply this significant text. In quick summary fashion, the book of Leviticus gives instructions to the Israelites about how to be holy before a holy God, and how to live amongst the people of God and even foreigners in a way that reflects this holiness. The Hebrew noun that is rendered “holy” in our English texts is used in its various forms over 120 times in Leviticus. Since I am a little slow sometimes, I really love it when an author slams a term, phrase, or theme over and over again so that I simply cannot miss it or disregard it. But, what does it mean for God to be holy? I love how one of my favorite professors, Dr. John Walton puts it: “God’s holiness is not a separate attribute but the result of the sum total of all of his attributes- including but not limited to his sovereignty, omniscience, love, and righteousness. Holiness is a term that implies comparison. God is holy in relation to the people he created. When God asks his people to be holy as he is holy, he means we are to maintain distinctions between ourselves and the world around us by imitating God himself” (The Essential Bible Companion, 19).

I am sure there are a number of good applications that we could make from Leviticus, but I can only mention a few that hit me between the eyes as I re-read Leviticus. First, Leviticus reminds us that it takes incredible sacrifice to eliminate or wipe away the effects of our sin so that we can be in the presence of God. Bottom line: Sin is serious. This is convicting to me personally because somehow over time I have worked-up a nonchalant relationship with my sin. For example, when I sin I tend to do so in a way that deliberately predicts the grace that I will receive immediately when I confess. I personally do not have to participate in any intricate process for my sin to be obliterated, so I think to myself, “there is now no condemnation for those of us who are in Christ Jesus” and that nothing can separate us from the love of Jesus Christ (Romans 8). While these things are certainly true, the New Testament reiterates that grace should never cause us to feel some sort of stagnant peace with our sin (see Romans 6:1,15; Hebrews & James, also). As Christians each of us have been given the confidence to enter the “holy place” by the blood of Jesus (Heb. 10) and though we may not offer up grain offerings or animal sacrifices like the ancient Israelites did, we do well to recall often that our merciful standing before our holy creator God required the sacrifice of Jesus Christ’s flesh. Texts like Leviticus 10:1-3 provide a good corrective to my inappropriate abuse of God’s grace through Jesus Christ. If you don’t have a Bible with you, that text presents two sons of Aaron as offering unwarranted incense before the Lord. Aaron’s two sons, Nadab and Abihu, were immediately consumed (a.k.a killed) by fire that came out from the presence of the Lord. The Lord’s words that follow directly after this incident give me goose-bumps. He says, “By those who come near me I will be treated as holy, And before all people I will be honored.” And then the text follows, “So, Aaron, therefore, kept silent.”

I’m just relieved Aaron kept silent.

Sometimes we can get so comfortable in our theological constructs that we need to read something shocking to awaken us from our spiritual slumbers. One of the things that the wonderful and legendary Dr. Greg Beale used to say in class at Wheaton was: “Sometimes you need to comfort the afflicted, but other times you need to afflict the comforted.” I have this phrase written in the front page of my Bible because I have found it very useful in my own walk with the Lord. Sometimes I am so broken and so desperate for hope that I need to meditate on a comforting passage in Scripture, but other times these dry bones need a rebuke so that they can dance once again.

My second application is perhaps a little more questionable, maybe even controversial, and has proved difficult for me to form into words. Forgive me in advance for my lack of precision. It tends to characterize my generation more than it does my Mom’s generation. It has to do with my generation’s all-too-often nonchalant relationship to our holy Creator. While I am sure we could exposit this for hours, I just want to give one main example. Lately I have overheard several staunch believers publicly utter words like “I am so ticked off at God” but the word used wasn’t ‘ticked’, if you know what I mean. I’ve heard even more crass statements than that one to describe this same sort of thing but do not feel comfortable quoting these words on a blog because most of them involve swear-words. I am sure you can imagine the type of thing I am referring to. Most of these people connect their confession of anger toward God with “being authentic” and “keeping it real”. I am getting the feeling that there is some sort of underlying and unquestioned assumption that “keeping it real” and “being authentic” means sharing and expressing to others most everything that our soul emotes, even in its darkest and most wicked places. A few times I have actually gotten the sense that some might even parade their anger toward God as some sort of boast of their own authenticity. Something about this makes me unashamedly queasy. One of the reasons crass comments like “I am so ticked off at God” bother me is that they sound suspiciously similar to the rants of the rest of the world which continually condemn God for everything gone wrong, minor or major. We should be set apart from the world, especially in our confessions of God’s faithfulness and justice.

Having said all of this, I do think my generation’s love and passion for authenticity is tremendously commendable, I am just not sure it is always fleshed out appropriately. I think the reason we prize authenticity is because the temptation of the generations before us might have been toward quietly bottling up their anger with God while serving Him ingenuinely in their local churches. But, I guess my question is, in our desire to “keep it real”, “to be authentic”, and to flee far from hypocrisy, are we disrespecting our God? And if so, where is the line?

I don’t think there are any simple answers and I am certainly not out to offer solutions, because I simply don’t have them. I do think, however, that the thin line here lies somewhere between the paradox so eloquently described in Matt Redman’s words in the song “Face Down”. The lyrics go something like this, “Welcomed in to the courts of the King, I’ve been ushered in to your presence…Lord, I stand on your merciful ground, yet with every step tread with reverence.” The paradox that we experience as a Christian is this: we may stand on merciful ground, but we do so ever mindful of God’s other-ness. The paradox gives us the luxury to confidently pour out hearts before our God who is our refuge and with whom we have a personal relationship through Jesus Christ. The paradox, however, never allows us to do so in a crass or unacceptably colloquial manner that undermines the holiness of God. The hard truth is that we are going to endure times that we feel God is absent or even that He is forsaking us in a certain situation but we should be careful how, when, and to whom we verbalize it. Perhaps, in smaller matters that mostly have to do with our distrust in God, we may need to repent of our unbelief. In matters of great disasters that leave our heads completely spinning in devastation, perhaps we should first confess to Him our anger and grief in our personal prayer lives or maybe even with an individual and very trusted accountability partner. He obviously knows when we are angry with Him, so we should confess this to Him, plead with Him, and pour out our hearts to Him in truth, but must we always publicly express our displeasure toward God? Perhaps you have better answers and solutions than I do, but I do fear that our crass expressions may expose our disrespect for an almighty God more than they expose our personal authenticity.

Jesus promised that in this world we will have trouble, so let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful (Heb. 10). And when those moments come that we feel abandoned by God, let us take heart knowing that for now we see in a mirror dimly, but there is going to be a day when we will see face to face. Yes, sister, one of these days, we shall know fully (1 Cor. 13:12). God simply has not revealed all of the information we need to be able to judge and assess all the trials in our lives and all the suffering in our fallen world. We may never understand the trials we go through on this side of glory. Consider Job’s sufferings and how he never once knew the reality behind his suffering. We, the readers of Job know why he suffered, but he himself never knew and after forty chapters of questionings and turmoil, all Job could do was utter to God: “Behold I am insignificant…” and “I know that Thou canst do all things…I have declared that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know…But now my eyes see Thee, Therefore I retract and I repent…(Job 40-42). I believe that when we know in full, we will declare God just and true, and that perhaps we will wish that we hadn’t been so quick to condemn Him for all our earthly trials.

“Great and marvelous are Thy works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Thy ways, Thou King of the nations. Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? For Thou alone art holy; For ALL THE NATIONS WILL COME AND WORSHIP BEFORE THEE, For Thy righteous acts have been revealed.”
Revelation 15:3-4

Anxiously waiting for ALL of God’s righteous acts to be revealed,
Melissa Moore Fitzpatrick


201 Responses to “Keeping it Real & Reverence for God”

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  1. 101
    baseballtraveler says:

    I needed to read this today. Thank you!

  2. 102
    katiegfromtennessee says:


    I am blessed and glad to hear from you, I never thanked you for all those recipes in the Minter study-thankyou:)…This is much to think about, Melissa, I understand what you are saying about God’s holiness, and that we need to have a reverential fear of Him. Not an unhealthy fear (He does love us), but a reverential fear. We need to be holy, because He is holy. Sin of any kind is serious, and this world laughs at it, and makes light of it, but it is serious. God wants us to mourn our sin and repent. I grew nonchalant, and it just about devasted me spiritually, but God is gracious and loving to discipline His own. It is good to be reminded to hold fast to our Hope. Yes, God is Just and True, He is. I don’t want to cause anyone to stumble, Melissa, that would definitely devastate me! I want some circumspection, some sanity for crying out loud-He is sanity, so I go to Him-His Word. I want to always go to Him first. I don’t want to spout something off in the heat of emotion, and regret it later. I want a correct view of Him. God has gifted you, and I pray that your life would always glorify Him. I am a mess, Melissa, I have dealt with some things in my life that have scarred me, and I know that God can make me completely whole. He is gracious to send me people like you who can help me keep things in proper perspective. I don’t know you from Eve, and I don’t know if I’ll ever get to meet you this side of heaven (I hope I do get the chance-that’s up to Him), but I want you to know that God has used you to bless me immeasurably-you and your family, and this ministry. Praise the Lord, Melissa, He is Good to us! (sorry for the long post!)

    2 Cor. 1:3-4 (AMP)

    not sure if this posted right, sending again…:)

  3. 103
    Knittin Kudzu says:

    Thank you Melissa! I have been trying to explain this to my college-age children and the message has fallen on deaf ears. I will be passing on your words of wisdom to them. This was an inspired explanation of what it really means to be “set apart”!

    Thanks so much for sharing your heart with us. Blessings for your day! Sandy

  4. 104
    Li'l Rae says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this timely message. This very same thing has been on my heart and mind for a while too. Probably because I have been reading Job during a difficult time in our family’s life. The struggle hurts and sometimes I question what God is trying to teach me, but it is my hope that others see Him through my struggles – not my hurt or being “ticked off at God”. I am somewhat between your generation and your Mom’s – but it really makes me cringe sometimes when I hear those same statements you mentioned in your post. Almost as if we are trying to bring God down to our level and make Him the same as us instead of exalting Him as the Holy God that He is. When we accept that HE is GOD alone and we are merely human then we truly are “keeping it real”.

  5. 105
    Anonymous says:

    My 10 year old daughter and I just went to a Mother/Daughter conf. teaching young girls her age to be strong in the LORD and teaching mothers how to get their daughter’s hearts. The young lady (age 27) who taught the conf. always wore a veil over her head when she prayed. I thought that was BEAUTIFUL.

    Honor and reverence for God! What a way to honor Him and remain humble before Him during prayer.

    Kelly in Michigan

  6. 106
    Cynthia says:

    Amen! I can just imagine the smile on God’s face as He nods your way and says, “Well said my faithful servant!”

    Thanks for sharing!

  7. 107
    Anonymous says:

    AMEN Melissa!!!! There was a time in my life that I blamed God for everything bad that was happening to ME. Key word here…ME. My husband’s mom and my mother were born on the same day, same year and get this, same name…spooky, I know. We were in the midst of planning a huge celebration for both of them for their 50th birthdays and very suddenly my mother-in-law passed away sitting on her couch at home of a heart attack. We were out with friends and by the time my mother found us my mother-in-law had been “gone” for a few hours. I can remember at the hospital when we first arrived the look on my father-in-laws face….horror!!! I refused to believe she was “gone”. My father-in-law, my husband, myself and my mother went back to see her and I remember yelling at her to wake up and stop being stubborn. Obviously she did not wake up. In a split second our lives were completely changed and times terrible for a while and I blamed God for it all. I remember running our of the room and into the ER waiting room literally sobbing and yelling at God.. WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME (here’s that word again)!!!!!!! It took years for me to get over this and to see that God was the one holding us together during this terrible time. I have prayed so hard for His forgiveness for all these awful things I blamed Him for. He has forgiven me but I still to this day (it has been nine years) sometimes don’t feel like I have forgiven myself. I was so consumed with ME that I couldn’t see the big picture. God is good in all things, even when we don’t see it.

    I love the way God uses you to express such truths and revelations.

    God Bless you Melissa.

  8. 108
    sgowen says:

    Wow…that just about sums it up for me…thank you for writing this today…it expresses alot of the thoughts I have been thinking recently, and gives greater insight than I was able to come up with…I thank God for your family, and your willingness to share with others…I like the words to the song that says…”Lord, empty me of me so I can be filled with you…very convicting words…Sharon

  9. 109
    Anonymous says:

    Melissa – that was wonderfully challenging. Thank you for sharing. I have so much I would like to say, but I just can not find the words.

    “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshiped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:20-21

    Blessed be the name of the Lord!!

    to His glory,
    rebecca in e.tx

  10. 110
    Deidra says:

    Thank you so much Melissa. I appreciate your heart for the heart of God. Deidra

  11. 111
    Anonymous says:

    I totally agree with you! Our generation desires authenticity but sometimes, like you said, I feel it leads to disrespect. I am so thankful of recognizing God’s amazing love and grace for our lives but let us not forget that HE is also a Holy and Just God who can not let sin go unpunished. I think the problem lies with us thinking that God’s amazing grace and love entitles us to more when in reality it is way more than we deserve! We have to trust that even when circumstances don’t seem good or right to us that God sees the whole picture and working all things for HIS purpose which is always good! I have learned from your Mom through the Psalms of Ascent Bible Study that at those times, when I don’t understand, to fall flat on my face before my HOLY KING asking Him to just reveal Himself to me!!!!!
    PS. I love to read your posts. They are such an encouragement to me.

  12. 112
    Anonymous says:

    You can’t even begin to know how often a friend at work and I have had this discussion over the last several weeks. Your words are genuine, sincere, and authentic and you are speaking right to our generations need for reverence toward our Savior! Thank you so much for writing out your thoughts of what God has taught you through reading Leviticus. Those thoughts needed to be made known so that we can grasp the true admiration and adoration we are to have for our amazing God! This comment would be too long if I went into all the truths going through my mind on this right now. I will just say this. I’m in complete and absolute agreement with you on this one!
    Love, Amy in OK

  13. 113
    TraciG says:

    We did a study on the attributes of God with our youth at church. Your post reminded me that God is equally all of his attributes at once: holy, but loving, but just, but omniscient…etc. How easy it is to take one part of God and magnify it and make our view of him totally out of balance. It goes to show how complex our God is and how totally deserving of our reverence, fear and respect.

  14. 114
    atkins5 says:

    Melissa I couldn’t agree with you more. I think we all, as a body of believers, have lost very much of our holy fear and reverance of our holy and awesome God. This has bothered me for some time. Don’t get me wrong, we are all guilty of it, but there is a rampant surge of bringing God down to our level and “being real” that I do not see in His Word, even in the New Testament where we come to know grace so beautifully. I don’t want legalism, but I do think that we have crossed the line and are in danger of presenting “strange fire” before the Lord. Our God is a very orderly and exact God and has very specific ways that He has given for us to come before Him. Thanks for voicing the things that I have been feeling for a while.

  15. 115
    Gaila says:

    I too thought your mom was writing this post. I praise God that He uses you mightily to share the word in such convicting way. A legacy for loving God, His word, His people is witnessed this day.

  16. 116
    Anonymous says:

    Very well said Melissa! You have a distinct writing voice and it is good. Your writing glorifies God.

    Please pray for Sydney. I wrote on here about here last week. She is 6 years old and having her middle finger removed today. Pray that the cancer HAS NOT spread. If it has, there is nothing medicine can do. Although, we know that our great and mighty God can heal all things. Also, pray for her parents, Jenna and Grant.
    Thank you so much!
    Lisa in RL, IL

  17. 117
    Christelle says:

    Amen! I think a part of this problem is because in our generation a lot more focus is placed on Jesus meek and mild and that because we might feel more comfortable with the God of grace, we sometimes opt to forget He is the GOD of gods, the Most High, the Holy One. The fact that Jesus makes a way for us to come before the throne is indeed the ONLY reason we dare to stand before our Holy God. That is why I love the stories of the Old Testament too, because it tells of how God reveals Himself as the Most Holy God He is and reminds me that eventhough I have access to His throne, He is still God, and that eventhough He is merciful and Jesus calls us friends, it does not make Him our “buddy”.

  18. 118
    Anne Acker says:

    I read your post and thought, “There it is again.” I re-read Leviticus a few weeks ago because I was under conviction and that was one of the places God led me as He was dealing with my heart. I thought this of all books would hit me like scalding water, and instead I found it a joy to read as I saw God’s provision for sin and His desire for us to be honest with Him. Leviticus reminds us that there is no aspect of our lives too intimate for God to address.

    Concerning reverence, I’ve been reading some early Protestant writings for my dissertation and I’ve been surprised by the fact that these writers place so much emphasis on self-knowledge while ALWAYS tying it to the fear of God. Through Scripture, God reveals Himself as awesome and holy, and human nature as finite and sinful. How then can disrespect be “authentic”? All it proves it that I misunderstood myself as much as I misunderstood God’s character.

    My thanks to Beth and everyone at Living Proof. What a help you have been over the last couple of months!


  19. 119
    Anne Acker says:

    I read your post and thought, “There it is again.” I re-read Leviticus a few weeks ago because I was under conviction and that was one of the places God led me as He was dealing with my heart. I thought this of all books would hit me like scalding water, and instead I found it a joy to read as I saw God’s provision for sin and His desire for us to be honest with Him. Leviticus reminds us that there is no aspect of our lives too intimate for God to address.

    Concerning reverence, I’ve been reading some early Protestant writings for my dissertation and I’ve been surprised by the fact that these writers place so much emphasis on self-knowledge while ALWAYS tying it to the fear of God. Through Scripture, God reveals Himself as awesome and holy, and human nature as finite and sinful. How then can disrespect be “authentic”? All it proves it that I misunderstood myself as much as I misunderstood God’s character.

    My thanks to Beth and everyone at Living Proof. What a help you have been over the last couple of months!


  20. 120
    connie in wa says:

    Amazing. You cannot believe the timing of this expose’. God has been gently nudging me of my lack of reverence just this past week. He is amazing. And you, Melissa, are gifted.

    Thank you for being obedient.

  21. 121
    Janna Widdifield says:

    Thank you for some meaty stuff to mull over. I’ll be pondering this post all day.

  22. 122
    Nicole says:

    That was great, Melissa, thanks so much.

    I think as someone who came to Christ later in life, in my early 20s, and who has a thick volume of sin-life as part of my biography, I haven’t gotten to a place in my walk wiht God where I get angry with Him, or assume He is doing somehting to hurt me. I usually assume that the product of trials or difficult times is an result of my own sin.

    But I have realized that, in the extreme, can be an ungodly view of trials as well. Jesus said of the blind man that no sin caused his estate, that God allowed it so He could be glorified. As much as it is good for me to review and see where my own sin has caused suffering, I do also need to work at realized that sometimes God just allows trials, and to trust Him, and trust that He has a goodness planned for me and wants to use my trials to glorify himself.

    Thanks so much for the encouraging teaching today.

  23. 123
    Amy Storms says:

    Thanks for this. Recently I read a blog which mentioned anger at God, and I had wondered about its word choice, too 🙂 (although I do trust the author’s heart as one who loves Jesus deeply).

    I have a couple questions, however.

    1. What about David? Some of the Psalms are angry, and even violent or offensive. He clearly didn’t hold back his feelings from God, and he was a man after God’s own heart.

    2. What about relationship? I am only now (after a lifetime of faith, ministry and even Bible college like you) grasping that God wants a relationship with me. To talk with me. And so, that means honest communication. That means I’ll tell my honest hurts and anger. My miscarriage a few years ago brought a confusion about God that I’d never had before. It rocked me, but I think my faith was deepened only because I was able to communicate with God exactly what I truly thought of His plans. 🙂 I was hurt by God and even angry at Him, and I let Him know it. So my question: Isn’t that what happens in a healthy relationship? Don’t we have Jesus so that we can approach the throne in confidence?

    3. Your distinction between public and private authenticity bothers me somewhat. I grew up in a pastor’s home and often I was frustrated by the two worlds we balanced: the one in which we looked perfect,and the one in which we were truly ourselves. I just don’t want this hypocrisy for my own kids (also being raised in a pastor’s home). There just can’t be a separation between my ministry face and my home face, if you know what I mean. I don’t think this is what you’re advocating, but it is a thin line, like you said. Sometimes my congregation benefits from knowing that my family struggles, too. Your thoughts?

    I don’t mean to disagree with you. I see both sides. I want to revere God deeply, and I can’t even begin to grasp His holiness. But I also want to keep nothing back from Him, so that even my motives and thoughts match His. And sometimes that means, struggle honestly before Him.

    My kids are all around me so I’m sure my thoughts are scrambled. (Oh, I used to be able to make intelligent sentences, all strung neatly together. :)) This is long, and if this isn’t the place to reply, feel free to email me at amyestorms AT gmail DOT com.

    Thanks so much. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    Amy Storms

  24. 124
    GodslittleMimi says:

    AMEN! I have had a hard time with hearing some even refer to God as “G” (short for God) a gererational thing I assume) and some taking being a friend of God into human friendship status. And every time I hear any thing like that something inside of me screams “NO!” I find it disrespectful to the God who laid down His life for me! A girl who worked at an Abortion clinic for 8yrs and lived a Bi-sexual lifestyle for 4 yrs. I mention this only because I KNOW where I was, and where He has brought me. And it wasn’t easy I went kicking and screaming. But He came and rescued me. He lifted me up and out of so many pits! How I long to lay face down in His presence. I think maybe sometimes people don’t realize from what He has saved them from. Maybe not having a past like mine, and forgetting that gratitude and reverance at least for me go hand in hand. Im most likely wrong but I am not a scholar. But when you realize that you are but dust, a girl of unclean lips from a people of unclean lips. (Isa 6:5) How can you be anything but reverent, grateful, ruined!
    I am Grateful, I am Holy, I am Redeemed.
    “Holy Holy Holy is the LORD God Almighty.”
    The God of the Universe saw me, He SAVED me!

  25. 125
    Elizabeth Smillie says:

    It took me a while, but I finally finished reading your post. So glad I did – and that you put it all down. Thank you.

  26. 126
    Dionna says:

    I definitely believe that too many people are too casual with God. I love being authentic and genuine (I recently just renamed my blog “Keeping It Real”) but I struggle to complain to God because He is so sovereign and greatly to be trusted. So it’s almost a breakthrough for me when I cry out my doubts and frustrations about His plans.
    I always try to remember that He is Holy and I should treat Him as such.

  27. 127
    Deirdre says:

    Hi Melissa okay- wow…so much to say . I cancelled my time at the fiesta to participate in the JesusFilm/MiddleEast mission this fall. Many different circumstances brought the trip to a halt. Personally I have not been at my most studious or reverent to God. Today*** I know your message changes that. I know all things work together for His good will and purposes. I am excited for this bright moment to start from here.
    Much gratitude to you all all LPM.
    I praying for a mission somewhere soon.

  28. 128
    Katie says:

    Melissa, I know I have already commented on your post but I just had to hop back on and say this… I just read the article in Christianity Today that Tara mentioned and I was completely blown away by what the people had learned about God by the end of that study. It really jarred me, I wonder now if I really do GET how much grace God bestows on me everyday, or whether I really appreciate it or take it for granted, and how bout do I even really KNOW who my God really is? (that one really messes with me). So, it got me to thinking…how cool would it be if you did something similar-to what was done in that article-with us siestas?! I would love to go through something like that too, especially with a community of fellow sisters (or siestas…hint hint) in Christ…and with you as our fearless leader. (I say fearless, because you would have to be to voluntarily tackle the book of Leviticus! 🙂 I Love you girl, and please know I will be ok if this never comes to fruition for the LPM blog community…I just thought I would mention what was on my mind…Keep your posts coming though, God is all over them!

  29. 129
    Michelle Bentham says:


    I’ve really been mulling over your post. I read through it again this morning.

    The part about being crass or colloquial with God hit me between the eyes this morning. Not because I deal with these particular issues… But, because I see so much of this in the lives of bereaved parents.

    I have been very angry in the bereavement over my son – but not much of it directed at God. I had one moment where I desperately needed an answer to why a financial blessing had to be attached to his death… And I addressed it straight to God, through tears at a stoplight after leaving the attorney’s office who handled our insurance claims. I held that check and asked, “God, how is Justin dying a part of you blessing us? It doesn’t feel like a blessing.”

    Melissa, and I’m not even kidding about this, immediately the one constant Scripture I had prayed over my son’s life played like a song in my head. Philippians 1:6 rolled across the floor of my mind and resounded off the walls and ceiling there. I could hear God clearly say, “The blessing is not the money, it is that Justin was complete in Christ they day he came home to heaven.”

    That settled it for me right there.

    However, a few months ago – as I have been preparing myself to lead a group for grieving moms this fall – God revealed a wound in my heart I had never surrendered to Him. That scene from Steele Magnolias was the catalyst – the one where M’Lynne is in the cemetery running the full range of emotions in a few short minutes that grief invades your life with.

    Tears of brokenness poured down my face and my daughter came over and gave me a hug. She said, “Momma…?”

    I said, “Honey, I think maybe I haven’t dealt with some anger I have toward God about Justin not being here.”

    She said, “Perhaps you should deal with Him about that.”

    I did. I confessed it and got it on the table right away. I needed Him to know that I never intended to get angry over this. As a matter of fact I tried hard not to have “too many” difficult emotions because I knew people were watching my response to my son’s death. But, in it somehow I delayed some of those effects of grief. Because I was so sensitive to what He was showing me, even through a movie like Steele Magnolias, I confessed and immediately received the peace of God in my brokenness. I felt His love soothing my upset emotions and troubled mind. I believe that anger and some guilt I had over the last words my son and I spoke to each other were two of the final pieces I needed to fit into my grief puzzle.

    You are right about that fine line – I believe the reality of authenticity comes to us when we place every aspect of our lives – our sin, our pain, our losses, our every breath against the backdrop of the cross and see what we are willing to lay down for our own shortcomings. Acknowledging those things that fall way short of God’s standard and then allowing His forgiveness to penetrate our hearts and our souls frees us to do the unimaginably impossible without fear of becoming an offense before others or to our HOLY God.

    I recently was reading a book that made me painfully aware of how often I pray like God already knows what I am going to say. (Because I’ve always been taught that He does, omniscience is “ALL-Knowing,” right?)

    I asked God, “Do you want me to pray to you like you don’t know what I am going to say – like you are hearing about this for the first time?” His answer: “Yes, I delight to hear about things from your perspective and help you correct what needs to be corrected in you. How you pray reveals your heart toward me and others.” These were not spoken words, they were… an impression of His response and desire for deeper relationship and more intimate communion with me. The point where deeper still became poignantly real for me.

    He stopped being a bigger than life problem solver and became a trusted confidante and faithful friend – someone I see as having my best interest at heart. Am I tracking anywhere close to making sense here. This post has stirred up so much I probably should close and mull it over some more with God.

    I guess my point is this, when I hear someone express their anger toward God over some something in their life I point them to Job. Though he had considerable reason to be angry with God, and may have been – he never openly defamed God over his own messy emotions. He spent 42 hours rebuking others for blaming God for his despair and sorting out the messiness of grief and loss with God to the point of resolution. God wants us to sort with Him. It is not about airing grievances or dirty laundry with God – it is about allowing an exchange between our hearts to take place. To revere His opinion so much I take my concerns, complaints and confessions to Him first and get His perspective on it before I share it with others.

    I hope this is remotely close to making sense to you. I love your heart and your words have prompted great contemplation. BLessings sweet one. Word On!

  30. 130
    Jenny says:

    This was so timely, I’m teaching the youth for a season at my church and this weeks lesson is close to your post. One of the points I plan to share with the youth is:

    I feel like ________ (your absolute true feelings) but I know _________ because you say so in your word.

    It has helped me alot to be able to say what I was feeling and search out a verse that shows the truth of it.

    Maybe in public and private that could be the key, I feel but I also know!


  31. 131
    Way More Homemade says:

    I don’t really have anything to add… convicting. He has spoken to me so much recently about His holiness and what that means to me personally. This is just one more layer.

    I did want to tell you that my daughter (7 yrs old) is reading Leviticus right now. I always look forward to what she gets out of her reading. Perhaps it will be as profound.


    ~Donna (WayMoreHomemade)

  32. 132
    Anonymous says:

    AMEN!!! Thank you for this awesome message on relating to our Awesome God. To Him be the Glory!


  33. 133
    Traci Best says:

    As hard as that was to read, I have to say… Amen! Amen because I completly agree with you,.. Amen because I am completely convicted by what you said,.. Amen because it is the truth!

    Fresh Waters for Dry and Weary Bones.

  34. 134
    Lauren says:

    Amen, sister. This is your best blog post yet.

    Have you seen this month’s issue of Christianity Today? There’s an article in there about a group of people at my church who decided to live Levitically for a month:

  35. 135
    Anonymous says:

    Wow. Thanks, Melissa, for your thoughts and insight. It was just what I needed to hear. May the Lord continue to bless you in your study of His Word!

  36. 136
    Melissa says:

    Lauren!!! I can’t believe you go to Park Street Church! Cool! That article was what made me want to re-read Leviticus. It was very interesting! Were you one the 21?

  37. 137
    Ann, Wheaton, IL says:

    Wow Melissa – you are wise beyond your years….God-given wisdom and insight. As a woman who is more in your mom’s generation – but raising kids 13-21 – who are younger than you – I often am very troubled with this “glibness” at times in our attitude toward our King! Often the casualness and glibness grieves my heart. Indeed, Jesus is lover of our souls, grace giver, etc. but He is also totally other, Holy, Holy, Holy and deserves to be acknowledged with the awe and respect He is so worthy of!
    Thank you for sharing such wise words!

  38. 138
    Faran says:


    Thanks for this word. I was reminded as I read it about some Godly counsel I was given years ago as a new bride. Two friends were discussing how and when to speak about their husbands’ failings. The general rule was “if you can’t speak respectfully about him to others, then don’t speak it.” Not that they didn’t share hurts and struggles appropriately and with close friends. But don’t go around telling everyone your husband’s faults and how mad you are at him. Think of the hurt you would feel if he did the same to you.

    And what are we as Christians? BRIDES of Christ! We do well to speak of our Lord with even greater respect. Tell HIM of your anger and issues, but keep speak respectfully about Him to others. He died to provide me the ability to speak to Him intimately. I do not want to bring dishonor to His glorious name.

    Just thought I’d share an earthly example of the profound post you gave us today. Bless you!

  39. 139
    Amy T says:

    Very well put. We must always remember that, though God is our Father and loves us, He is also always holy and should ALWAYS be held in reverence. Thank you for that reminder.

  40. 140
    Redeemed says:

    Amen! You hit the nail on the head.

    I must confess that Leviticus is one of those books that the enemy uses to heap alot of condemnation on me….I’ve blown it so many times that the HOLINESS of God kind of scares me.

    Thank you for an encouraging word from the Book today! I needed it!

  41. 141
    Taunda says:

    Thank you, Melissa!
    God’s ways are above our ways. We must approach Him with “Holy Reverance” even when we don’t understand His plan. I needed to read that today.
    I’m so excited to hear what God is going to say to us in San Antonio this weekend.
    Grace and Peace,

  42. 142
    Anonymous says:

    Melissa,thanks for sharing that powerful word from Leviticus…girl you can write and communicate…keep it up please. We sisters need that iron sharpening iron, you have sharpened me today.

  43. 143
    Janet in Amarillo says:

    WOW, Melissa!
    What insight and so right on target. Thanks for the blessing but even more conviction. Looking forward to seeing you Saturday!!!

  44. 144
    Arianne says:

    Well said!!! Praise God the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree!! The Moores’ are blessed with HOW to say it!! Thanks for being obedient and speaking the Truth to everyone.

    In His name,
    Clifton, KS

  45. 145
    Anonymous says:

    well said

  46. 146
    Outragous grace says:

    Aman Sister! Sometimes I think we use our words to give us permission to continue in bad behavior. I became tearful when I thought of so many angry fist that have been pointed toweard the heavens(my own included) in blame towards God, when most of the messes in my life have been self induced. He is the giver and taker of life, the beginning and the ending. My job is to sit reverently and humbly at His feet rather than in prideful postures of questions and blame.

  47. 147
    Christina L says:

    I find myself in a place where it could be really easy to curse God and be angry, but Greater is He who is in me than who is in the world. It is a fine line between a “personal” relationship with the creator of the universe and having the reverence for the creator of the universe. I am certain that I have crossed that line from time to time. I pray forgiveness for that sin.
    However, I long to sit on the lap of my heavenly father and soak in the hope, love, compassion, and direction that he might have for me.
    It is hard to see God in both lights from time to time.

  48. 148
    Anonymous says:


    I’m all over you giving us a “step-by-step process” for studying the Word. In fact, I’d love it if you would pick a short book of the Bible and lead us through like you would study it i.e. the process. It’s obvious that you have the gift of teaching and I’m here to be taught! Blessings on you and all your research!!! Keep up the good work!

  49. 149
    Anonymous says:

    Thank you so very much, Melissa ! In all my struggles and questions, I need to remember this more than anything. God bless all the Moore girls much!

  50. 150
    Anonymous says:

    I was so convicted by this post. Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to share such profound thoughts with us. I am a busy woman and also a simpleton, but found it time well spent to invest in reading all you wrote! I would love to hear all about your step by step process to bible study anytime!


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