Lately, I have desired the most to have a humble heart. I have tried in my own skin….and it seemed more to me like “false humility.” I didn’t want to have to try to be humble. It shouldn’t be that way. It should come naturally, from a true understanding of my complete dependence on my Father in heaven. Why is it so hard to live this way, consistently, every day? I decided to give up trying to have a humble heart…not knowing what to say oftentimes….but to PRAY for one instead. I’ve been warned to not pray for patience! But, praying for humility has to be far worse…what has happened to me over the course of a few months…really a year and a half…is many opportunities to be humbled. God is showing me how to be humble. It is so painful. But, I want it so bad! I want to be a genuine believer…I want to please God and glorify HIM. I want my faith to be real. I want an ever-present awareness of my weakness and HIS strength. God has used a variety of ways to humble me….and I am most thankful. He has also been teaching me, which go along well with humility, to have an unoffended heart…and to surrender everything to Him.
Having an unoffended heart teaches me that I don’t have the RIGHT to retaliate. I don’t even have the right to be angry (“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” -James 1:19). Our culture teaches us that we have all these rights. The Lord is teaching me about how He came into this world—in complete humility. If He is the God of all Mankind, Creator of this world, why should I have more rights than Him? I have loved reading about Jesus in Matthew this past month. I have learned so much from His example. He came to SERVE. Not to have rights, not to be exalted…and He was God incarnate. May I delight in being a servant and follow His example. I see my pride as being a huge obstacle to not being offended…and God is working most diligently on showing me each and every area of pride in my heart. It is an ongoing work.
Having to Surrender everything has taught me much humility. God has asked me to surrender everything to Him right now: my dreams (little and big), my hopes, my desires, my understanding (of pretty much everything!), my abilities, my control (or whatever control I thought I had over anything!). He has literally shown me that if I am totally taken out of the picture…He will still provide and come through. And while very humbling, it is most refreshing to know that things do not depend on me. They depend on Him. I can do things for Him out of the love of my heart and desire to please Him, but He can choose someone else and work through a variety of ways to make them happen anyway. He wants me to do them because He delights in me and loves me…but He does not depend on me. I depend on Him. My every breath and my every ability depend on Him…and He can take them away.
As I read in Matthew the other day about Peter, my heart went out to him. I can relate to him in several ways. His love and passion for the Lord is amazing. God chose to found his church on Peter: the rock. But, Peter had to be humiliated. Peter exclaimed (somewhat arrogantly, I might add!) to Jesus in front of all the other disciples, that even if they all denied Him, he would never. Jesus explained to him that he would…three times. Peter didn’t believe it…but when it happened as the Lord said it would, Peter was at the lowest point ever…he wept bitterly it says. He was most ashamed. He knew his great faith came from the Lord. This failing and knowledge of the Lord’s sustainment propelled him to love the Lord even more. It was required to catapult him into greater faith to help build up the bride of Christ: the church. God used his awful, shameful moment to transform his faith and life.
May I be ever reminded that everything comes from, to, and through the Lord. He is my everything and will make His plan come through for me in His loving, sovereign timing. And may I be content and humble and patient to continue to wait upon the Lord. And may I seek to please Him in every moment of the PRESENT. His will for me right now is wonderful…in the little things…and I treasure these moments where I can be faithful in the little things…like cleaning up poopie, throw up, and boogies for two weeks straight! (Man, was that the worst and longest sickness my kids have yet had!) As a sweet friend encouraged me a few days ago: “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. -1 Cor. 15:58) And would you know that another sweet friend gave me this verse to dwell on a day or so later: Cast your burden on the Lord and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22. Isn’t that amazing? God tells me to let nothing move me–I have been dwelling on this verse for several weeks now, and it keeps coming back to me…and I think I know why…I was trying in my own strength to let nothing move me…but it wasn’t working…and now I see in Psalm 55:22, the LORD will never permit me to be moved! He will do it for me. I cannot do it myself. I am so thankful that all I have to have is a willing heart and the Lord shows me what to do and enables me to do it. It makes my burden so light!
May His will be done in my life and may I delight in His will above my own.