Today I am doing a quick heart check on significance and humility. In my devotions, God reminded me of something that at first, comes across as kind of gut-wrenching: My Lord, My God……well, He doesn’t need me.
But guess what? That doesn’t mean that I am unwanted. And today, he is showing me just why that’s an AWESOME thing!
I am full-on aware of the fact that I am quite flawed and sinful at times. I can’t say that I always see all of my imperfections with full clarity, because if I did, I’d probably keel over on the spot out of total shock!
My Father in heaven reveals the areas in which I need his help (uh-hem…ALL areas, mind you) gracefully and mercifully, and always exercises compassionate and divine timing in so doing. Talk about LOVE!
As only He can do, as he brings back home to me the full-on understanding that He is not a needy God, he also makes certain to assure me of what is more important; that instead, he chooses me. I think that is just glorious!
“Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” Ephesians 1:4
I have spent far too much of my life trying to gain a sense of significance through being needed. I think that for some reason, I accepted that I would never be truly wanted just for who I was, and so I took the counterfeit of that and translated it into the next best thing: being someone people could count on – someone who could fill needs.
Pride can do some strange things in a person’s little heart and feeble mind sometimes. But God knows this, and in his love for us and his all-knowing wisdom, he reveals these things to us in time.
Although I now realize this is not where true joy lives – being the “need filler”, Satan likes to deceive me with the same old trap because it has worked so frequently for him in the past. He’s been getting more and more deceitful about it in the last couple of years, has had to evolve it and be really creative and innovative, so I thank God for lending me his vision so I can keep on watch fervently.
Once again, Jesus comes to the rescue. Isn’t it great how he does that with the HUGE things (like salvation) and the smaller, earthly things – like pride?
Our wonderful pastor once shared with us that living out humility entails knowing who we are in Christ. It is not thinking of ourselves more highly than we should, NOR is it to think of ourselves as less than all we are in Jesus. Although I now know this, I haven’t gotten much better at getting rid of all the clutter of self and letting Christ shine through me in the fullness of his glory.
I was supplementing my study of John tonight by reading about this very thing in Frank Manno’s book Spiritual Sobriety. He also shares about the need to remember that God isn’t the needy one in the relationship we have with him. He quoted the very same part of scripture that I have been coming back to over and over these last couple of weeks………………..
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:5
This is where true joy lies – in staying attached to the vine – the Lord, our God. This is where we find our significance. This is the place where we strip away self and realize that all that we are is because of him – and only him. This is where our needy-ness is married to his mighy-ness and forms an eternal relationship that yields true joy – the fullness of that joy comes from clinging to that vine with all that we have.
There truly is no greater love than this. Real joy far surpasses the happy feel-good stuff that mere happiness entails. It is lasting and fulfilling…..it won’t be cut short or interrupted…..as long as we stay attached to the true source of it all – Jesus Christ.
Psalms 63:5-7 My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
So today I will eat my humble pie – again. But I can and will do it with joy in my heart. We like to joke that humble pie tastes like a bitter pill. But that’s only when we judge it by our human tastes and inclinations (pride and ego, anyone?). Instead of swallowing up our pride, maybe we should just spit it right out entirely. In so doing, maybe our taste buds will change and become a little more heavenly.
That pie fills me up with the truth of the Lord and the reminder that it’s not about me. It reminds me of who I truly am in HIM, which is so much better than anything I could ever be in myself. This brings me joy – the fullness of it. That’s what I like to call “Jesus Joy”!
I am not needed by God….not really. But I am so glad to know that I am wanted.