Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Matthew 23:12 ESV
I rarely make reference to what others may be writing about out there, due to the fact that I don’t understand everything about their theology, ministry, or commitment to God’s Word. But today I am going to do so ~ because I have prayed about this for a long time now.
Before I do, I must admit I have not investigated everything this particular man believes, so please understand that I simply think this article is well worth reading and putting to prayer, especially if you are a Christian involved in ministry of any kind.
To reiterate this in a different way: It is what he is saying that has me thinking today ~ it is what he is saying in this particular article that I am seeking God over and pouring over God’s Word about today.
Here it is:
Friends, I struggle with this all the time. I am constantly having to do heart checks about so many things, not the least of which, is my approach and my heart as to how I share Jesus with others. This article simply emphasizes what I find the Word of God admonishing us to consistently remember: It’s supposed to be all about HIM.
But life gets to us in sneaky ways ~ the enemy does, rather. It is so easy to think our hearts are pure, in the right place, or hide behind our good intentions and motivations and ignore the seed of self that is planted right behind it all ~ waiting to sprout.
So what are we to do then? Do we hold back sharing Jesus because we fear that behind it all, there is still some small glorification of self going on that is tainting it?
No. God is bigger than that, friend.
BUT ~ we must admit to ourselves, God and others when we find that we are doing this. This is part of how He works in our lives and how he might work in the life of another! The way He reveals our failures, our sin, our weaknesses to us is part of the gospel because it points directly to our need ~ our deep need for our Savior.
Only Jesus saves.
This is part of how He speaks to others through us ~ not through our wonderful successes and our uber-pure hearts, but through that which falls short and can only be redeemed by the Perfect One.
I am here today to admit without question some of the things that I still do that have seeds of self behind them. I thought about making a list, but realized that’s impossible, because when I think about it and am really honest about it, it’s pretty much……. everything.
This is a big (HUGE) reason I don’t want to “promote” my blog. I started this to commune with the Lord and draw closer to Him, because something special happens when I write about (to) Him. If it happens to encourage or speak to someone else at the same time, that is wonderful and is HIS work, not my own.
But even here, I sometimes get caught up in it all ~ I sometimes wonder about the posts that no one decides to read. I sometimes worry that someone out there will misunderstand and be led astray.
And that’s when I know I am getting away from the whole purpose of even doing it. That’s when I know self is getting in the way, and I have to accept His humbling.
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6 ESV
As His child, I get to accept even more of His grace in the process of receiving the uncomfortable humbling too. So it is not MY awesome humility (ha ha – doesn’t exist) that blesses anything that I do ~ it’s God and His grace that brings about such blessings even though I need to receive a good God-humbling every single day!
In spite of my own failings, God continues to place His mighty mark in my life ~ in spite of the stuff that tries to sneak it’s way in, He continues to be faithful and honor my desire to speak of Him and His perfection, Him and His glory, Him and His truth, Him and His love.
In spite of my flesh.
In spite of my sin.
In spite of my pride.
In spite of my selfishness.
In spite of my coveteousness.
In spite of my everything that’s not of Him.
We have a greater responsibility as Christians to check our intentions and our actions every single day and make sure we are not promoting self, friends. This starts in our immediate day-to-day interactions with others in our lives, and spills over into what we do ministry-wise. Truly, it starts in our direct relationship with Jesus.
There are certain things we are to speak up about. There are certain things we need to zip our lips in regard to, friends.
Is it Jesus talking today through our lives, or is it us?
In all things, if it is not Jesus Christ who is shining through, it’s time to check our hearts, our minds, our souls. It’s time to accept a humbling ~ and also His grace.
Let us take a hard look in the mirror, friends. Let us look every day not for glory or vanity, but for truth. Let us cut through all that is us and seek His face alone.
And let us look forward to the beautiful hope we have in Christ for the day ~ that beautiful day where mirrors are just…..no longer needed.
If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 2 Corinthians 11:30 ESV