“Virtually every Christian passes through these two stages in his pursuit of humility. In the first, he fears and flees and seeks deliverance from all that can humble him. He has not yet learned to seek humility at any cost. He has accepted the command to be humble and seeks to obey it, though only to find out how utterly he fails. He prays for humility, at times very earnestly. But in his secret heart he prays more – if not in word, then in wish – to be kept from the very things that will make him humble.”
Andrew Murray in Humility.
In 2011 I am focusing on five promises which are changing me as well as my outlook on life.
God’s word is not just filled with promises regarding eternity but with ones that enable us to walk victoriously in the present world. He is our assurance for everything we need in life when we simply admit our dependence on Him. When I ponder the circumstances of the world today – the fallen economy, the present conflict in Egypt, the threat of terrorism – it is easy to grow uneasy and distraught. And when difficulties strike that are up close and personal, my tendency is to want to “pick myself up by the bootstraps” and manage the circumstances.
Yet God delights in fulfilling His promises especially in the midst of trouble. Dependency is about responding first to Him before reacting to circumstances or others. Dependency changes the channel I listen to and the lens by which I view things.
I used to pride myself in being independent and leaned heavily on my own reasoning capabilities. I grew an anxious heart however when I pridefully assumed God’s role. Now I am happy to be joyfully vulnerable – to laugh at my weaknesses knowing God will take over for me and equip me to do the work He has called me to do. His ways always exceed mine and His thoughts are always higher. I no longer fear that I will fail in the work He calls me to do- unless I fall back to striving in my own strength and allow heaviness to threaten my soul.
Genuine faith requires that I am humble – that I recognize my dependence on Him. And true joy takes over instead when I allow Him to equip me for the purposes He has for me. God never asks me to do what He will not equip me to do. The promise in dependence is remarkably inspiring because the more I lean on God, the more energized and revived I am to do what He calls me to do.
For thus says the High and Lofty One, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
(Next week: The Promise in Stillness)