Explaining True Humility

“But among you, it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant.” Luke 22:26, NLT Jesus Christ turned everything upside down. I know of no other teaching that might disturb his disciples as “humility.” I’m sure that they shook their […]

Jesus Christ turned everything upside down. I know of no other teaching that might disturb his disciples as “humility.” I’m sure that they shook their heads and replayed what Jesus had said.

(Maybe they were looking for a loophole?)

This is not something you just “click into place,” and move on to the next thing. Rather it’s a complete overhaul of living as a disciple. Humility is a process, not an event. We will never move beyond it.

“So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Matthew 18:4

We may think children are wonderful, but honestly, they’re hardly the stuff of the Spirit. And then Jesus shows up and we’re suddenly schooled even further. Generally, the attitude of a child can be seen as innocent, simple, kind, eager, curious, relying on others, and enjoying simple things.

As a bonafide broken believer, I find I’m quite consumed with “me.” Life can revolve around me. The awful nature of my depression, my mental illness is I get absorbed with it, and it is all I think about. And I hate this. It isn’t right. It isn’t healthy. It doesn’t honor God.

“If thou wouldst find much favor and peace with God and man, be very low in thine own eyes. Forgive thyself little and others much.”

     Robert Leighton

The following list was written by Mother Teresa. It sheds further light for us. Her discipleship was radically different from mine, and although I have much– I still have very much to learn.

These are the few ways we can practice humility:

  • To accept being slighted, forgotten and disliked.
  • To be kind and gentle even under provocation.
  • Never to stand on one’s dignity.
  • To choose always the hardest.
Mother Teresa, “The Joy in Loving: A Guide to Daily Living”

 

Deeply Hurt for a Reason

A.W. Tozer seems to have gotten a hold on something here. Those who step into discipleship or ministry will inevitably be hurt in some significant way. I wouldn’t say it was a ‘given’, but it seems to be the common path we must take. We must be aware–but often we can’t or won’t understand. That is hard.

God really isn’t the problem.

He loves us and saves us and He really does want to bless us. He is all goodness and grace. He has no evil intentions concerning you, and certainly has no desire to see you suffer in a crisis of suffering or trial. Even in times of temptation, He simply views it as a step to strengthen us–He never is out to trip us up.

I really think that the issue is us.

Our old nature–the sinner inside, delights in things like pride and selfishness (even in religious matters). Some of the most difficult people I have ever had to work with were in places of oversight within the Church!  May I suggest something?

Could it be that the problem isn’t that we are too weak, rather, it is because we are too strong?

God’s intention is ‘to bless greatly.’ But my pride and self-will must be left at the door (repeatedly). My old nature cannot truly work in the Kingdom. Only when these issues are dealt with (repeatedly) will humility and brokenness transform us. Quite simply, there is no way around this. God uses broken things. We must be broken as well.

“It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume.”

“It is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever.”

Vance Havner

Becoming broken often takes years of trial, temptation, and affliction. But God is patient.

You will ‘log-in’ many hours in the desert. Many of His best soldiers have been recruited from that barren place. The Holy Spirit is our best guide through the difficult loneliness and aridity of this place. He will guide you, and comfort you.

I get to teach at a local Bible college–I love Song of Solomon. Here’s a verse that has encouraged me over and over:

“Who is that coming up from the wilderness, leaning on her beloved?”

Songs 8:5, ESV

“Before God could bring me to this place He has broken me a thousand times.” 

Smith Wigglesworth

aabryscript

 

Our Dance of a Scandalous Joy🥰

Do the Dance-- For Him

“And David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, and David was wearing a linen ephod.”

2 Samuel 6:13-15

“The most valuable thing the Psalms do for me is to express the same delight in God which made David dance.”

     C.S. Lewis

I am without question the world’s worst and the clumsiest of all.  And since my brain surgery, it has gotten even worse.  I need to use a cane now.  (And if you look up “klutz” in the dictionary you’ll see my picture, lol.) 😃

When I start to dance, you had better head for higher ground! 

Even so, I do love the idea of dancing, but I’m like Bozo, the circus clown, only wearing roller skates.  I lurch from side-to-side and I’m always on the verge of falling on someone’s lap, which is a real hoot!

But there is just one dance that I am waiting for.

It’s the dance I’ll have with my Savior.  There will be a day, in a place and time where He will call me home and I will learn to dance.  I know it’ll be incredible, and it’s a day that I anticipate and honestly, I hope it comes soon. 

To dance is to liberate your heart. 

You must cancel out all self-consciousness.  If you are self-aware, you will never enter into the joy and wonder of the dance.  You will be a perpetual wallflower, living only on the edges.  And, you will be very sad.

It seems you must dance in your heart before you can ever dance with your feet.

I desperately would like to dance. And I see Him clearly on that day when I have no cane and am as graceful as I hope to be, and to be perfectly honest I won’t be watching you, (I’m sorry), but I will see only Jesus.  I believe that my heart will beat exclusively for Him.

Jesus shed His blood for me. I belong to Him. He forgave all my sin and has given me eternal life. Knowing this fills me with such joy that my feet won’t stand still. He redeems me, and is this not a cause for a dance?

Some of you have been crippled—smashed up in the grinding gears of life. It’s hard to dance. I understand.

But I know that your life can be astonishingly full of grace also– you have endured so much, and yet Jesus intends to occupy your thoughts and vision. As His disciple, you’ll discover your special dance. And when you finally see Him, your heart will finally be free to spin and twirl.

He is the God of the Dance.

“Young women and young men, together with the elderly, will celebrate and dance because I will comfort them and turn their sorrow into happiness.”

Jeremiah 31:12-14

The Desiderata

Desiderata (Latin: “desired things”, plural of desideratum) is a 1927 prose poem by American writer Max Ehrmann (1872-1945).

It exhorts the reader to “be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be”, and to “keep peace with your soul”. “With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,” wrote Ehrmann, “it is still a beautiful world.”Wikipedia

Unquestionably, some of this prose-poem may be a bit pretentious, it revolves around concepts, at times which are not entirely sound, especially for the Christian believer.

We note these things and look for what we need. My old pastor liked to observe, “Swallow the meat, and spit out the bones.” That seems fitting, especially now. But no matter what we say, this particular work has very much wisdom for each of us. It is worthwhile I think.

This world that we’re immersed in needs hope and peace. Especially now.

  The Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, 1927

 

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