November 22, 2015
As I think about the life we live, I think about how being submitted to God means laying down our pride. Many times we don't realize how much pride is in us until certain situations arise that show us what percentage of pride remains. See pride as a percentage. You may be filled with 100% pride, 85%, 65% 50% or 25%. The pride in us causes us to deviate from God's plan many times and delay the blessings He seeks to bestow upon us.
Take Naaman (in my estimation 85% pride), (2 Kings 5:1-14) he was the captain of the army of the King of Aram and was a valiant soldier, yet he had leprosy and desperately wanted it removed. When he went to the prophet Elisha for healing, Elisha told him to dip seven times in the Jordan River, but that river was one of the dirtiest rivers around, and he wanted to go to a cleaner place. He challenged Elisha by displaying his first instincts to tell Elisha what he thought he should do in order to get his healing instead of just obeying the prophet and going with his program. First, he was offended because Elisha sent his servant out to tell him this (and didn’t come out himself!), and second he was disappointed because of how he was supposed to be healed. He could’ve been healed a lot faster if he hadn’t delayed his miracle by arguing.
The example of Elijah (in my estimation 5% pride), in 1 Kings 17, shows us of his humility in obeying God when He instructed him to go to the Brook Cherith where he would drink of the brook, and the ravens would be feeding him bread and meat morning and evening. How odd for God to tell him to go there, and allow the ravens (the dirtiest bird), to bring him something he would consume! But he didn’t utter a word, he simply obeyed. And when the brook dried up, he listened to God to see where he was to go next. He wasn’t constantly in anxiety asking God “What’s going to happen when this brook dries up since there is no rain? What am I going to do next? How can I eat from what these dirty birds bring me?” Then, God told him to “Arise and go to Zarephath, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you (1 Kings 17:9)”. After that instruction he did not say, “A widow? How is a widow going to provide for me? God why would you choose a widow and not a family of means?” None of these things came out of Elijah’s mouth. He walked in his faith and obeyed God. He knew that in his mouth, he had the answer…...
PAUL’S THORN IN THE FLESH
Paul’s thorn (in my estimation the prevention of 60-70% pride, LOL) was given to him to prevent his heart from being lifted up due to being caught up to the third heaven, and the multiple revelations he was experiencing (2 Corinthians 12:7). A messenger of Satan was sent to buffet him and Paul’s thorn in the flesh kept him humble and dependent upon God. And we don’t quite know what Paul’s thorn was entirely, which tells me that sometimes God uses things that other people may know nothing about to keep up humble. He may use situations and things that are not overtly known to those around us. God can get very, very creative in His attempt to keep us humble!
JESUS CHRIST, THE ULTIMATE EXAMPLE
Then lastly, Christ Himself! (in my estimation 0% pride, he was perfect) I’m always amazed at how Jesus had Judas traveling with Him all three years, and He knew he was a thief and was stealing from him on a regular basis, yet Jesus did not remove him from his job as the one handling the money, nor speak against him until the time of his betrayal. How many of us could have allowed someone around us, and not “let them know we know” what’s going on, and let them think they’ve got the better of us? First, at the last Supper, Jesus indirectly exposed him, then later Jesus spoke to him saying, “What you do, do quickly!” (St. John 13:27) Following this was the kiss of betrayal(St. Matthew 26: 48-49). And with the unbearable guilt Judas carried around with him that he sold Jesus into the hands of sinners for 30 shekels of silver, he ended up committing suicide. Following that, Jesus never mentioned that man’s sin!
In summary, the bible says “Let us examine ourselves to see whether we be in the faith(2 Corinthians 13:5),” David says (Psalm 51:7, 10), “Purge me with hyssop, create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me”. We should take inventory in our souls, to strive to walk in the manner the Lord calls us to walk in. On a daily basis, we must ask Him to forgive our sins, create in us a right spirit and walk in humility. Let’s try to keep the pride in us at the lowest percent possible!
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