How To Live With A Curse

self, grace, submissionI am so glad that I accepted Christ as Savior while I was still a child.  I understood just enough to know that I needed Jesus to save my soul and that I wanted to be in Heaven one day with Him.  But it was a learning process of many years filled with a lot of rebellion before I completely yielded myself to Him as Lord.  I just didn’t understand how deep and how wide God’s love for me really was and until I came to the end of myself I didn’t know how badly I needed His grace.

Before God’s grace can be truly comprehended by us, we must be real with ourselves.  If we don’t see our sin for what it is then we will never understand our need for salvation nor will we grasp how good God really is.

Understanding is needed.  Wisdom is required.  A frank inspection of the self at the prompting of the Holy Spirit will help us see exactly who we are and why we desperately need the Lord.

This is a frightening process and I do not make light of it.  I think most of us realize that we have some flaws and make some mistakes but actually looking into our own souls and seeing the depth of the darkness there requires God’s help and more than a little courage.  And it usually doesn’t happen until we our faced with a crisis so overwhelming that we have no choice but to stop and ask ourselves “Why?”  “What am I?”  “What have I done?”

God will lead us to that place, as He did with me, where we truly are at the end of ourselves.  We will finally glimpse all that the self is capable of and how shallow and small it really is in comparison to our creator God.  Only when we are well and truly tired of “self” and want God more than anything else will He finally be able to pick up the mess that we have made and begin to form us into something beautiful.

In some way and at some time every person who truly desires to follow Christ must come to this point and go through exactly the same thing.  In my own life it is the absolute lowest point and the absolute highest mountain all at the same time.  What began as a broken and angry man was transformed into one who was humbled but full of peace about the present, hope for the future and a greater love for God than I have ever known.  God met me and showed me His grace contrasted against my sin and I, as long as I live, will never forget what that looked like.


Humility, I was Wrong About You

humble, bumblebee, selfless

The humble bumblebee

How did I never see this before?  How have I lived thirty-eight years on this earth without ever reading this marvelous quote by C.S. Lewis.  “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less”.  If ever there was an accurate picture of Biblical humility, this is it!

My thinking about humility and what it means to be humble has been all wrong.  I mistakenly connected humility to someone who is low, abased and meek.  And while practicing humility may take us places where we are low, where we have been abased and where we need to be meek, it really isn’t any of those things.  True humility is selfless.  It is in actuality, less of self.

This discovery and new definition coincides nicely with the direction that the Lord has been taking me in recent weeks and months.  It started the way that it usually does with Him; through a gentle nudging by the Holy Spirit that I needed to pay attention to something.  That something was the way that I was praying and the way that I was thinking.  I had become (and perhaps always have been) very “me” centered.

You can’t be me centered and strive to walk closely with God for very long before He points it out to you.

It’s not that I lack the ability to be selfless or fail to recognize how I must submit to Him if I am to be of any use to the Kingdom.  Submission is a topic with which I am well familiar because it wasn’t too long ago that I finally told God that everything I have and everything I am belongs to Him. I believe it is precisely because of that first and most important submission that I am now able to hear Him speaking to me about how I must go further down this road.

It is not enough for me to say that I am submitted and to start the journey if I am not then willing to pay attention to what He has for me as we walk together.  If I have come under conviction about something, and I most certainly have at this point, then I need to confess my sin and ask my Lord to show me a better way; His way.  In this case, His better way is beautifully explained by the C.S. Lewis quote that we began with: “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less”.

My prayer is now that I would fully and completely understand how well God is taking care of me and how He is always in control.  That sounds rather basic, and it is, but if we really and truly believed it would we still spend as much time thinking about ourselves and our circumstances as we currently do?  Or would we finally concede that if God really is who He says He is then the last thing I need to be thinking about is me because He can lead me far better than I ever could!

God has a plan for redemption (thank you, T. E. Hanna) and reconciliation that is so much bigger and better than me.  And I praise God for that.  I want to be involved in what He is doing and I want to be used by Him for His glory.  I want to be the instrument that He uses and I want to work alongside others of like mind.  And having made that decision I hope you will agree that I simply have no time anymore for “me”.