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God Guides the Humble

Posted on May 26, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.

Psalm 25:9

Whenever we dismiss or ignore the Lord’s instruction, we are in effect saying we know more than God. We ask God to guide us, but then only choose to follow the directives that are convenient or seem to make the most sense. Yet God’s word says He guides the humble.

The word HUMBLE is defined as having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s importance. In view of that definition, rejection of God’s commands reveals that we view ourselves as superior to God.

When we were children, there were times when we thought we knew more than our parents. But we didn’t. At the heart of the problem, we don’t like anybody telling us what to do. And we don’t like criticism.

Let’s take a look at the reasons it’s so hard to be humble and how we can more effectively yield to the humility necessary for God to lead us.

(1) God’s ways aren’t man’s ways- To humble ourselves so that God can lead us, we must willingly accept that His ways are radically different from ours. That said, the best view of that difference is, God’s ways are infinitely better. In the following passage from Isaiah, we see that God’s ways and thoughts are HIGHER than ours.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

(2) God’s way requires waiting- We live in impatient times. Technological advances have made immediacy a reality. When I was in college, I spent many laborious hours conducting research for term papers in the library. Today, just about everything I need can be accessed in seconds on the internet. When I was a kid, if you needed something from the store, you had to get it on weekdays and Saturdays between 9 and 5. And forget about it on holidays. Now, stores are open 24/7. Before long, Amazon drones will drop your order on your doorstep.

We have found many ways to minimize waiting to accommodate our impatience. But in all those advances, we have not changed God’s emphasis on waiting. Patience is an essential element of faith. That will never change. Reduced to its lowest common denominator, waiting is abiding trust that continually relies on God to deliver on His promises according to His infinite wisdom and knowledge and in His perfect timing.

(3) God’s way often negates human effort- Independence is a wonderful thing. The ability to rely upon ourselves is incredibly liberating. But life has a way of throwing things at us that are beyond our control and human remedy. There are things only God can do. So we turn to His word, and He gives us answers that don’t appear to address the pressing concern. “Wait.” “Trust.” “Repent and change your ways.” “Be patient.” “Don’t worry.” But that’s not what we want to hear. We want an immediate divine fix for the current problem that transcends human ability.

(4) God’s way can make us look foolish- It’s hard to tell your friends there are things you can’t and won’t do because you’re a Christian. When you make choices that honor God, you will be treated like you are weird. In Galatians 1:10, the Apostle Paul said, “… If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Better foolish in the eyes of man than in the eyes of God.

(5) God’s way requires faith- Faith that is willing to take God at His word and surrenders to ALL of His instruction is difficult. Like I said, “God’s ways are higher,” which means they may defy human comprehension. To humble ourselves before God, we must be willing to trust in that which we do not understand.

In this late season of life, it is easier to  trust God in all things than when I was younger. That’s because life’s setbacks have humbled me and taught me that trusting Him is the most sensible thing that anyone could ever do.

Humility will teach you to know, that you know, that you know God’s way is better, higher, bigger, surer, and completely true. “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.”

For more on this topic, check out this article: How to Learn God’s Will for Your Life

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 2 (April – June) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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The Power of Humility

Posted on January 26, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

James 4:10

How do you want God to be involved in your life? Do you want His help or His opposition? Seems like a foolish question doesn’t it? Actually it is a very important question because our posture before God can indicate the way that God will respond to our concerns and prayers.

James called upon his Christian brethren to “humble” themselves “before the Lord.” He teaches that humility before God results in a positive response from God in which we will be lifted up. Previously in verse 6, James references Proverbs 3:34 to point out that pride also gets God’s attention but with an opposite result. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Which response do you want from God? Grace or opposition? I don’t know about you but I’ll take grace.

James was dealing with the same behavior that exists among the Christian community today. They were engaged in fights and quarrels (James 4:1), self-indulgence (v 2-3), and worldliness (v 4). The root of their ungodly conduct was pride. They failed to humble or submit themselves to the authority and instruction of God.

When we are consumed by self-indulgent pride we set up a roadblock to the heavenly help we desire. “You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want.”(v 2)

“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (v 3) God does not honor or bless such behavior. But more than just ignoring such conduct, God “opposes” it.

Humility empowers and pride hinders. Humility attracts heavenly help, but pride attracts heavenly opposition. So, what does it mean to “humble” ourselves before God?

Humility is the absence of pride, haughtiness, and arrogance. For the Christian it is submission and surrender to the person and authority of God. In all matters of life — His way, His power, and His direction come first. Less of us…more of Him. Less about us…more about God.

When we want something…and want it badly we don’t like to hear the dreaded word NO. However, that is the response we can expect from God when we seek His provision or help while engaging in sinful, ungodly, and self-indulgent behavior.

Your behavior reflects the reality of your heart. When your heart is right then your prayers will be from right motives and acceptable to God. For your heart to be right you must surrender your will to God’s will.

As Jesus was facing the horrific ordeal of the cross He humbled Himself completely to the will of the Father when He said, “Not my will but Your will.” (Luke 22:42) God honored Jesus’ humility with the greatest of all victories.

What stands in the way of you truly humbling yourself before God? Is there a behavior that needs to be corrected? What is it that you know God wants you to do that you have refused to do? Is there something onto which you are holding that stands between you and God?

God has an extra measure of grace in store for you if you will humble yourself before Him. You may be at that point in your life where you need a lift. Remember what James said, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” God wants to bless you today. He’s waiting for your surrender.

For more on this topic, check out this article: Rise Above Your Inadequacies

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 1 (January – March) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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