Christlike love is created in us when we accept the hatred, malice, and wrongdoing of others; bearing it, instead of complaining, and then overcoming it through forgiveness and moving in the opposite spirit of love and blessing them.
The furnace of affliction purifies our character and brings us into intimate acquaintance with Jesus our Defender.
“Then Hezekiah repented of the pride of his heart, as did the people of Jerusalem; therefore the LORD’s wrath did not come upon them during the days of Hezekiah,” 2 Chronicles 32:26 NIV.
Now everyone has been quoting, “If my people will humble themselves and pray,” as prayer is a form of humility, expressing our need for God recognizing “apart from Him we can do nothing,” but we have not emphasized the first step, and that is to REPENT of our pride; to ask God to unmask us, to remove our spiritual blindness.
Of course that is what humble yourself means, but I think that some just think if they get quiet and pray, that is humbling yourself. We have to examine ourselves like David said, “examine My heart oh LORD and see if there be any wicked way in me.”
Several years ago I had a dream in which PRETENSE (pride) was represented by makeup in the dream. I was part of a very large church, and I was working as a secretary in the dream; counting shingles on roofs (covering). The supervisor took me down into the women’s bathroom, and there, covering a whole wall, was makeup of every type and kind and I was told I could have as much as I wanted. This is a very sad commentary on the Church because makeup covers up our real appearance.
That week, 2 other people had experiences or revelation about the pretense in the church, and we set our hearts to pray. All of us have suffered from someone else’s pride and our own, as pride is usually where division and argument come from.
We want to hold on to our right to be right, or our need to be first, or recognized for our efforts. But our God says, He gives grace to the humble. That is scary, because if we are prideful, we usually are blind to it. It is God’s grace, mercy, and power to reveal it. So we must ASK FOR GOD TO REVEAL IT: TO REMOVE ANY DELUSION, OR BLINDNESS THAT WOULD KEEP US FROM RECOGNIZING IT.
I used to pray (and still do) “God, crush my pride! Remove my defensiveness,” after I got saved, and He has been faithful to continue to convict me when I have blown it.
He has put me in many situations, where I was misunderstood, abused, or made to feel like I am insignificant, and then had ME apologize for anything I had done to people, even if I never intentionally did anything to them, even if they were deluded, or insensitive, or prideful themselves.
This was to teach me humility and to sow seeds of humility for the church. Warfare is about that you know, working in the opposite to whatever is in the world or church i.e.: St. Francis of Assisi’s prayer, “Where there is hatred, let me sow love,” etc. The major roadblock to intimacy with God and others is PRIDE !
What does pride look like?
Once while doing dishes, and talking to God about the controversy going on in a Church about manifestations of demons, the LORD spoke to me and said, “Priscilla, how does a deaf and dumb spirit manifest?” (You see, some people think demons only manifest with violence).
I answered the LORD saying, ‘by the person being deaf and dumb!’ Then He said, “Correct. So then how does a spirit of pride manifest?” And I thought about the upturned nose, the condescension and disgust, and the “I know better than you ” or “I did wasn’t the one who did anything,” attitudes I’d seen, and manifested myself and the LORD said “YES!” He was reassuring me that they manifest according to their function in people, and they become violent though , when asked to leave unless you take authority and forbid them from manifesting.
Luke 11:33-36 NKJV says, “No one , when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light. The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.”
Note that just before this Jesus is talking about repentance. He said, “The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here,” v.32.
When the children of Israel, in Nehemiah 9:1-4 gathered to repent they repented of their sin, and the sins of their FATHERS, and they were specific. I am sure they didn’t just say “Oh God, forgive us for our sins.” It took hours if you will notice. God is generous, and gracious, slow to anger, but it is important for us to be specific with our repentance and prayers.
What are you renouncing, or repenting from? Conviction that I know the Holy Spirit brings, is always specific! He will show me a scene of where I did wrong, or He will be very specific about what I did that offended Him. We need to respond in like kind, for that also is humility.
Remember, pride and pretense cover up sin; or minimize sin. A humble heart is BROKEN over their sin, not arrogant, not hiding. Fear and Pride cover. Fear of disclosure usually comes with pride. We must not hide as God knows anyhow, and hiding gives the enemy more chance to pummel us with condemnation and notice how when he condemns and accuses he too is specific! Yet it leaves you with an overall feeling of worthlessness.
Prophetically, I am warning us all that we must REPENT of our PRIDE, or God is going to expose it in a most uncomfortable way. We can be open and honest. We must not give in to fear of disclosure that causes us to hide and pretend to others that we are different than who we really are.
There is NO SHAME in forgiveness. God breaks the shame when we are open about our sin. Shame causes us to hide from others in the first place, thinking we are bad, and awful, and the only one with the problem, when in fact the Word says, “ALL have fallen short of the glory of God” (and in that context actually means all are falling short) NONE of us is without sin. It is only a matter of degree.
As we get more healed in our heart, and more delivered, we are able to obey. Our souls get free of the darkness. But it is a process and God is in the mode right now of stripping His Bride. All our idols must fall, including the one of our SELF-life called pride.
So how do we recognize pride? I am going to paraphrase and embellish on William Backus‘ book, “Why do I do what I don’t want to do?”
The Pride of superiority says I must to flawless work (perfectionism) and I must try harder to be perfect so that nobody will find fault with me. It is characterized by low self-confidence, self-loathing, fault-finding, self-critical, silent unrecognized self-talk.
It is the pride of considering yourself better than others, wanting to do things
“my way” vs Yahweh’s.
Pride of Discontentment Anger at God is the most flagrant symptom of this form of pride. Jonah is a good biblical example. In this problem nothing is good enough. More is never enough you see it a lot in alcoholic homes, and the homes of perfectionists.
Pride of Suffering says only I know what living for God really means. Competition is characteristic. My suffering is greater than your suffering. I am more lonely than you. I’ve gone through more than you. I’ve had a worse sickness than you. This kind holds tight to self-pity.
Pride of other-control (opposite to self-control) It is the inability to tolerate a situation unless in charge of it. “My life shouldn’t be subject to anyone else’s orders. I should be the one to decide what others do. I can do things better than others so they have no rights to make demands of me.”
Pride of Vanity is rooted in “the most important thing in life is that others think highly of me and only have positive opinions of me.” This kind cannot endure not having attention or recognition. It tends towards presumption, selfish ambition, and craves attention. Uses “I” often, brags, boasts, or uses negative thinking.
If they put themselves down, others will give them attention they need. This is often manifested in the church today in our bragging about our church being THE best Church…. rah rah sis koom ba-type preaching that puts down others to lift up SELF. Exclusivity is made manifest in this sin – won’t ever go to another’s church even if it is a friend of theirs’.
This is a major cause of DIVISION and denominations. “Only we know how to do worship right”, or only we have the best preaching, etc. Also exclusivity, is a Church run only by an elite few, instead of each member doing their part or leadership promoting the gifts in others.
Pride of presumption says, “I can do anything better than you!” For example giving of medical advise when they are not a doctor or nurse, as if they knew better. Presumption ASSUMES and “ass-u-ming makes an ass out of you and me” as Graham Cooke says.
One example of this in the prophetic is getting a word i.e.: anger, when praying for someone, and instead of asking God what HE wants us to say or do for that; starting to assume the person needs deliverance right now, when maybe God wants you to pray for the hurts behind the anger, or to pray on your own for a while without saying anything.
Or maybe He wants you to share HIS LOVE, so they abandon the anger from seeing how much God loves them. “Love leads to repentance.” In presumption, it is intolerable for someone else to be higher or to get more recognition or more anointing, whatever! It says “I can do a better job than others without even preparing.” It is intolerable for others to get to do things I am denied. They will think they can order God around even in prayer.
Pride of Rebellion This form of pride, manifests as not being able to take correction/ unteachableness. It’s like it is saying “move over God, You’re hogging the throne for too long !” It isn’t right that I should be restrained from power. Don’t run my life God, or I will have to change! And it does not want to change. Notice I say it. We war not against flesh and blood.
Pride of Denial This form refuses to admit there is anything wrong with me. It will not ask for forgiveness or apologize for that matter. It denies any inadequacy. This form in a person makes us avoid asking for prayer or responding to altar calls, even though it may hit the nail on the head. Remember, I said we are usually BLIND to it.
Pride of Passivity This is accepting misery instead of doing something about it. It says it is right to hurt myself; good to do nothing when a problem exists. I deserve it I need to just persevere, like the woman who lives with severe abuse and allows it to continue. This kind also has a tendency to blame others or situations. It’s what we call the martyr complex. Self-pity is a root, and of course, fear!
Pride of Self-Sufficiency is the opposite to dependence on God. It says, “I can manage my own life” or ” You only get out of life what you put into it”
“When I was your age I was already earning a living!” It always does what is best for self. It rationalizes not giving to the poor, as if they put in a little effort they would have what I have! I have the right to spend my money on what I want. I earned it’ failing to recognize that God gave them their abilities, and can take them away if He wanted. It lacks compassion for anyone but self.
Some scripts: “I’m so terrific, I can tell others what to do !” “I’ve got the answers and others don’t.” “I’m better than others because I’m self-sufficient.” “People who are in need are inferior to me and deserve what they get, because I’m not in need!” (In Clinton’s inaugural address, He said, “there is no limit to what WE can do !” – no credit to God.) Another script: ” I’ve done this for 20 years, so I know everything.”
Pride of SELF DEFENSIVENESS is one I’d like to add because I have seen it in myself so much and many others who have been wounded alot. It’s like you have to defend your character, and explain things, because you can’t stand being thought of any less than what you think is acceptable. It’s so concerned with what man thinks, more than we should be. It presumes when someone says things, that they mean something other than what they said, and has to defend self, but with an angry bent.
In some Churches, including those in renewal, some pastors have built a world ministry, without ministering to the needs of their own people, or without training the youth and others to go, to give them the same opportunity.” It is having the “STAR’ mentality. “I have to be the star !” It is when we do what we want, or think, instead of listening or looking to God for what to do.
It is going ahead without God, like Saul did in the old testament instead of waiting on God for the answers, or looking to God for what to do daily, hourly, etc. Decisions should never be made without seeking God for His will. Remember what it says in James, “you say next year I’m going to do this or that, but all such boasting is evil, (paraphrasing here).
Pride of Impenitence This kind says God is an unfair law enforcer. He is never satisfied. God is inept-doesn’t like being disturbed. It rationalizes staying the way I am, doing what I want.
There is plenty of material in the Bible for examples of pride. The one God gave to me was to examine Job 41, for in there is the characteristics of Leviathan the serpent-crocodile creature, and it ends with, “He is king of all the children of PRIDE !” (my emphasis)
1 “Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook, or snare his tongue with a line which you lower? 2 Can you put a reed through his nose, or pierce his jaw with a hook?
In other words, Pride is too tough skinned and strong to reason with. You can’t stop the boasting tongue, the issues of self-talk.
3 “Will he make supplications to you? Will he speak softly to you?”
Will he plead with you? There is no humility or meekness, that speaks softly to you with understanding.
4 “Will he make a covenant with you? Will you take him as a servant forever?”
There is no servant-hood as there was with Jesus washing the feet of His apostles with this kind. It will keep you from JOINING with others to covenant in doing the work of the LORD.
5 “Will you play with him as with a bird? Or will you leash him for your maidens?” (to play with) 6 “Will your companions make a banquet of him? Will they apportion him among the merchants?”
Pride is not tameable. Can’t play with a crocodile as with a dog. He is dangerous. You cannot rule over him.
7 “Can you fill his skin with harpoons? Or his head with fishing spears?”
The person with pride is tough-skinned, and you cannot penetrate his mind once it is made up only wants to do things his/her way. And stabs you make will bounce off.
8 “Lay your hand on him. Remember the battle-never do it again.”
Once stung by pride, you won’t do it again.
9 ” Indeed any hope of overcoming him is vain. Shall not one be over-whelmed at the sight of him?”
You can’t convince them they could be wrong! Pride is full of it’s own opinion about things. There is a fierce countenance, overpowering presence; don’t even feel they would condescend to your level to communicate with you sometimes.
10 “No one is so fierce that he would dare stir him up. Who then is able to stand against Me?”
No one is as firm in disposition as the prideful, that would risk stirring his wrath, or to challenge him. This kind would dare to challenge and defy God Himself !
11 “Who has preceded Me that I should pay him? Everything under heaven is Mine !”
The arrogant dare to demand of God as if they could rule Him like a puppet, or as if God owed him. There is no fear of the LORD.
12 “I will not conceal his limbs, his mighty power, or graceful proportions.”
The LORD does not conceal pride’s strength and power. Pride is the sin of Satan; his is powerful, and stealth, and sneaky. It should be well recognized.
13 “Who can remove his outer coat? Who can approach him with a double bridle? 14 Who can open the doors of his face? With his terrible teeth all around?”
Who can penetrate his walls of defensiveness? Who can bridle his mouth? He is unteachable. He has powerful jaws whose words pierce your heart his words bite terribly
15 “His rows of scales are his pride, shut up tightly as with a seal.”
Again, pride is impenetrable. It is difficult to get close to them who are ruled by it.
16 “One is so near another that no air can come between them.”
The scales, make it impossible for the wind of the spirit to even get through.
17 “They are joined one to another, they stick together and cannot be parted.”
Will not take correction or change, Can’t pry into his soul; only God can penetrate them.
18 “His sneezings flash forth light, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning. 19 Out of his mouth go burning lights; Sparks of fire shoot out. 20 Smoke goes out of his nostrils, as from a boiling pot and burning rushes. 21 His breathe kindles COALS, and a flame goes out of his mouth.”
This spirit is intimidating, will get into your face, is destructive, and angry with rage
behind it. it accompanies Jezebel, strife, witchcraft and God told me fear plus pride make up Control.
22 “Strength dwell in his neck, and sorrow dances before him.”
It is stiff necked, unchanging, and it brings much sorrow to others.}
23 “The folds of his flesh are joined together, they are firm on him and cannot be moved. 24 His heart is hard as stone, even as hard as the lower millstone.”
The LORD seems to emphasize the unchangeableness in his character indicative of stubbornness. Then says his heart is hard as the lower millstone. The lower millstone is the one that does not move. The upper moves on top of it to grind the olives or grain. This is a warning, that when our hearts feel apart from the spirit of God, it could be pride that is keeping us away from His love.
25 “When he raises himself up, the mighty are afraid. Because of his crashings, they are beside themselves. 26 Though the sword reaches him it cannot avail, nor does spear, dart, or javelin.”
Even the strongest is intimidated by this spirit in a person. He strikes fear in the hearts of others. Even the sword, the word of God seems to be of no effect; cannot reason with them. Need a light saber for this guy!
27 “He regards iron as straw and bronze as rotten wood. 28 The arrow cannot make him flee; slingstones become like stubble to him. 29 Darts are regarded as straw. He laughs at the threat of javelins. 30 His undersides are like sharp potsherds; he spreads pointed marks in the mire.”
This spirit is strong in evil. Nothing penetrates his heart, (that is where javelins are usually aimed). He is unaffected, and mocks and threatens.
31 “He makes the deep boil like a pot; He makes the sea like a pot of ointment. 32 He leaves a shining wake behind him, one would think the deep had white hair.”
This spirit really stirs up trouble and strife. There is no end to the waves of trouble it can cause, especially when we respond in like kind, it just keeps going.
33 “On earth there is nothing like him, which is made without fear!”
In him is no proper FEAR of the LORD! And hence that is the lack we see in the church today; a lack of the proper fear of the LORD.
34 “He beholds every high thing; He is king over all the children of Pride.”
In the prophetic pride will lift up self to be seen will brag of all their great visions and dreams, and higher revelation than others. What they see and hear is better and more, and more “spiritual” than others. And you dare not give any insight as they will not receive it. They will ‘name-drop’ and steal the words of other prophets to make themselves look good.
Hence the LORD has told me this is what always causes the rise of cults, especially in times of revival. Jehovah’s witness and Mormon cults came about after the 1800’s great awakening here and were based on someone’s revelation being better than others’.
Jesus said, “Learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart,” Matthew 11:29 KJV.
For pride to be reckoned with in our Churches, then we must be ruthless with it in ourselves, and not make excuses, and rationalize anymore.
Pride is at the root along with fear, of the CONTROL in the church. Jezebel is the Harlot church. She is well described above. She indwells men and women. A religious spirit is of the same stuff. James Ryle had a vision of a rhinoceros once, and God showed him that is representative of a religious spirit. It stomps out fires. And it too, is thick skinned.
The two enemies to true holiness are hypocrisy (pretense) and self-righteousness. One thing that must change is our self attitudes if we expect to be able to disciple the youth. That critical and judgemental spirit of pride and religion, must go. They need our LOVE, not our self-defensiveness. They will be used greatly in the days ahead to bring down the idols in our Churches. God will make them a threshing sledge as we have never seen! They will show us what unity is all about! I have seen this in them even as unbelievers. The LORD has called them His SHOWBREAD!
“In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God,” Psalm 10:4 NIV.
“Slanderers pursue me all day long; many are attacking me in their pride,” (David knew the sting of Pride coming at him), (NIV).
“To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech,” Proverbs 8:13 NIV.
“Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice,” Proverbs 13:10 NIV.
“A man’s pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor,” Proverbs 29:23 NIV.
“The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled and the pride of men brought low; the LORD alone will be exalted in THAT DAY,” Isaiah 2:11 NIV. (When the bible speaks of “that day” it is referring to the day of the LORD end times)
“I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless,” Isaiah 13:11 NIV.
“The terror you inspire and the pride of your heart have deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks, who occupy the heights of the hill. Though you build your nest as high as the eagle’s, from there I will bring you down,” declares the LORD,” Jeremiah 49:16 NIV.
“On that day you will not be put to shame for all the wrongs you have done to Me, because I will remove from this city those who rejoice in their pride. Never again will you be haughty on MY HOLY HILL,” Zephaniah 3:11 NIV.
“Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather in what is in the HEART,” 1 Corinthians 4:6 NIV.
“Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take Pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else,” Galatians 6:4 NIV.
We can either humble ourselves in the eyes of the LORD, or we will be brought low.
Just how do we humble ourselves? What is humility really?
- To cast all your cares upon Him for He cares FOR you, knowing apart from
HIM we can do nothing.
- It is also walking in meekness; considering others better than yourself to walk in
the love of God. And to do this requires resting in His presence casting your
cares on Him, basking in His love being in a receiving mode so we can then
give out what He gives to us, to others. In quietness and rest we are refreshed.
Zephaniah 2:3 NKJ says: “Seek the LORD all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the LORD’s anger.”
Webster’s dictionary says this:
Humility is the quality or state of being humble In spirit, freedom from pride or arrogance. Having a low opinion of one’s own importance or merits.
Haughty: disdainfully proud or overbearing: arrogant.
Arrogant: having a feeling of superiority that shows or is inclined to show itself in an overbearing attitude or in claiming more consideration than is due to one’s position, dignity or power: exaggerating one’s own worth or importance. (ex: “He was always right”)
“Father, let the Holy Spirit have full dominion over me, in my home, in my temper, in every word of my tongue, in every thought of my heart, in every feeling toward my fellow-men. Let the Holy Spirit have entire possession.”
This is the bottom-line of humility. Allowing God total rulership in our lives. He is our Adonai; our Master.
Humility is realizing we are not in control. It is the opposite of self-sufficiency and self-reliance, the attributes of pride. He is in charge of our life and the lives of others. When we think we know what is better for someone else than they do, we are walking in pride. God is ever so patient with us. Has He not been with you? I know He has been SO patient with me, knowing the abuses I have had to endure in my life. He has been gentle, caring, loving, and the kindest friend I have ever known. He hasn’t rushed me in sanctification process, healing, or deliverance, saying hurry up, you aren’t good enough yet. He is LONG-SUFFERING as we should be with each other when we are humble.
We are not the only apple of His eye. Everyone else is also loved by Him. We must trust that in all circumstances, God knows what He is doing!
He knows what is best for building character in us. We have no right to resent what He is using to make us into HIS image. After all, if we pray to be more like HIM are we willing to be made of no reputation like Isaiah 53 says?
When David was in the hills of the wilderness he drew to himself those that were in debt, discontented, and discouraged. Many of us have become like David and his mighty men of no reputation. David had a heart after God’s own heart the LORD said.
Note in the verse from Zephaniah above humility is connected to doing justice and righteousness like the verse from Micah which says, “And what Oh man, does God require of you? To do justice, to have mercy, and to walk humbly with your God! ” (paraphrasing) So humility is not being a shrinking flower or a doormat. If it were no justice would be done.
Proverbs 22:4 says Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth, honor, and life. In Ezekiel 44:28 it says in regard to the Holy priesthood, “It shall be, in regard to their inheritance, that I AM their inheritance. You shall give them no possession in Israel, for I AM their possession.”
Ezekiel 44:17-18 talks about the priests not being allowed to wear wool which causes them to sweat, only linen garments. This is representative of anything which is done out of striving; our flesh; Man’s sweat, versus linen; representing purity of dependence and obedience to God; NOT walking in presumption or self-sufficiency.
Only the humble can walk in this place, as pride prevents dependency on God. Pride does what self wants. So if you find yourself striving it is a sign that self is in the way.
This has been a very difficult thing for me to overcome in my life, as I was raised, both by my natural mom, and my foster mom, with so much independence, and striving from perfectionism and performance. It has taken years to overcome, and I am still battling it on a daily basis; the feeling that I’m not accomplishing enough.
We only have to accomplish what GOD wants; Not some standard set forth by our families, our work, or our Church leadership, who may be walking in performance. Sometimes, there are so many Church programs, and activities, it leaves no time for intimacy with each other, or with God; Much less time to minister to the lost.
Each day needs to be submitted to HIM; what do YOU want for me to do today LORD? Is there anyone YOU want for me to touch?
So often we are into worldly thinking, in stead of having God on our minds all hours of the day. He is a great Resource, even for our work. He can lead and guide us. He cares about EVERY aspect of our life. It says He will perfect ALL that concerns us, does it not? Are we willing to TRUST HIM, as this is also a bottom line with humility isn’t it? If we strive, it is because of unbelief; not trusting HIM.
Humility does not mean thinking you or your time is more important than others. If you focus on externals and judge people by the way they look, or walk, or talk, or by their sin life, you may deprive yourself of great blessings and opportunities in relationship, or in service to our KING. We are not better than someone because our speech is more cleaned up! This generation of youth have the worst vernacular we have ever seen. If we judge and condemn, rather than love them into the kingdom, we will not make converts of them.
There is an exclusivity within many churches, that does not allow for newcomers to feel included. It is a sense of being on the outside when certain people always get the opportunities to minister or are on the inside “track” in relationships to the “higher-ups” in leadership.
Now that is where delegation and home groups become a life-giving place in the Church, for then accountability, responsibility, and a sense of community can be established in those smaller groups, that cannot happen in a large setting. Intimacy is virtually impossible with large congregations, yet we still count don’t we? Counting is an abomination I think to God. Consider what happened when David counted! The emphasis then becomes on numbers and worldly kind of success, rather than on people with real families, and lives, and needs.
Again, it is looking at externals, rather than fruit in people’s lives which is the real measure of discipleship and maturity. Humility is as much a fruit of the Spirit as the others mentioned in Galatians I don’t consider those all inclusive. Humility does not take credit for what God does, or did. God alone sanctifies us. God is our resource for everything we have in the way of talents or gifts, for our compassion, for our natural gifts, or supernatural gifts.
Yet we still stumble in this area, thinking gifting is a measure of our favor with God, when it is purely a measure of His LOVE. God did not say judge them by their gifts. God gives gifts because He loves us. “Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of Lights with Whom there is no variation or turning,” (paraphrased) James 1.
He does NOT give them because we have been good enough! Jesus said many would come to Him in THAT DAY and say, I cast out demons, I healed the sick, etc, but He says to them, “I never knew you!”
We are merely vessels prepared for HIS GLORY not our own. We are merely soldiers, carrying out the commands or our Commander in Chief. This is our faithful service. I have found in my journeys, that thankfulness is a great indicator of humility.
Prideful people are not thankful. They expect service, rather than giving it. He alone is deserving of all honor, and glory. We are not to touch His GLORY! When people in these days of revival that are almost upon us wonder at us, like Paul and the apostles, we must also answer them, “Why are you astounded at these miracles, as if by our own power we did them?”
We are conduits, not GOD’s. Moses was called by God the most HUMBLE man on earth ! He moved in great power and authority, and spoke with God FACE-To-FACE! He could have called down fire from heaven on the children of Israel, when he was angry, instead he pled for mercy and fasted another 40 days! That is love. That is humility. He could have helped rule Egypt, but instead chose to suffer with his people, and left the comforts of his wealth, and riches, much like Jesus, left His heavenly home and riches, to manifest Himself to us in humility, and identified with the poor and lowly.
Isaiah 53 ever remains the consummate example of humility.
2b “He has no from or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. 3 He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”
(God often uses those no one expects like 1 Corinthians 1 says. He delights in using those none else would think capable.)
I remember my friend Addie was a part of a charismatic home group of Presbyterians and she described a man there whom she said, said all the wrong things in prayer, yet people were instantly healed. We worry too much about having everything perfect. God is not as concerned. He is the only One Who is perfect.
4 “Surely He has born our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for OUR transgressions, He was bruised for OUR iniquities;the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”
Who is most deserving of any credit? The creator or the created?
7 “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.”
In our humanness, we are so quick to complain, yet He opened not His mouth. We want everyone to know how much we have suffered. You can read the rest for yourself. It is a good passage to read once a week, to remind us that we need to be like Him, and to strengthen us when we feel self-piteous.
Queen Esther could have gotten into self-pity after all she went through. She heard Haman’s plans and did not presume or assume anything, but called a fast for Israel! Today we’d call a church planning meeting. Fasting is another way to humble ourselves before God; denying our flesh to seek God’s direction and guidance.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,” Colossians 3:12 NIV.
“to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility towards all men,” Titus 3:2 NIV.
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the HUMILITY that comes from WISDOM. And we know that wisdom comes from God alone,” James 3:13 NIV.
I ask You to break the chains of delusion, the veil of blindness off of our eyes.
I ask You to open our eyes to the condition of our hearts.
Father open every door we have shut to You LORD.
Heal our inner man till we know the length and breadth, and depth and width of the love You have for us, that we would no longer compare ourselves to others Father, and that we could be filled with the fullness of You.
Help us LORD to love one another, as You have loved us.
Help us to still our souls DAILY before you, that we could have the grace to rest at Your feet and receive from you what You need to give us Father.
Heal our hearts from the damage done in our lives to our souls, that we could walk in wholeness.
Sanctify us with Your Glory Father!
God we are desperate to receive all You have and want for us.
We turn over our control, and fears and ask You to RULE over us.
We nail them to the cross of Jesus.
We nail to the cross all pride, ego and vanity.
We nail to the cross all of the false self… me, myself and I, in Jesus’ name.
Deliver us Oh LORD from all evil.
Bend us LORD to Your will.
Break any chains that bind us from following Your will in our lives God.
He whom the Son sets free, is free indeed, You have said LORD.
Bring us FREEDOM LORD.
Wield Your sword against the enemy of our souls and loose us to do Your perfect will.
Conform our hearts and minds to Yours.
~ Priscilla Van Sutphin
PRISCILLA VAN SUTPHIN is the founder of Upstream Ministries, California, online at www.upstreamca.org and blogtalkradio.com/ Upstream. Donate to Upstream: via secure Paypal by sending as gift to upstream.ca @me.com or send to: Upstream, PMB 545, 14311 Newport Blvd, Suite G, Tustin, CA 92780, USA.