Yesterday I learned two discomforting things about myself. One was that I still have trouble when I turn out to be not as clever as I thought I was. Pride? Of course.
The other is that I still depend on some people in certain situations instead of relying on the Lord. Idolatry? Probably, but whatever it is, it eventually leads to disappointment.
The Bible passage for today is mostly about the second lesson. It says, “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.” (Psalm 121:1–8)
People cannot be any of that for me. God is my helper. He can use people, but that is up to Him, so my reliance must be on Him, not on others. Whatever I need, I’m to trust Him to take care of it.
The rest of today’s devotional addresses the pride that smacked me in the face. It says that humility is vital, but true humility is not about looking down at my feet or down on myself for not being what I think I should be. True humility is developed by looking up, by “standing at my very highest, then looking at Christ” and with that, becoming forever humble.
Humility is not about how low I think I am, but about how amazing and great God is, how unfailing and perfect. Instead of comparing myself to others I consider lesser (and becoming prideful), or to others I consider greater (and being filled with self-pity or self-loathing), I should be looking at Jesus and being filled with awe.
He is God, yet He loves me. He is eternal life, yet died for me. He is holy and perfection, yet accepts me. He has all resources and yet takes care of my needs. My help comes from Him. He never goes to sleep on the job, will not let evil touch me, and if it slips through, it is because He is going to use it for good in my life. He protects me, only allowing what can be used to transform me into His image.
Is Jesus clever? No, not like I measure cleverness. He did not care about wit, what others thought, or getting “well done” written on His life. He did the will of God and trusted His Father to use life’s circumstances, regardless of what they looked like on His resume.
Nor did Jesus depend on people, at least not like I do. He asked the disciples to pray with Him, but He knew they were tired, unreliable and going to let Him down. Instead, He trusted His Father and the Holy Spirit.
My lessons yesterday were about learning to think like Jesus thinks. He gave me His mind (which is utterly amazing) and expects me to use it. That means being unconcerned about earthly success (no vanity, no pride) and no unrealistic expectations. I’m to trust God because, like the psalmist, I know where my help comes from.