February 26, 2016

Low is better than high as long as I’m looking up!

I’m amazed how God puts truth before me right when I need it. In the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about my own uselessness and inferiority. It does not take “humility” long to turn into a “pity-party.” I realized this is just another variety of a sinful, self-centered me-focus, I didn’t think that I was insulting Jesus. Chambers uses these verses to point out that I am:

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? (John 4:10–11)

The woman at the well had misgivings about the ability of Jesus. At this point in her experience, she did not know Him or what He is capable of doing, so her misgivings might be excusable, but mine are not. I’ve had many years of seeing what He can do.

But what about me? I cannot do anything apart from Christ. In fact, every person alive is incapable of being what God calls for. We all fall short, even those who have served Him all their lives and accomplished much for His kingdom. Paul said that he could do all things through Christ who gives him strength. It is not the attributes and talents of Paul that mattered; it is the power of God working through Him.

So in my pity-party, I am telling Jesus that my case is a bit too hard for Him? I am saying that Jesus has nothing to draw with—nothing to make of me what He wants to make of me? I am guilty of thinking that I have no misgivings about Jesus, only about myself?

Chambers says that no one has such misgivings about themselves because we know exactly what we cannot do, but we do have misgivings about Jesus. Not only that, I get upset that He can do whatever He wants, but He isn’t doing what I want Him to do.

The issue is that I get looking at myself and the inferiority that I can see instead of admitting this is what I am and getting on with it. God does not wash His hands of uselessness; He prefers it. His Word says . . .

For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:26–31)

I’m guilty of spiritual pride, the kind that wants to be powerful, noble, and wise. I’ve also been asking God to change me so I will be contrite before Him and give Him glory. So He is answering my prayers and I am complaining? Duh!

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