Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Humility Must Come Before Honor

The fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor. (Proverbs 15:33. ESV.)

Ah, being humbled... A close second to my least favorite "respectable sin", pride. Why? Because, it's uncomfortable. But, scripture says it is necessary. Would a proud heart give God glory? For the answer to that, Herod comes to mind:

Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, and they came to him with one accord, and having persuaded Blastus, the king’s chamberlain, they asked for peace, because their country depended on the king’s country for food. 21 On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. 22 And the people were shouting, "The voice of a god, and not of a man!" 23 Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last. (Acts 12:20-23.)

A little over one year ago, God humbled me in a BIG way...huge in the parameters of my life. I was discouraged, heartbroken, and confused as to why God was allowing certain events to take place. Many times I thought, "I don't get it, Lord. I don't comprehend! Why are things playing out like this?"

I was "poor and needy" (Isaiah 41:17-20. ESV.) I beseeched God for the understanding of others; compassion from those who claim Christ; empathy; support from the body of Christ; someone who had been through the same tribulation and could help me; an older woman to “teach”, “train”, and set a good example before me; and individuals who could give me secure, concrete biblical guidance. And God provided. Truthfully, it was not AT ALL the way I would have preferred or planned myself, but He knows best. And I have to rest assured in Him with complete faith! When I appealed for specific things (like a person who had walked a similar path and could give me encouragement) or desired a listening ear, God delivered! It was never how or who I would have guessed but I trust His orchestration (and timing) is perfect. And the gospel promises me “that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

This is someone’s salvation story… (though not mine. I’ve already written about my own a few times.) It is going to be beautiful, breath taking, amazing, inspiring! At first I wondered why God removed certain people from my life (at this season) and allowed me to keep others I never would have expected. I believe now it is so there will be NO DOUBT that it was ALL God! He, and He alone, will receive the glory.

"The most convincing witness in a truth-denying world is not an apologetic argument of our own brilliance; the most convincing answer to our times is the manifest presence of God in our midst." ~ Ray Ortlund

(photo by: Shyle Zacharias)
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