Humility is the rich top-soil in which we grow. Without it, the seeds God plants in our hearts will wither and die. The more pride we have, the worse the condition of our soil or should we say soul. A prideful heart refuses the hand of the Lord. This is why it is so sad for Him. Simply put, only God possesses the wisdom and strength to take us to the next level. And, every level requires another bowing of our knees. When we stop bowing our knees, our wills, we stop growing. There is never a place we can arrive at or ascend to that humility is not needed. In fact, it is required more and more. It is the currency by which we buy our ticket to reach our greatest calling.
I must only compare myself to the perfect obedience of Jesus. Comparing myself with others will only hold me back. Let not pride, spiritual success, jealous, envy, self-righteousness or entitlements hold us back. If we will continually choose humility, continually submitting our will to the Father, we will one day taste the glory of the Ultimate Satisfaction, becoming like Jesus. Nothing can please the Lord more. Nothing.
Who doesn’t want to be liked? But, living for what others think to be liked is a bondage that will make us sad and trite. Believe me! If we want to become truly dynamic life-changing people, we have to be willing to lay down the “mindset of the times”, follow and speak the Truth only. (We also desperately need to learn to do it in God’s way and timing.) If we allow God to shape our beliefs, no matter how unpopular the belief is, we can know wholeness. And, like John the Baptist, if we are brave enough to stand up for Truth, we can help lead others to wholeness too. Bottom line will we allow only the Word of God to shape us or will we let the foundation of our beliefs bend to what people think? Jesus was liked so much on Earth that they crucified Him! But, by his precious sacrifice the whole world can be saved! Now, that is worth not being liked for!
The Cost of Greatness: to be despised, rejected, stricken, made to suffer, pierced, crushed, unfairly punished, oppressed, afflicted, given over to one’s enemies and falsely accused all the while silently bearing it.
Isaiah 53 is the Great Necessary Cost to becoming like Jesus. There is no higher calling, no greater honor or greater reward to be given to those who choose to lay down their lives in this way.
There is kind of sacrifice the world will never understand, a kind of obedience to God that is crazy, no insane! You can see it in the Bible over and over. Only those who truly know God can follow such a calling and only those who truly love Him will. Any person can choose this greatness. God freely gives the power and grace to anyone courageous enough to seek it. But, let me say if you choose to walk down this road, many men will rise up against you. Many “Christians” will oppose you and call your devotion foolishness. Jesus said, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” Paul says “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” Don’t waste your life and your reward in heaven following your flesh. You were made for greatness!
Which life do you think God can use more: one who has only known beauty, pleasure and recognition or one who is familiar with suffering, ridicule and belittlement? Which person has more depth, more wisdom and more strength for others to drawl from? Many flaunt their status and wealth as proof that they are special. But, I say God has favored the one who is lonely, cold, beaten and cast down. Have you been favored?
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
The only thing we can take with us to heaven is our hearts. Therefore, the greatest gifts are the ones that shape it. The trials that stretch us, prune us and chisel us inside, these are the most beautiful gifts of love! And, the hotter it is, the greater the gift!!! Rejoice always and again I say rejoice for the Lord is making His bride beautiful!!!