Monday, April 2, 2012

Real Humility

I suppose all of the following thoughts began to form in my mind a few weeks ago when I was in the midst of reading through Job. Many, many different thoughts tend to assail my mind when I read that book. As humans, I think we are fascinated by the message of Job's story. It's a hard one to unravel, that's for certain. I mulled and mulled and mulled over it.

We happened to be playing on FamilyLife's 'Love Like You Mean It' Marriage Cruise when I finished the book. It was early in the morning, and I was by myself on the top deck resting in a chair beneath the sun, looking out at the glorious creation that is the ocean.

There couldn't have been a better place to read the last chapters of Job - God's response to the many conjectures of the man. Reading the passage in that particular spot, I was made doubly aware of the grandeur of Yahweh. So much of the time, living in our little busy worlds, we forget just what He has created, the reality of just what He has done, and instead have a trite version of it in our minds. Take a moment and consider the completely breathless beauty of what God has made, and His astounding, dumbfounding acts of strength over the course of history. We forget.

God is completely and totally sovereign over this earth. Nothing is beyond His power to accomplish. I can't imagine His thoughts when He looks at our so often disbelieving spirits. Why in the world should we ever for a single moment doubt Him? Or not trust in His power?

As I pondered these things, I began to think of humility, and think of it in a new way. Living in humility is living in truth - living in reality. We are nothing without God. The reason I have fingers is because He gave them to me. The reason I can breathe, walk, move, be, is because He has given me that gift. Even my smallest, weakest successes on the road to righteousness are only gained because He has been merciful enough to help me. We are even totally incapable of the smallest giving of love without God. We ought to laugh when prideful thoughts surface in our minds. You mean I've done it myself? That's a good joke! God, and only God, has accomplished anything good or beautiful in my life.

"My eyes are drawn to the man of a humble and contrite spirit, who trembles at my word." - Isaiah 66:2

To be humble is to be absolutely aware of the sovereignty of God. And if we are wholly aware of it, then we will rest in Him. How could we not? If we know that we can only live or act in Him?

And why should we stress and worry over money, comfort, work, school, and heave and break down trying (and failing) to gain righteousness by our own efforts (our default modus operandi), when what Jesus wants is simply a humble servant, who deeply and truly serves and is aware of Him - who wants nothing but Him. A servant who is totally conscious of his dependence on God, and thus has total peace in God.

And I don't just mean peace in heart and mind. I mean a literal, bodily letting go of the constant stress that we have learned to hold in our very muscles. Consider all of the verses that speak of God wanting us to have peace. There are hundreds.

"Peace I bequeath to you. My own peace I give you. A peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid."

We should wake up each morning with nothing but the purpose of loving one another and passing on this peace in our minds. Nothing (and I mean nothing) is more important.

Yahweh wants His children to live in peace. To live in peace is to live in power. And to live in peace and power is to live in Him.



Briana Mahoney said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. It is so encouraging to hear those words of wisdom. Humility is so much easier when we know the truth of reality. Like you said, the only way we can even breathe is because God has allowed it. I think that if only Christians could be aware of the “real reality” we would live our lives so differently and be able to go through life without all the stresses that go with living in a material world. We were listening to one of our Moody science videos the other day. It was one of my favorites. Dr. Moon ( I think that is such a neat name for a scientist!) was talking about the properties of a solid, and how they aren't really solid at all. He said that if you took all of the empty space out of a bar of steel, so that there was no air in between the molecules, atoms or whatever (I am not very good as explaining scientific fact I'm afraid :), there would hardly be anything left of it. In fact, he said that there was no scientific reason why he shouldn't be able to walk through the wall, except that they have tried it and it hasn't worked :). It is scientifically possible for two worlds to exist simultaneously without knowledge of each other. Of course we know from the Bible that there is the physical and spiritual world, but I thought that it was really neat that science could prove it. Anyway, this brings me to my question, “Which World Is Reality?” People always are talking about “living in reality” and “the real world”; but, everything material and “solid” is not really much more than air. It doesn't seem much like a “real world” to me. God, prayer, and the spiritual world, is what lasts forever and turns the events of this world we live in. The world we cannot see is where the real power lies. When we don't have peace, and are stressed, it is so often because we forget which is the real world. I think that I look at moving mountains in a whole new light now:). Reading the Bible every day and hearing about the things that God had done, make you realize that we really haven't hardly begun to do all that we could through Christ because of our puny faith. Oh, there's another thing Dr. Moon said, it was about what the word “believe” meant in the Bible. If we said, “I believe that chair will hold me up”, that wasn't what the word meant, but if you went and sat in the chair and said, “ I believe the chair will hold me up”, only then would that be the true meaning of “believe” which is putting your trust in something. It would be so exciting if all of God's people sat in the “chairs” of God's promises.

Katie Mahoney said...

Hi Gretchen! Thank you so much for sharing your ponderings on the book of Job. The boat must have been a wonderful place to read that book! I have always enjoyed reading my devotions by the ocean, listening to the waves crash, and seeing the vast beyond is so amazing. Psalms 19 and 135,148 and Isaiah 56 are also great chapters to read by the ocean. That is an excellent message on humility. You are so right. After seeing the power of God, what is there to be proud of? Keep posting!
Much love,
Katie Mahoney