Tuesday, May 23, 2017
I have always thought Pride was not subtle.
It was puffed up. It was apparent, very apparent.
Like Jay Z apparent. The man calls himself HOVA for Jehovah for goodness sake!
Or that arrogant rich kid we all went to school with.
Those people are proud.
Certainly not me.
God himself said He would oppose the proud.
Certainly He cannot be talking about me.
So pride wasn't an issue that concerned me.
I did my thing with Jesus and Jesus loves his girl.
Good times, all around. Right?
WRONG! Like President Trump would say.
God recently began to reveal to me the state of my heart. I must say it wasn't pretty nor was it pleasant. It was actually shocking and embarrassing.
First He led me to James 4 vs 10 " Humble yourself before the Lord and he will lift you up. "
Then he led me to passage in II Samuel and I had to get the right interpretation from a mentor. Solomon was a man that did not hold back with building, beautifying the temple of God. the passage talks about a man skilled in making objects for buildings. It essentially was talking about me being or ( my heart) being the temple that God was skillfully repairing and building.
Pride is most times not apparent. Its the subtle type that takes preeminence then congeals in our heart, that is the most dangerous. The one that exalts your intellect or intelligence above seeking God's face. Its essentially acting like you know more than God. Its not a conscious decision. We unconsciously choose our will so often that it becomes a way of life.
Its the subtle type that is most dangerous because you don't even realize you have a problem.
So it becomes stronger and stronger until "self" or "me me me" becomes the "god" of your life But because you are a christian, of course you have to seek Gods face. So you make a decision then ask for God's approval. That arrangement works for us, the one where God is the malleable assistant that does not disrupt our carefully layed out plans.
See pride, how the enemy devises it, is not puffed up and apparent. Its not like the peacock we so liken it with, that would be too obvious. It is more refined and yet more damaging.
It has not been easy accepting the deeply ingrained flaws that are part of me. But God reminded me of Psalm 118 vs 18. Chastisement is for the children of God. So I take the correction and move on.
I think humility is something we all have to practice everyday. That deliberate humbling of ones self has to be exactly what its called ... deliberate. Its an act that acknowledges that you are nothing without God and can do nothing apart from him.It a constant checking of the heart, putting every decision before the holy spirit. Its takes practice because it is not that natural for me.
I strongly believe the un- shared story is the only tragic story. If you die without sharing your story you died without preventing another person from making the same mistakes. Its waste of your pain and suffering, the least you could do is save another person from that.
So that's it folks.
My shared story of how I thought I was the epitome of humble but in God's eyes I was exactly like Jay -Z..... but for the cross.
Thank God for Jesus. : )
Friday, January 13, 2017
*I wrote this on December 20th 2016 and was going to post it before the end of the year. A mixture of procrastination and work prevented me from doing so. *
I don’t do new years resolutions. I don’t see the point of it. I think if you notice a behavior, goal whatever you want to change/achieve etc then make necessary adjustments right there. Though a new year always gives one the opportunity to mentally re assess lives and goals. I personally don’t think God sees time like we do but a new year is a mental shift that sometimes focuses our attention on God.
Most people I know thought this year was a mess, Trump was elected, Brexit happened, Aleppo is still happening and continues to get worse, insert any other anomaly in this space.
Personally, 2016 was a good year for me. A majority of my prayers were not answered, no major life changes happened like getting married, nothing changed really but my mindset.
2015 was most peoples 2016 for me . I got into two car accidents back to back and two cars were totaled. The beginning of the year was one of the most challenging periods in residency. I wasn’t writing much and even when I tried to push through like I do now I just couldn’t muster enough strength to write.
I will always refer to 2015 as the dark ages. *Insert Charle Barkley meme "It was turrible.”
My relationship with God also suffered. Yes, I was praying almost regularly but it was mostly christanese. It was this year I realized I can be insincere even in my personal prayers to God . It was a ticked box for me, a performance more for my conscience. It was pray in the morning, tick. Like we all do, I suppressed any hurt, anger and resentment I felt over some perceived disappointments ( I call them perceived disappointments because I believe there are not really disappointments in your life when you are a Christ refer to Romans 8 vs 28). Towards the end of the year, I had a chastisement from God that re aligned me and made me focus on my underlying issues and back on God. I think sometimes when you have been a Christian for a long time we get caught up in Christianese, we keep up appearances even to God which is extremely foolish as He knows your heart before you even speak.
In the world of “christianesity” certain human emotions are sacrilegious, disappointment, hurt, anger. We are all supposed to keep that smile on our face and not act human because hey God will be our superman and come to our aid. But what if he doesn’t (which isn't possible refer to Psalm 25 vs 3, No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame) or more aptly we perceive he doesn’t. Aren’t these emotions part of a human experience? Are these not the emotions that David felt when he wrote the Psalms? That Elijah felt or even Christ felt? I think the isolation and ignoring those feelings creates an opening for the enemy to wreak havoc. I, for one compartmentalized my life, still went to church, still prayed but my thinking was “Hey God you can do your own thing in heaven while I do my own thing on earth.” Thinking erroneously that God would still bless me in my borderline rebellion.
I have to borrow a popular saying from christianese speak “God cant bless a mess.” Don’t misunderstand me, dwelling on life circumstances and throwing pity parties is not healthy. I believe those feelings are humans, dwell on them for one day, one month how much time it takes but what we do after is more important. Living in despair is not right, soldering through despair by the grace of God is Christianity. Learning from it is not merely existing in life but thriving in life.
That’s when we really live.
I began to tell God sincerely how I felt. When there was no pretense in our relationship. I began to feel the presence of God more strongly in my life. I am not quite there, yesterday during morning prayers I was like God I can’t offer you christianese today, this situation is really bothering me.
So, all in all, the year wasn’t a total disaster with me. Scratch that it was great year for me. The trinity and I fixed our fractured relationship. Work was going great. I realized I am blessed to have the family and friends that I have. I realized that I can actually LIVE my life while waiting on God, that I was important enough to live a good life.
Stay fearless folks.