Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Our Unintended Arrogance

       A few weeks ago, the kids started doing something that was interesting and concerning.  It passed, but the Lord used it to teach me something.  Here’s what happened:  Several times in a period of a few days (and this applies to all of them) they were faced with situations SIMILAR to ones they’d faced previously.  Basically they found themselves in positions to theorize about the potential outcomes of the situations.  (For example, the last time they went through that issue it worked out that A + B = C.  I’d happily tell you the exact examples—but it’s been too long for me to remember them!).  Do you want to know how they handled it?  With complete confidence and boldness, they stated:  “A + B = C!!”  The only problem was they failed to realize there were several different factors in the problem—factors of which they HAD NO KNOWLEDGE.  There were many things at work beneath the surface of the situation, which would absolutely impact the outcome.  But because of the ONE TIME EXPERIENCE they were now ASSUMING every experience would be identical.  From my perspective, it was clear there was no way “C” was going to be the answer.  In other words, they thought that one narrow truth would be the same in a wide variety of situations.  I don’t think they were even dealing with “A” or “B,” but yet different factors which remained unrecognizable.  What struck me so plainly in this was their complete confidence in their wide-reaching faulty assumptions.  During one of these moments it hit me—how arrogant!  How arrogant do we (all of us) have to be to make broad sweeping statements about situations when we honestly know so little about them?

            The Lord whispered in the ear of my heart:  “It’s the same thing when you hold on to beliefs or fears which are contrary to my Word.”  OUCH!  You see, on this trip I’ve had ample opportunity to worry about future income, etc.  I believe the Holy Spirit was urging me to stay obedient in my thought life.  
           Go with me on this.  

          Whenever we come across a situation in life, if we choose to begin thinking the worst about the potential outcome—we had better be very careful.  As we all know there are not many life situations, which are not addressed in His Holy Word.  Our Creator always cuts to the chase does He not?  When we get into a situation in which He has pre-declared the steadfastness of His love, or His protection, or His provision, or His peace and we choose to focus on and anticipate something that’s contrary to His Word, we are in arrogance territory.  How can I, a mere man, allow my feelings or fears to drive me to the point of disagreeing with the Master of the Universe about His operations?  How can I for a moment allow myself to say in my heart, “Well God what you said, that may be true for my friends, but it WON’T WORK FOR ME!  What in the world is that kind of thinking?

True humility says “Lord, You said You’d never leave me or forsake me” (Heb 13:5) or, “Lord, You said You’d provide—pressed down, shaken together and running over.” (Luke 6:38)   True humility says:  “Lord, I may not understand what’s going on here, but You said…”  Then humility BELIEVES!  It doesn’t matter what my experience tells me, it doesn’t matter what my FEARS tell me, or my feelings tell me, or my FLESH tells me.  Humility says: “Lord, be it unto me as has been spoken.”  (Luke 1:38)  That’s exactly how Mary responded to the angel of the Lord when he reported her pregnancy.  We must be confident that whatever it was He said is already true.  If for no other reason—it’s true because He said it.  He cannot lie.  His Words over us are invaluable.  Those Words He framed our existence.  In those Words He set in motion the universe’s physics--the laws of nature.  Those Words shaped our world.  That is the reality.  His Word is the reality.  Even when I don’t feel it—especially then—His Word is ever true.  What He stated will come to pass.  How awesome are the words He spoke to us (mankind) and how much more awesome is it when He speaks to us directly?!!?  
  Ultimately, I believe this is a foundational thought to understanding the importance of renewing my mind.  My thoughts (opinions and feelings) must be in line with His Word and thus—His thoughts.  I can never have His thoughts, but I can line my thoughts up with His previously stated thoughts—His Word. 

We see this played out when God appeared to Moses in the burning bush.  (Exodus 3)  The Lord tells Moses how things will go, and Moses actually ARGUES with the Lord, causing His Holy anger to kindle.  The Word is full of people who had to make the choice to believe in the face of everything else telling them His Word was false.  Gideon was a man who must have certainly had the opportunity to doubt about the report of the Lord for his specific situation.  (Judges 6)  Think about this:  The Lord greeted Gideon by calling him a “Mighty Man of Valor!”  At THAT MOMENT—Gideon’s destiny was established by the declaration/salutation of the Lord!  The situation was that Gideon was HIDING.  But God gave him the ultimate gift—He put the power of His Word to work for Gideon.  Once the Lord uttered that salutation—it was true.  If He says it, it’s true.  This is how our universe operates…by the Word of God. 

           So, who am I to disagree with His Word?  I’m an arrogant fool to do so.  The Lord was showing me that I need to be mindful of His greatness and of the power of His Word and most importantly, stay humble by keeping my beliefs, thoughts and statements about situations in line with His pre-declared thoughts on the topic.   I should always expect with great confidence—His Word will come to pass.    

  Help us Lord to simply believe in humility.  

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