Passage of the Day: James 4: 10 – Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.
My Journal for Today: Again we read from James, Chapter 4, as you can from Peter in 1st Peter 5: 5 - 6, the importance of the attitude of humility as well as the wonderful promise of God, through these Spirit-inspired writers, to “lift you up” when you humbly come to God, in surrender mode, seeking His favor. And in the presence of God, as Isaiah found himself, how could one not be humbled [see Is. 6: 5].
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 6:5 [Isaiah, the Prophet] "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."
Apparently Isaiah saw some manifestation of God, maybe as did Moses at the burning bush or Jacob when he wrestled with God; but the experience most certainly brought the Prophet to a place of utter humility where he recognized God for Whom Jehovah, God really was – the sovereign, majestic, and glorious Lord. Hence you read Isaiah declaring, “Woe to me!” Jesus’ Disciples had a similar reaction when you read of them humbled to the core in fear in the midst of a horrible storm, then to see Jesus still the waves and quell the wind with a mere wave of His hand [read in Mark 4: 39 - 41].
I had a similar experience when I finally recognized the depths of my own spiritual weakness, after years of seeking to control life on my own. And on that day, April 13th 1983, God so vividly gave me a glimpse of His power that I was brought to a place of utter humility, asking God to reveal Himself to me. And for the rest of my life, over and over again, I’ve been shown who I am and Whose I am by my intentional humility, which puts me in the position to receive what God has in store for me.
But as with Isaiah or the humbled Disciples in the storm, or, for that matter, yours truly coming to Christ for the very first time, our God does not leave the humble believer bowing in awe. No, as Paul reflects in Eph. 2: 4 – 7, God takes the humble sinner and raises him/her into the status of “Saint”; and not only that, He seats us (yes, even a sinner like me) with our Lord, Jesus, on His throne as full heirs of His glory.
SCRIPTURE: Eph.2: 4 - 7 … But because of His great love for us, God, Who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
Now, as the younger generation of today might say, “Is that not awesome, or what?!!”
Yes, it is truly incredible, …but oh, so true. And having experienced this lifting up from utter degradation to the status of a born-again believer, and even more to the role of Elder in my church, as well as an Ordained Minister, I know that the lowering of self in humility before our Savior produces everything He promises – and more - see Ephesians 3: 20.
What a deal, for sure! I pray that you have taken the deal and humbled yourself to Him as well; and I pray that you have seen what I have seen, … i.e., God lifting you up with a glimpse of His glory.
My Prayer Today: Lord, may I never lose my awe of Whom You are and my very real sense of whom I am not. Amen