Have you cultivated a humble heart before God? Maybe you have had a good friend come to you to lovingly confront an issue that they have with you? Or, have you ever been the person to confront another about a problematic behavior? What was the hope within you as you approached your friend in love with a hard Truth?
How did you respond when you were approached?
Today we are going to address some of these things and look at how a believer’s heart must relate to matters of confrontation and Truth.
Welcome back to the 30 Days of Prayer series. I am thrilled you have enjoyed the posts, and hope that if you have missed some that you go back and check them out! The link to the series is posted in the menu bar above to provide quick access for you.
Most of us know that we are “supposed” to be humble, but knowing it and doing it are two very different things.
30 Days of Prayer: Pray for a Humble Heart
Today there are many, many voices that readily proclaim from a place of pride. The voices are driven forward by the enemy and do not conform to the righteousness of God. Many times we unknowingly and unintentionally get swept along by these voices and their ideas, as the holes in our spiritual armor are revealed.
The same old, “Did God really say…?” that the serpent spun into action in the Garden of Eden.
A big one that I have struggled with for years specifically has to do with my calling, to speak against the forces of evil that seek to limit and restrain the people of God and in the name of Christ co-labor to release the captives from their bondage. I didn’t really understand my calling until now.
Satan always strikes the greatest blows against you where it will hurt your purpose the most.
The lie that has kept me in bondage has to do with my nature to perfect and bring order to chaos. In my spirit I can see the chaos that abounds in the Body and within myself so deeply want to see the Body free from the bondage of confusion and doubt. But, first I have to walk out my own salvation, removing the plank from my own eye so that I can see clearly to remove the speck from my brother’s.
What is the lie? That I must have it all figured out before beginning to walk in obedience to the calling on my heart. The reason for this is that if not I may unintentionally lead someone astray and this would be heartbreaking for me.
It’s a noble ideal, truly, but is it TRUTH? No.
Why? Because, this fear of mine, to not “lead people astray” settles on my own power as a human to basically condemn someone to hell through my imperfection, rather than on God’s power to redeem the damage even if I do misstep or misspeak.
See the twist?
It’s super subtle because the enemy REALLY knows how to use God’s Word against us if we are not first fortified by the knowledge of who God is and what that means for us.
Even now, as I write this, I am fighting the battle against the lies of the enemy because it is his greatest goal to shut up the minds and hearts of believers to keep us boxed in and silent.
Pride is the Greatest Opposition to the Work of the Lord.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”1 John 2: 15-17
My fear that I can ruin the work of God replaces the power of God with my own power. That’s pride. It may not be how we conventionally view pride, but it is pride nonetheless.
When my eyes are on myself and my own limits, rather than on the power of God, pride is present.
Then, there is fleshly, lustful pride, which promotes the self and one’s preferred way of living based on the flesh and sensual pleasures and preferences. This is a bit more obvious, as it is very much the central component of hedonism, secularism, and worldly living.
This pride dismisses the Word of God entirely and eliminates the Truth with a lie.
Finally, there is also the pride of self-righteousness, which elevates oneself to be higher than others in order to sit in the judgment seat. This pride withholds no attack to condemn and criticize others for their imperfections, lack of complete holiness, or any other inconsistent hole in their walk with the Lord.
This is a spirit of legalism, and it has no place for grace or understanding to hold out empathy and compassion for those who are trying to navigate the journey of faith one step at a time.
What is satan using against you? Which pride does he use to stop you from your God-given purpose?
Humble yourself in the presence of the Lord.
When the Lord, through the Spirit, brings things to our attention it is because He loves us enough to tell us the hard Truths. If you are receiving a conviction of the heart, it is a kindness for you. The Lord is treating you like His child.
My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,Prov. 3: 11-12
and do not resent his rebuke,
because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.”
It is our job to humble ourselves before the Lord, which means to see ourselves with rightful eyes, recognizing our lowered position with HIS higher one. Often the Lord uses many means to speak to us, but it is our job to learn to see His presence and hear His voice.
Humility is a learned behavior.
It does not come naturally to us in our flesh. But, through practice and consistency, as we lower ourselves before God, emptied out of all pretense and assuming we know very little without Him, we will become gradually more and more humble as a part of our character. This is the process of sanctification. It is a process of gradual change towards holiness.
After we feel the conviction of the heart and the desire for humility, we must then act with repentance. The Lord is quick to forgive, but it is our job to obey the leading of the Spirit to humbly confess our sins before God and ask for His forgiveness. This is normal territory for the life of a believer.
As we are each brought to a deeper understanding of ourselves in the Light of God, we will inevitably see various areas where we fall short of His Ways. The flesh will want to rise up in self-defense, but this is not what the Lord desires. He simply wants us to grow in understanding so that we can continue on our journey of sanctification.
Humility is the necessary response to conviction if we want to continue to grow spiritually.
Self-defense against the conviction of the Lord will only result in a stagnant spiritual walk.
Even if we do not yet fully understand why the Lord views something as a sin, it is our job to humbly turn to Him for understanding. It is okay to ask the hard questions of God! He LOVES to answer the humble-hearted and bring clarity and understanding to those who call on wisdom.
It is not rebellious to ask God questions. It is not prideful to want to grow in knowledge about the Ways of God. We must, however, balance our questions with the humility to know that we really don’t know anything in comparison to God. Just as God told Job when he cried out against God with an accusing tone:
The Lord said to Job:
‘Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him?
Let him who accuses God answer him!’
Then Job answered the Lord:
‘I am unworthy—how can I reply to you?
I put my hand over my mouth.
I spoke once, but I have no answer—
twice, but I will say no more.’
Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm:
‘Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you, and you shall answer me.
‘Would you discredit my justice?Job 40: 1-14
Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
Do you have an arm like God’s,
and can your voice thunder like his?
Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,
and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.
Unleash the fury of your wrath,
look at all who are proud and bring them low,
look at all who are proud and humble them,
crush the wicked where they stand.
Bury them all in the dust together;
shroud their faces in the grave.
Then I myself will admit to you
that your own right hand can save you.’”
God is surely not against our questions, but we must remember that a humble heart needs to always lead. I don’t know about you but I HATE it when I need to get the kind of rebuke Job got. Does anyone else imagine him sinking lower and lower while God rightfully rebukes Job’s argument against Him?
Humility Comes Before Being Lifted Up
Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.”James 4: 10
The enemy wants to keep us prideful because he knows that the Way of the Lord leads to a righteous walk with Him. When we walk in obedience with the Lord, “humbly before our God,” He lifts us up for HIS glory so that we can be used more and more for His purposes.
A humbled servant of the Lord is a serious threat to the workers of darkness.
So, if we want to truly destroy the destroyer we must lead with humility before God.
Abba, thank you for Your awesome love that rebukes me as Your child because You love me. Help me to always respond to You with a humble heart. Thank You for revealing where I struggle with pride. Help me to not walk in my pride, but rather convict me firmly through the Spirit to save my soul. I welcome Your correction as Your child.
I trust that Your Ways are higher than mine and that I do not know everything; not even a little bit. Please help me to grow in my understanding of Your Ways so that I may Love Your Ways with “all my mind.” I am sorry for the areas where I have fallen short of Your path for me. Redeem the days, Abba. I am Yours. In Your Son, Jesus’, name, Amen.
Sweet sister, may humility be a guiding Light unto your path with Him.
May it bring clarity and Truth to your walk. I pray that you may be lifted up to His higher ways and be used mightily by Him for His glory.
Forever and ever.