By Mary Lindow
"He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To do justly, to love kindness and mercy,
To humble yourself and walk humbly with your God."
ALTHOUGH I DO BELIEVE THAT THERE IS A FRESH EXPRESSION OF THE HEART OF THE FATHER STIRRING IN THE EARTH, I also see that there is a lot of "bashing" regularly occurring due to the abuse that others have exhibited in their places of calling, aimed at those who have been true to what the Lord has asked them to do in His name, and this has caused not just a little sorrow.
WE MUST CLEARLY SEE THAT CORRUPTION CAN RAPIDLY OCCUR IN ANY PERSON OR ANY GROUP, ORGANIZED, RELAXED, OR OTHERWISE, when the tendency to think that they have arrived at a new or deeper revelation about something more so than others who perhaps express the Lord's voice differently.
ARROGANCE IS THE ASSUMPTION THAT I, INDIVIDUALLY,
OR SOME GROUP THAT I AM A PART OF, COLLECTIVELY,
IS SOMEHOW SUPERIOR TO SOMEONE ELSE OR
SOME OTHER GROUP OF PEOPLE.
AT THE HEART OF ARROGANCE IS SELF-CENTEREDNESS. And self-centeredness is the foundation of human sin. I believe any serious attempt at self-examination by an honest person will reveal that we humans are sinful and flawed beyond measure.
MARK TWAIN ONCE SAID, “MAN IS THE ONLY ANIMAL THAT BLUSHES—
OR [FOR THAT MATTER] NEEDS TO.”
“So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand…Wretched man that I am! Who will save me from this body of death?”
WE ARE CONSUMED BY SELF. And every time we arrogantly place our own needs before others we are enslaved by sin.
WHAT SHOULD WE DO? HOW SHOULD WE LIVE INSTEAD OF IN THAT ARROGANT MODE? WHAT IS THE ANTIDOTE?
How about the words of Jesus? What did he say?
"Everyone who exalts himself (for example, "Aren't I great? Aren't I right? Don't I always have the best opinion?") will be humbled.
But he who humbles himself (for example, "This is my opinion but it may not be right. I don't have a corner on the market of truth") will be exalted."
THE LORD IS NOT SPEEDING UP THE DELIVERY OF ANY "FRESH THING" IN THE EARTH IN ORDER TO GET US TO HIS PURPOSES QUICKLY. No. He is testing the hearts of men and women everywhere, looking for humility, selflessness, and honor, for those who although not perfect, have also served and pointed the way to salvation for many years previously.
THE LORD IS NOT GOING TO HONOR THE INDIVIDUAL WHO SHOUTS THAT "CHANGE IS NEEDED" OR THAT "CHANGE IS COMING" AND THEN SLASHES AND BURNS ANYTHING THAT DOESN'T EMBRACE THEIR VERSION OF IT.
THE LORD IS INTERESTED IN THE SOUND OF HUMILITY,
THE HAND OF MERCY,
...THE VOICE OF GRACE.
These key character issues attract the pure and simple Presence of the Lord. Blessed are the PURE in heart...for they shall see God.
Until the Body of Christ that has been through many difficult and shattering events, rids itself of bitter and venomous words against one another and accepts that each one like sheep have gone astray and turned to what pleased them at the moment, there will be little evidence of much harvest .
THE LOST AND CONFUSED WORLD OUT THERE WATCHES CHRISTIANS TEAR EACH OTHER TO SHREDS DAILY AND WONDERS WHY WE ARE ASKING THEM TO JOIN US! Remember Christ’s two great commandments—love God with all your being, and love your neighbor as yourself.
SELF-CENTEREDNESS IS THE REVERSAL OF THE GREAT COMMANDMENT. Self-centeredness means to place ourselves first, in effect proclaiming our own form of self-government (not needing or wanting the advice or insight of others), therefore our neighbors become an afterthought, and God becomes simply a convenience to be considered only when it’s helpful to us.
It is evident even in our language that self-centeredness is woven into the fabric of the human experience.
THE ONE TRUE SACRIFICIAL MODEL TOLD US THAT HE WOULD SEND THE VERY SPIRIT OF GOD IN ORDER TO CONVICT ALL PEOPLE OF SIN, TO COMFORT, TO GUIDE, AND TO SET THEM FREE. Indeed. The very evidence of a redemptive type of life, is in one who washes the feet of his/her brothers and his/her enemies in an act of cleansing the dirt from the road of life off of the pathway to the Truth.
May we truly hear the sound of the unmistakable heartbeat of a redemptive model rising up in clear resounding purity, personal transparency, and in the covering of the multitude of sins by speaking and meditating only on those things that are noble, just, pure, and of a good report.
AS INDIVIDUALS AND AS NATIONS, THE ANTIDOTE TO ARROGANCE AND SELF-CENTEREDNESS IS A HEAVY DOSE OF HUMILITY. That is; a profound willingness to recognize the value and respect the dignity of every human life. And, furthermore, a humble heart calls us to seek and serve Christ in ALL persons by giving of ourselves willingly for the welfare of other people.
THE LORD SAYS,
"Do not let a wise man brag about how wise he is. Do not let a strong man boast about how strong he is. Do not let a rich person brag about how rich he is.
But here is what the one who brags should boast about. He should brag that he has understanding and knows me. I want him to know that I am the Lord.
No matter what I do on earth, I am always kind, fair and right. And I take delight in that".
-JEREMIAH 9:23-24 (NIV)
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