As I have grown closer to the Lord over these past several months- I have discovered a new struggle within myself. How do I transform the words that I speak to reflect the reality of what God is doing in me?
Many of the things I used to say just aren’t true anymore.
Are you a habitual talker? Some responses come out before you really think through the implications of what you are saying? What those words might be communicating to the hearer?
I have developed habits in how I interact with people. Now that God is working in me- sometimes I want to say something different, express how God is changing me- but I find myself stuck in the old word patterns.
So much has been made new, my thinking, what I say, my identity- God has begun an overhaul- long overdue.
Sometimes I don’t know how to express what God is doing in me- how I am changing.
Thank God that we not only have His Holy Spirit but also His Word to help us share and express to others the joy of seeing our lives transformed by the Lord.
Pride so easily seeps into my conversations- puffed up importance in what I have to say or offer- my advice or wisdom. I continually look back on conversations and cringe- wishing I would not have said that- or why didn’t I just ask a question or listen?
One of my prayers has been to seek humility and to only boast in the Lord.
Here are some of the passages that I have been meditating on.
Psalm 44:8: In God we make our boast all day long,and we will praise your name forever.
Jeremiah 9:23-25 (makes me think of Romans 2:17-29)
23 This is what the Lord says:
“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
24 but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord.
25 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh— 26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the wilderness in distant places. For all these nations are really uncircumcised, and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit,who has been given to us.
6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
1 Corinthians 4:7–For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?
If we live in the reality of what God has done, we remember “the only thing we brought to our salvation was the sin that made it necessary” (Pastor Dan). Then humility will be a natural posture.
When we do something worthy of praise- we won’t be seeking a pat on the back from human beings-and when people do notice and praise us- we will deflect that praise to God. That is why we exist- to glorify His Name. Every gift that we have is from Him.
The greatest protection against pride is a conscious effort to ascribe anything positive in our life to the presence of God within us. Without Him we are nothing. He is our Creator, our Redeemer, and His Strength empowers us to do good works.
We can live in the language of love- an outpouring of grateful praise to our King- if only we endeavor to keep our gaze upon the origin of all good gifts.
In his book Humility : The Beauty of Holiness, Andrew Murray talks about how our interactions with others are transformed as we seek humility before God.
“True humility comes when, in the light of God, we have seen ourselves to be nothing, have consented to part with and cast away self, to let God be all. The soul that has done this, and can say, “So have I lost myself in finding Thee,” no longer compares itself with others. It has given up forever every thought of self in God’s presence; it meets its fellow men as one who is nothing, and seeks nothing for itself; it is a servant of God, and for His sake a servant of all…the humble man looks upon every child of God, even the feeblest and unworthiest, and honors him and prefers him in honor as the son of a King…the humble man feels no jealousy or envy. He can praise God when others are preferred and blessed before Him. He can bear to hear others praised and himself forgotten, because in God’s presence he has learned to say with Paul, “I am nothing.”
I read that passage and it inspires and convicts me. And immediately it makes me thankful too. I don’t have to do this work. All I am called to do is be willing. Present myself before God daily and say, “Lord, here I am, work in me. Transform me through the presence of your Holy Spirit. I am yours.”
We have to daily submit ourselves before Him. Humbly acknowledge that we are nothing without Him. Empty vessels unable to fill ourselves with any real substance- sin can trick us into thinking that we are satisfied, but deep down we feel that gnawing hunger- and we know true fullness when we allow God to pour His love into us.
No one on this earth owes me anything. I choose to live in obedience to God- I serve not expecting anything in return- I give extravagantly of all my gifts and serve with joy. But all these thing are done through the power of God working in me- His presence transforming me. I can’t do it by human effort.
I tried that for so long- and that’s when we begin to feel bitter, like the world owes us something for the work we have done. We are not “entitled” to anything in this life. All is grace. ALL is grace.
And I guess that’s what I have been learning- my language will change as the reality of God continues to seep into me- as God renews my mind and transforms me. I begin to see through His eyes.
God, we have lived in this world so long without really seeking you with our whole hearts. Lies of this world have seeped in and mixed with your Truth. We need the conviction of your Holy Spirit and your Word to begin to walk fully in your Truth. Grant us wisdom and discernment to see when we are motivated by pride and worldly cares rather than working out of obedience and humility. May we submit ourselves fully to you- allowing you to set our priorities and use our gifts for your glory and yours alone. Through your power and grace at work in us Lord let it be so. In Jesus Name, Amen.