VERSE: “His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:10
OSWALD: “The way we continually talk about our own inability is an insult to the Creator. The deploring of our own incompetence is a slander against God for having overlooked us. Get into the habit of examining in the sight of God the things that sound humble before men, and you will be amazed at how staggeringly impertinent they are.” (November 30th)
MY THOUGHT: So often I am guilty of focusing on my glaring inabilities rather than focusing on God’s almighty power available to work within me. I’m much quicker to do personal inventory of what I bring to our relationship rather than consider “the incomparable riches of his grace” that are mine in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:7).
As a result, I spend a lot of time telling God what He can’t possibly do through me.
Midway through writing Having a Mary Spirit, I hit a wall that I couldn’t seem to get around. The topic was just so huge and my ability to wrap words around it felt so very small. Plus there was my undisciplined nature to contend with as well as a three-year-old who constantly needed my attention.
Surely God had chosen the wrong person to write this book.
The Lord was patient at first, reminding me of His grace and power to enable me to do what He had asked, but I continued to push back at His will, bringing up all the reasons why I was inadequate for the task. Finally, God whispered to my heart:
Let me get this straight…Although I spoke the universe into existence and hung the stars in space…even though I promised to help you when you said yes to My call … and even though you’ve cleared your life and made time to write this book … you still keep saying you can’t do it.
Well, that hit home. I started to squirm, but I could tell the Lord was just warming up.
What you’re really telling Me, the Lord said, is that you’re the omnipotent one around here. Because no matter how much I help you, no matter how willing I am to give you the words and the ability to write…you just know you’ll find some way to mess it all up!
Well, yes. That was pretty much what I was saying, only it sounded so ugly and prideful the way He put it. Not nearly as humble and desperately pious as I felt.
It’s unbelief, Joanna, the Lord concluded. It is blasphemy. And it breaks my heart.
When it comes to God helping us do a task or become more like His Son, the majority of us tend to make excuses why that isn’t possible. “That may sound wonderfully humble before men,” Oswald Chambers writes, “but before God it is an attitude of defiance.”
False humility. That’s what it is. An upside down exalting ourselves against God’s ability to save. The answer to that dilemma?
“Never bother your head as to whether what you say sounds humble before men or not,” Oswald concludes, “but always be humble before God, and let Him be all in all.” After all…
“One individual life may be of priceless value to God’s purposes, and yours may be that life.”