Note: I chose this exaggerated and catchy picture because it is suspenseful and can be used to demonstrate an interesting scenario: If God wants someone to tackle a huge polar bear, He will give the person the strength to do so, but if He doesn’t (which is almost always the case!), the individual can’t count on receiving God’s strength as he or she foolishly tackles the polar bear!
“Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.” Habakkuk 2:4 (KJV)
The Lord has been repeatedly, repeatedly, repeatedly, trying to thoroughly convince me that He operates in the realm of humility and faith, and not in the realm of pride and presumption. Over the years that I have struggled with chronic pain, I have noticed a very interesting pattern. When I have engaged in “flareup-provoking activities” in order to prove to myself or others how tough or talented I have thought myself to be, despite the physical warning signs my body was giving me, I have gotten a flareup of pain.
However, when I decided to engage in these same kinds of activities which I have known to cause pain flareups (even while in pain) because I have seen that no one else was available to and/or because I was seeking to fulfill some duty or meet someone else’s need, I have not flared up, or, if I have, the flareups have not lasted long. I have also experienced this kind of sustenance and relief at times when I was especially drained or emotionally troubled, and I felt that God was going to mercifully give me a needed diversion while engaging in some typically “flareup-provoking” activity.
It’s an amazing thing that I cannot fully explain, but all I can say is that I have repeatedly seen that God blesses and sustains me when I’m humble and unselfish in ways that He does not bless and sustain me when I am proud and self-centered.
“…God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” James 4:6 (KJV)
“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18 (KJV)
“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7 (KJV)
While not everyone reading this may have the physical kinds of experiences that I have described, all of us either have found out or will find out, sooner or later, that God blesses us when we are humble and in step with His will in ways that He cannot bless us when we are proud and presumptuous. God operates in the realm of His laws and ways, and pride and presumption are not within the realm of His laws and ways.
I crave your prayers because I still struggle with pride and presumption, but I am choosing through God’s strength, to surrender these sinful motives to God and to do everything in an attitude of humility and unselfishness, by His grace.
“I want, dear Lord, a heart that’s true and clean,
A sunlit heart, with not a cloud between;
A heart like thine, a heart divine,
A heart as white as snow;
On me, dear Lord, a heart like this bestow.
I want, dear Lord, a love that cares for all,
A deep, strong love that answers every call;
A love like thine, a love divine,
A love to come or go;
On me, dear Lord, a love like this bestow.
I want, dear Lord, a soul on fire for thee,
A soul baptised with heavenly energy;
A willing mind, a ready hand
To do whate’er I know,
To spread thy light wherever I may go.”
Accessed on 9 October 2022 from https://prayer-warriors.com/i-want-dear-lord-a-heart-thats-true-and-hymn-lyrics/