Monday, December 10, 2012

Safe in Jerusalem--Humility, Courage, and Idols

Safe in Jerusalem--Humility, Courage, and Idols
Jeremiah 33:14-16

While we have the capacity to come to self-awareness, conversion happens through the power of the Word of God.

Oswald Chambers, in My Utmost for His Highest, asks his readers this question, "To whom do you show humility?" He goes on to write, "Get into the habit of examining fom God's perspective those things that sound so humble to men. You will be amazed at how unbelievably inappropriate and disrespectful they are to Him. We say things such as, 'Oh, I shouldn't claim to be sanctified; I'm not a saint.' But to say that before God means, 'No, Lord, it is impossible for You to save and sanctify me; there are opportunities I have not had and so many imperfections in my brain and body; no, Lord, it isn't possible.' That may sound wonderfully humble to others, but before God it is an attitude of defiance."

"Conversely, the things that sound humble before God may sound exactly the opposite to people...Never worry about whether what you say sounds humble before others or not. But always be humble before God, and allow him to be your all in all."

I want to consider the possibility that one can be humble and have courage at the same time. When our humility is directed toward God who has the power to change our hearts through the Word, we need not diminish ourselves or play ourselves down in the presence of people. In fact we may boast, as writes, Paul, but be sure that we boast in the Lord.

In the Lord, we have confidence and courage. It is that courage that allows us to discern when to say "Yes" and when to say "No." We can take the risk to claim what we believe, what we hope for, and how we choose to live in this in-between time.

We can take the risk to say "No" to that which is counter to the will of God. It is that courage that allows us to speak to the original concern raised in this series of blog entries-idols. We can say "No", at the risk of being offensive to others, to what runs counter to the will of God.

In our time, let us consider idols in this way: Idols are any expert, way of thinking, or practice that we believe will make everything work in our lives, give sense to all that happens, take away our fear and anxiety, and keep us from suffering or difficult moments.

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