I HAVE AN ETERNITY AHEAD OF ME
MOVING BEYOND PRIDE
When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.
As soon as we attach ourselves to things we feel we need to have or desire, we become entangled in pride, distracted and soon torn away from God. A battle wages in our mind for our attention. The flesh wants to win out because we are able to think of all the things we can do with our possessions in the flesh (self). You forget that you’re a spiritual being and one day you will have to leave these things behind. You think of them as yours or dream of something becoming yours. Perhaps, many people have told you or you believe that a sign of being blessed and highly favored is material wealth, looking good, and having good health. Your pride tells you that you must proved that you are one of these “highly blessed and favored people, too, and before you know it, you’re looking the part. Still, the question comes down to, “Are you seeking God’s Face?”
We live in a sick land land today, plagued with all types of madness, hatred, and chaos. God said:
2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV)
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
This is a verse which I repeatedly include within these writings, because, everything YOU do affects those around you. “My people” begins with YOU. YOU effect the atmosphere around you. Your pride is not just a YOU problem. It is a spiritual communicable disease which spreads from person to person, people to people, nation to nation. Therefore, we must examine ourselves and submit to the Will and Way of God.
So, how do you put these things around you in the world into perspective? How do you prioritize? How do you keep from idolizing them and yourself?
You assign them a place in your life. You put them to work for you, God, and the Kingdom, even being willing to give them up, if God requires it of you, as He did when He asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Surely, we cannot equate things with the life of a child, but, think of it as if your life, your abundant and eternal life is on the line, for that is exactly what is at risk if you put material things and yourself before your love for God.
Can you assign your possessions and desires a place in your life as Abraham did Isaac in order to please God first? Can you part with them so that you and others beyond your foreseeable future will live life abundantly with God?
We are right to care about our appearance and to want to live comfortably and prosperous as God has allowed us to live within our abundant life, but, when is enough, “enough”? Is enough the same amount for you as it is for me? We must be aware of the point in which “enough” draws us away from God and into “self”; when “enough” causes us to obsess over our body,our possessions, and desires; and when we are no longer just “in” the world, but, falling to become “of” the world.
How do we assign these things in our life? The same way that we assign or give our lives to God. We recognize that all that we have came from God and belongs to God. Does this mean that we can keep buying things so that we can say that they’re for God? Do we obsess about our looks because we want to look better for God? Are we being truthful?
Remember, we are spiritual beings and God communicates with our spirit (heart), not our flesh and earthly bodies, which are only dust. What we put upon our back is to cover our bodies, which house a spirit. What we surround ourselves with in our environment is only to bring temporary comfort and joy while we occupy these bodies. But, do “things” really bring us comfort and joy? If that is the case than many people should be overjoyed from having many things. Yes, my blanket keeps me warm, but, if what lies beneath it is a cold heart, am I really comfortable or am I living a lie?
If the things around me are to bring me comfort and joy, I must see them in another light. Their meaning must derive from another place other than a department store, a commercial, a celebrity. Their meaning must extend beyond envy, desire, aesthetic beauty, hard work, entitlement, and status. Do these things help me or hinder me in being humble and fruitful? If they hinder me, then, why?
God told us to be “Holy.” We must understand what makes us “Holy.” God alone is Holy. Therefore, if God be within us, then, that which surrounds us must be “worthy” of His Holiness. The reasoning behind having our possessions must fall within the Will and Way of God. Our reasoning must be without selfishness, greed, vanity, immorality and injustice. Thus, it follows the mind of Christ, The Lamb of God, who is without spot or blemish, a worthy offering unto our God.We must follow Jesus and do as we see our Father do. If I belong to God, will He find me a worthy vessel, abiding within Jesus?
There are days that seem to fly by so fast that I question my productivity, asking myself, “What have I actually accomplished today?” Then, one day, the Holy Spirit spurred me to look at the day differently and ask myself, “Have I stayed within the will of God today? Have I done my best to stand in holiness and righteousness to lift up the name of Jesus and glorify God and His Kingdom?” Then, if I have done these things, I have aided Earth and Heaven and these hours of my being on Earth have been all the better for it.
When making decisions, we don’t always stop to ask ourselves, “Am I being fruitful, humble, loving and glorifying God? Am I truly born again, covered in Jesus’ precious blood? Did Jesus die that I would squander my inheritance or use it only to please and glorify myself? Will these things I own or desire be a distraction from God and following Jesus? Do they follow after the mind of Christ, or, am I following after the mind of the world?”
Everything we do must be done in love for the glory of God; in love of who? –God, but also for one another, whereby, we glorify God. Our actions must reflect the character of God manifested in love and consideration for the needs of others. So once again, how do I assign my desires, intentions and actions? I must honestly ask myself, “How do my actions show love for God and glorify God? Am I considering the needs of others? How do my actions show love for God’s Children, His Kingdom and Glorify His Kingdom?
Then, if I am at odds with my choices, I must reconcile my thoughts and behaviors and reassign my actions to better and higher purposes. I must HUNGER for holiness.
We all have some area in our lives where we tell ourselves we deserve this or that, whether it be a material possession, a relationship, circumstances or a particular situation. We believe we deserve to be treated with love and respect. We believe that we have worked hard for our money and we deserve to spend some on ourselves. We want to keep up with the Joneses or with new technology. We want what we see being advertised on television, but when is enough, “enough”?
Are we loving and respecting ourselves? Are we willing to fall into sin for what we feel we deserve? Was this not the first sin man committed? Have we not learned from Adam and Eve’s mistake? How far are we willing to go to get what we want? How many rules, laws, or principles will we break?
Is that which we desire in agreement with what God desires for us to have at that time? Have we even bothered to ask Him? Do we put the blame on Him or say that God has “blessed” us? Are we sure about that or did we take matters into our own hands and “bless” ourselves? Then, this should help us to understand why we’re not growing and maturing and just staying our same old selves.
Maturity comes with sacrifice, patience, waiting on the Lord, faith, love, and obedience to God, and all of the other Fruits of His Holy Spirit. How do we assign our feelings, desires, intentions and actions? We must weigh how we are being FRUITFUL in our actions.
Yes, I can have what I desire, if I am being ‘fruitful’ in my actions and within the Will and Way of God; for all children of God, attached to The Vine, immersed in His Holy Spirit bear Good Fruit! However, if my pride leads my desires and I bypass God, I produce bitter fruit.
Pride is like a weed that grows next to a thriving plant to choke its roots and kill it. Pride cannot be the leader in abundant life. It will stunt the growth of all around it. It would be like a weed soaking up the moisture and nutrients within the soil, condemning the other plants to death. So are we cast into iniquity and death, when the adversary cast a shadow over us blocking The Light and the Water of Life.
Moving beyond pride takes humility. We must be able to look into the mirror and see Jesus– not self and vanity. If we mimic the world, we will never look good enough or have enough, becoming like weeds, strangling everything around us, believing we are blessed and highly favored; believing God just wants to shower us with blessings because we are so good and faithful. “Entitlement”, it is the disease that has stricken most Believers and which plagues the world.
Children, it is time to come out of the wilderness and forget the ways of ancient Egypt. We are Children of God, having no other god and putting nothing and no one above God, especially not ourselves. How long does one have to wander in the desert before they are purged of pride and corruption? We are lost and don’t know where we are going without Jesus. We continue wandering without Jesus. We are dry and thirsty without Jesus. We are forever hungry, starving for love and abundant life without Jesus. But….with Jesus, it is possible to move on, even if we fall or lose our way. Jesus will lead us back to God.
However, first we must recognize what pride is doing in our lives. Then, moving on becomes a journey where we must remain humble and surrender to be purged. Don’t expect to arrive right away. Don’t keep asking, “Are we there, yet?” God knows how long it will take. That’s why He has given us JESUS! DON’T YOU SEE? You can’t do it by YOURSELF! REST AND ABIDE IN JESUS! He will keep you from sin. Follow the Mind and Heart of Christ that teaches us to put all of our faith and trust in God. God delivers us in due time, increasing our faith through Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.
God knows of our needs and desires, but, do not be anxious and complain, then return to bondage believing you were better off. If you take matters into your own hands to “bless” yourself, there are always consequences. Don’t take on a false sense of confidence, believing that just because you have acknowledged your weakness, you are delivered. Darkness lies waiting to snatch away your very life by preventing you from being fruitful and connected to The Vine. And as we have been told by God, those branches which do not produce “good” fruit are only good as kindle to be tossed into the fire.
Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
Then, how do I bless my children, my family, church and others within the Will of God? We must take time to assess if we are being fruitful and applying the Fruits of God’s Holy Spirit. Are we giving in love, willingly to Glorify God and to increase the Kingdom? How will our gift(s) effect the holiness of others? Do we look past corruption in order to fulfill fleeting pleasure? Are we distracting others from Jesus? God? The Kingdom? Are we more concerned, distracted and mesmerized by the things of the world, wanting to please others before we please God, and bringing glory to ourselves?
To move on we must find the golden idols the adversary is holding up in front of us kindling our pride. Then, we go through a process somewhat like a photographer who switches camera lenses to see in a different light or perspective.
As we move on, God is prompting us to look through His eyes to see true images of things, people, and situations that are only distractions. He awakens us to understand Truth. The answer to pride is The Truth, The Way and The Life. He, The Word of God, has already conquered pride. He can lead us to the face of God which we seek. He is the water to quench all thirst, filling us with holiness and bringing forth “good” fruit.
your servant and soldier, united with the One
Psalm 27 King James Version (KJV)
27 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
4 One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.
5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.
7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.
9 Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.
11 Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.
12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.
13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.