DAY 82 - He Who Exalts Himself Will Be Humbled

Am I remembering to humble myself before others so that I will be exalted, rather than humiliated?

8  "When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited.  9  If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, 'Give this man your seat.' Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place.  10  But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, 'Friend, move up to a better place.' Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests.  11  For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." Luke 14:8-11

Insight

Sometimes we see a celebrity and say, “Wow, they are so humble.”  They may very well be, but my experience is that it’s easy to look and act humble when everyone thinks you hung the moon.  Trying to be humble when you really are nothing and your circumstances are in the toilet is not quite as easy.  It was easy for me to feign humility when I was living the “good life” and people were telling me I was going to be the next Zig Ziglar.  

Once, I told a few close friends I was struggling with pride and they were shocked, saying, “I don’t see that at all Mike!”  It was because I was so good at hiding it.  I honestly think I was one of the most prideful (not arrogant) people I have ever met.  It came from my deep, deep insecurity.

As we can see from this teaching, desiring honor and being honored is not a bad thing.  The bad thing is when we attempt to honor ourselves, rather than allowing God or others to honor us as a result of our humility.  This is a major area that I want to continually improve in.  Even writing this book challenged my thinking in this area.  After all, when does talking about your experiences and testimony, become you trying to honor yourself?  For me, it is an issue of my hearts true motive.  I am so sensitive to this that I’m still reluctant about sharing the testimonials that I receive from others, for fear of being seen as trying to exalt myself.  

For the last few years, I have asked the Lord to put me in a position to Honor Him greatly through my story and His dealings with me.  My biggest desire and greatest happiness is to see Him glorified, through the genuine and heartfelt desire of others to love Him and obey Him.  In my impatience, I fell into the devil’s temptation to rush ahead and start promoting myself before God was ready for me to move.  This meant I needed to try to promote and honor myself rather than waiting on God.  I only want to be heard by others so that people will hear what I’m saying about Him, but I suffered the consequences for my sin and not waiting for God.

Today, there are a few stories building in my life that are astonishing.  Perhaps when God comes through on those promises, many more will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord (Ps 40:4).  

This principle applies to both our relationships with God and people.  In essence, we are to see ourselves as lowly and to allow God and others to honor us, rather than attempting to honor ourselves.   May God help us to continually trust Him in this area.

DAY 75 - Be on Your Guard Against Men

I am continuing to learn from experience that it is unwise to simply trust that people are who they say they are, or even who they think they are.  I have too often just trusted people too soon and it has burned me many times...

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DAY 74 - Watch Out For False Prophets

Going back to the Ted Haggard example, we see that false teachers/prophets can have huge, “successful” churches, lots of “conversions”, incredible Bible knowledge, and great speaking ability.  However, if you look closely...

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DAY 73 - Do Not Give Dogs What is Sacred

Am I using discretion when discussing spiritual matters with others, since many simply won’t get it, and others will actually turn against me?

6  "Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces. - Matthew 7:6

Insight

I crave authenticity and depth in my relationships.  I am probably transparent to a fault and I don’t do well with small talk for more than just a minute or two, before I feel the burning need to speak about things that actually matter.  I thrive on talking about God, what I and others are learning on our journey, and the deeper matters of the spiritual life.  To me, the more authentic we are, the more we can help each other.  The problem with authenticity, for most people, is vulnerability.  Transparency opens you up to being hurt by others, who can later turn and use it against you.

I spent one full year discipling a group of men through the teachings of Christ.  I met with the whole group each week and then individually with most of them as needed.  I wanted so badly to see them trust God in deeper ways. So, I decided to pre-maturely share some of the very difficult situations I was trusting God for, and some of the awesome promises I was waiting on Him for.  Because they were things that went totally against human reasoning, like almost everything else God has ever asked me to do, a few of them simply could not understand.   A few of the guys went sideways on me and actually turned against me, saying I was violating Scripture.  I had made the mistake of sharing deep spiritual truths with men who were not yet beyond the carnal Christian stage (1 Cor 3:1).

If you share special parts of your testimony or your walk with God, with people who don’t get it, (unbelievers, false disciples, or immature believers) they may very well think you are nuts.  It is wise to measure what you share against the person’s level of faith or spiritual understanding, or you may suffer painful consequences as a result.

DAY 72 - To Everyone Who Has More Will Be Given

Not everyone is called into full-time vocational ministry or mission work, but as we can see, Jesus requires that all of us use the gifts/resources that we’ve been given by Him, to earn a return on His spiritual investment in us.  What we do...

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DAY 71 - Whoever Can Be Trusted with Little

We have a tendency to relate Jesus’ teachings to everything in the temporal (our life on earth) and forget about the eternal implications.  I used to read this passage and say, “Ahhh, if I’m wise with my finances in small matters, God will give me more.”  My mind...

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