Tag Archives: help

Humility – God’s Help or My Own?

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word humility?

  • Weakness?
  • The opposite of pride?
  • Having a low opinion of yourself?
  • Inability?

Does the word have a positive or negative connotation?

In my younger years, I thought of “humility” as a weakness rather than a great strength. However, with time and especially through humbling circumstances, God has shown me that humility is something to be desired rather than avoided. I have heard it said that you can either “be humble or be humbled”. Life has a way of taking the wind out of your sails and humbling you, doesn’t it? You can be humbled by:

-Loss

-Illness

-Financial instability

-Unmet expectations

-Broken relationships

-Weakness of mind or body

-Others poor choices that affect you

Yet, could it be that God uses the harshness of life to get you to a place where your only option is to be humble and rely upon Him rather than yourself?

Yesterday, in my Bible reading, I came across a familiar verse . . . James 4:6, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

As I studied the key words of this verse further, this is what I found:

Opposes = to range in battle against, to oppose oneself, resist

Proud = with an overweening estimate of one’s means or merits

Grace = the aid of divine grace

Humble = lowly in spirit

When you are “proud” by relying upon your own strength/abilities, not only are you limited in your own abilities, but in fact, God Himself is in opposition against you. What a sobering and scary thought that God could be against you, all because you rely upon yourself rather than Him.

So how do you turn it around and allow God to be on your side? The answer is actually quite simple, (though not always easy) you admit your need for Him. You rely on His wisdom, strength and ability more than you rely on your own wisdom, strength and ability, which in comparison is quite limited.

When you do this, something wonderful happens. God no longer opposes or resists you, He is for you. He steps in with the help of His divine grace and favor. What was too difficult for you is possible with Him. He gives you His ability to face what life throws at you with dignity and grace.

Do you want God to be for or against you? Do you want to rely upon the benefit of your own (limited) help and resources alone, or do you want to rely upon the true benefit of God’s (unlimited) resources and help?

Humility is the key that unlocks the door to God’s help and favor!

James 4  6 Humility

Heavenly Father, thank You for this reminder!  Please forgive me for the many times that I rely upon myself, rather than humbling myself and relying upon You.  I don’t want to “be humbled” to come to You, I just want to “be humble” and come to You.  Thank You that as I do, You give me Your unlimited resources, help and favor.  May your Spirit continue to draw me to Jesus.  It’s in His name I pray, Amen.  

Your Friend in Ministry,

Name3

Holy Week, 2015

Hello friends! This is a most special time of the year, for us as believers, as we remember and reflect upon Jesus and His sacrifice. This week, I will be reading portions of Scripture leading up to the death and resurrection of Christ and I invite you to join me. See the reading plan below:

Mon 3/30: Luke 22:39-62

Tues 3/31: Luke 22:63-71

Wed 4/1: Luke 23:11-25

Thur 4/2: Mark 15:1-14

Fri 4/3: John 19:1-37

Sat 4/4: John 19:38-42

Sun 4/5: John 20, Acts 1:9

I will also be blogging some of my thoughts about the verses throughout the week as well.

Let’s start with today’s reading: Luke 22:39-62 . . .

Jesus was equally both God and man. In this portion of Scripture, we get a glimpse of His omniscience as He knows what is about to take place in His life, yet, we also see His human frailty as He sweats drops of blood and begs His Father to “remove this cup from me.” (vs. 42)

Of course we know that, because of His great love for you and me, God was not going to let Jesus get out of the brutal death and excruciating pain of having God the Father turn away from Him as He took upon the sin of every human being both past, present and yet unborn. That’s a lot of sin. Our only response can be, “Thank You, God, for loving us so much that You subjected Your Only Son to such torture”.

I believe that Jesus’ prayer in verse 42, sets a precedence for open and honest communication with God. Jesus shows us that it’s acceptable to ask God to remove something difficult from your life as long as you are surrendered to His ultimate will and purpose for your life. We all face things in life we wish would just go away: heartache, illness, broken relationships, financial struggles, etc . . . Just like Jesus, we can ask God to “remove this cup from me”, as long as we follow that request with, “yet not my will, but Yours be done”.

Since it was not God’s will to “remove this cup”, let’s not miss the significance of the very next verse, “And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him in spirit.” (vs. 43) If God doesn’t remove the difficulty in your life, you better believe He will send you all the help and strength you need to do what He’s called you to do, just like He did for Jesus.

Therefore, our response can be just like Jesus’ in verse 44, “He prayed all the more earnestly and intently”. If you find yourself in agony over current life circumstances, press into the Lord like never before. He has all you need to get you through! Just like He did with Jesus, He is doing something amazing in your life and it will turn out for your eventual good and His eternal glory!

Your Friend in Ministry,

1Signature

 

Lift Your Eyes

Often as leaders, people come to us for help – spiritual guidance, relational advice, prayer requests, etc…  We become so accustomed to giving help that we forget what it’s like to ask for help.  Asking for help is hard for most people.  It’s hard to admit you can’t do it all.  You are not sure if the person you are asking is reliable.  You don’t want to inconvenience anyone.  Maybe you don’t even know what kind of help to ask for.

Psalm 121

Psalm 121 tells why you can lift your eyes to God for help, because #1) He is your all-powerful Creator.

My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

God is so powerful that He made all the earth out of nothing.  You can ask God for help because He is powerful enough to help you no matter what kind of mess you find yourself in.  If He can create the entire world out of nothing, He certainly can come up with creative solutions to help you.  There is no degree of help you need that is beyond His creative ability.

Also you can lift your eyes to God for help because #2) He is your keeper.

The word keep or keeper is mentioned several times in Psalm 121.  It is the Hebrew word “shamar” which means to keep, guard, observe, give heed.  Psalm 121:3-8 shows that you can lift your eyes to God for help because He is your keeper.

He will not allow your foot to slip or to be moved; He Who keeps you will not slumber.

Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

He keeps watch.  God sees what you are going through.  He never sleeps.  He is always on the job.  God is ever at the ready to answer your cry for help because not only does He see, He cares about what you are going through.

The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand [the side not carrying a shield].

The sun shall not smite (harm) you by day, nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life.

He guards and protects.  God’s got you covered.  Just like sunscreen guards and protects you against the sun’s harmful rays that can burn your skin and hurt you, God has got you covered.  When you give your life to Jesus, His promise is that there is not one area of your life that is outside of his protection.  Verse 7 says, he will keep you (guard or protect you) from all evil.  A life that is committed to the Lord is protected from evil and, more importantly, the evil one.

The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.

God keeps you close to Him forever, which is the safest place to be.

Lifting your eyes to God for help first, before going to others, is a good discipline.  Often He uses others to help us, but make no mistake, even if help comes through human hands, it was sent by God.  God is the best One to go to first because…

  • God can always help you.  People may say, “Let me know if you need anything.”  God says, “I already know, even better than you do, what you need and I am willing and able to give you what you need.”
  • God has unlimited resources.  People say, “I will help you” which really means, if it’s not too much of an imposition, I will help you.  But we all know there is a limit to the amount of help any one person can give.  God says, “I have an unending supply of all that you need to get through this, you are never too needy for me.”
  • You will never inconvenience God.  People say, “Call me anytime” – which really means, only call during the hours of 9am-9pm.  God says, “I never slumber or sleep.  I am literally available at any time.  I watch over you, I know what you need and I already inconvenienced my Son so that you could have My presence and peace at all times.”
  • God has never said He expects you to be strong enough to handle life on your own.  As a matter of fact, He doesn’t want you to.  Thinking you can handle your business without any help from God or anyone else, is pride.  Pride keeps you from receiving what God so freely wants to give you – His help.

“Help me Jesus” is a prayer that leaders become good at praying.  We are faced with many things that are beyond our wisdom, experience or ability.  Thankfully, according to this Psalm, you don’t even have to verbally ask for God’s help, all you have to do is lift your eyes.                     Psalm 121:1 – I lift my eyes up to the heavens, where does my help come from . . .

Your Friend in Ministry,

Name3