Man makes himself God through pride, God makes Himself man through humility. -Jacques Benigne Bossuet
As we take in the never-ending barrage of news clips and sound-bites in this current election cycle it does not take a lot of discernment to notice the gross absence of humility resident in the people we are preparing to elect. Keep in mind—we are talking about the next leader of the free world.
A good friend of mine told me many years ago that you must descend before you can ascend. Isn’t this true with most of life? From the seed buried into the soil that ultimately produces the tree that reaches to heaven all the way to the Creator of the universe who gave Himself up to death and burial in order to rise and make it possible for His people to be saved. There is a law at work here—a profound one.
How did our culture get to where we find ourselves today? A good question whose answer would take up more space and time than I have at the moment. The short and obvious answer for me has to do with what I perceive is a deliberate turning away from God and attempting to understand and manage life through the efforts of man. I also believe this condition is exacerbated by the introduction of social media and the digital revolution.
I can now market myself through text messaging, photos, short video clips and Facebook posts and portray any image I want. My true identity is often never discovered by those in my social media circles. I can pretend—no need to work on my character or seek humility—I have all the tools necessary to project the me I want out there. At the end of the day—I become the man I want to be instead of The Man God Intended.
This quote from Tyron Edwards is one of my favorites:
Humility is not an abject, groveling, self-despising spirit; it is but a right estimate of ourselves as God sees us.
I am not proud that it has taken me so many years to understand this idea. Like the earlier description of the seed turning into a giant tree and our Lord being resurrected to provide eternal life for His creation—in both instances the reward is preceded by a breaking or crushing event. I am now convinced that seeing God as bigger than we ever thought is critical to entering the pathway toward humility and a big part of that is seeing Him in the midst of our trials.
The leaders we are turning out today, for the most part, do not understand or appreciate this idea. It is all about them. When is the last time you heard a political leader admit on camera that they did not know the answer to ANY question? What does that suggest? Well, it is a deeper problem than you may think. The reason why they want to project the know it all image is that if they don’t—we won’t vote for them.
Dear ones, the problem is that we are looking for God in our leaders and He is not there. Is He involved? Sure He is. But He will not work through haughty and arrogant people who do not recognize their need for Him. The secret to our ever re-discovering this truth and ultimately turning our nation and its leaders around can be found in one of the most often quoted verses in the Bible:
2 Chronicles 7:14 IF my people, who are called by my name, will HUMBLE themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
My friends, this is a conditional promise and I want you to note the very first one after the IF. Prayer, seeking His face and turning from our wicked ways is preceded by HUMILITY. Could this be the reason why we are NOT seeing God at work in our nation right now?
Proverbs 18:12 Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.
So what can we do? We can understand our need to change. We are in desperate need for people of Godly character and Godly character is always preceded by humility. You and I need to understand how awesome our God is and let that reality influence our opinions of ourselves. We must understand the profound truth found in James 4:8 that says, Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
How close I can get to God is determined by how far away I can get from me. -Vince D’Acchioli
I have discovered the above truth through much pain, suffering and failure due to my efforts to manage and control everything. It was not until I discovered that true peace, the peace Jesus is referring to, can only come when I recognize how little I bring to the table and how much I need Him.
Ok, so you know how much I like to leave you with takeaways so here goes:
- Do not be surprised regarding where we are—it is the natural consequence of man apart from God.
- Avoid the superficial traps associated with the electronic revolution and social media—pursue meaningful relationships.
- Determine to draw near to God with a passion and pray He helps you to become the person He intended.
Finally, I thought you might like my recent Facebook post:
Bitterness, anger, hatred, violence, ignorance, rampant stupidity, small-mindedness, manipulation, selfishness. Dear lover of God, is the reality of all of this swirling around you and attempting to set up residence in your soul? DO NOT LET THAT HAPPEN. Begin praising our wonderful Lord now--and never stop.
2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV), So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.