Thursday, November 8, 2012

there is nothing worse than feeling foolish except perhaps being foolish and not knowing it‏

Daniel 4:37
37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt, and glorify the King of heaven, because all His works are true and His ways are just. He is able to humble those who walk in pride.
I do not like looking dumb in front of other people. If I accidentally toot at work I continue working or do some sort of shuffling with the papers or chair to imply that it was them that tooted and not me. If I make a bold declaration of fact in conversation and later discover that I was wrong, I do not desire to bring it to the attention of the one I so ferociously fought before. If I forget to release the emergency brake and drive 20 miles on the interstate and park in my driveway before I realize it, I do not like to advertise it on my blog. If I declare, “Who wants to get beat at cards?” and go on to have my rear handed to me in said cards game, I feel silly and I do not like it. I do not like to be told I’m wrong. Even more, I hate being proven wrong! I like to fight and defend my position against those who throw accusations my way, but I hate it when they have evidence to prove it.
I love that God was gracious enough to tell me I was wrong. In pride I walked in the way of my sight and thought I was doing Him a favor all along. I was my own king and assumed most people would be better off if they let me rule over them too. I had a kingdom I had accumulated and I loved it. I was proud of what I had done.
Then God just made me look silly. I had never taken the Law seriously. I assumed I was keeping it or at least keeping it better than most. By God’s grace He alerted me to the Law. I saw it and desired to keep it as it was written (not as I assumed it) for the first time in my life. I was excited and enlightened and felt refreshed and awakened from a slumber. Then I fell again. I fell short, again. My biggest disappointment was that I had expected so much more from myself. I had always wanted to be white in my own eyes. Before I knew the Law I assumed I was white by my own standard. Once I took the Law seriously, I began chasing God’s standard of whiteness. Both of these were to my own demise. I fell flat and failed at both, the latter more miserably than the first mind you.
I was first awesome in my own eyes and then flawed and foolish in my own yes. My primary concern was still the fear of man. In my case, the man I feared most was my own opinion. I wanted to be impressive in my own eyes.
In all this, God still pursued me. He used the Law to break me. He used the Law to make me feel foolish like when the kid on the playground punked me and my words failed to resurrect my humbled corpse of a body. I hated that kid. He made me look dumb and everyone else agreed with him. I was powerless to defend myself. My typical response to this was bitter hatred. But with God it was different. His shame produced hope. His guilt trip produced steadfast faith.
Like Nebuchadnezzar, I found myself the most surprised to be responding to humiliation with celebration. God made me look dumb and I wanted the world to know. Not only that, but I wanted the world to give glory to God for doing it. Not only that ,but I wanted the world to feel foolish that they too might rejoice and give glory to God in response to His power to bring low the lofty. 
Our God can make the proudest puny. He can. Do not lose hope for those who appear the most rebellious and arrogantly opposed to God. He has the ability to humble them. May we pray that He would do so. May His Law be handled by us no less Holy than it is. May we never soften its blow. May we not rob from someone the opportunity to proclaim,
I praise, exalt, and glorify the King of heaven, because all His works are true and His ways are just. He is able to humble those who walk in pride”
I am grateful God reduced me to nothing in my own eyes and the eyes of others. Because that is who and what I am. Nothing. Until God revealed this to me I was destined and committed to believing I was or could be something. Until God in grace hammered my assumptions away I was determined to continue building on a false foundation. I liked my ignorance. I liked my arrogance. 

That was then. 

This is now. 

John 3:30

30 He must increase, but I must decrease.”

1 comment:

  1. i am CONSTANTLY surprised at how god can actually exalt us in our humility - how, i can assert my own way or try not to look stupid or something, and receive only resistance from others (or, namely, you, when it's in the context of our home). but if i humble myself even when it's hard, it's amazing how soft the response tends to be. and it's such a great illustration of what god's trying to say, though it's ridiculous how hard it is to learn it (or consistently practice it).