I die when pride and I collide

Turning against God cursed the understanding and vision of we earthly-dwellers. Created to embrace Life in its fullness through our relationship with Him, we live isolated and largely dull existences because we have wandered so far away from Him. It is no wonder that we live for the power and prestige that we can create, rather than for the passion and promotion of what God has already created.

When I think about success, I normally evaluate my goals, my disappointments and how these things make me feel. This leads me to ask questions that begin with why, center on me, and pose a problem with God‘s exercise of His sovereignty.

Evidently I have not had my soul satisfied in Christ to the extent that work and its potential for personal recognition will not keep me on a see-saw of egocentric emotions. There is yet sin that chains my heart to hopes that cannot recognize Christ as King. Hopes that will never allow me to recognize freedom in the alliance to things eternal and incomparable.

I have no choice but to confess to Him the loyalties of my deity-dethroning heart. My tension is self-inflicted, yet used by God to point out the weakness of my hold on grace; the dimness of my focus on Christ.

God has so much more for me — like Him — but I can’t see any of it unless He commands the computations of my brain and the desires of my heart. God often alerts me to our need for Him to take more Elaine-ground with a simple question that gets right to the central error He wants to deal with in my heart. Two nights ago it was

What is your definition of success?

Is it what you can hold onto of

ability

beauty

competition

dominion

excellence

fluidity

god-ness

hierarchy?

What if Mine was the success and there was nothing besides that? What if you live not to succeed, but to soak Me up? To revel not in making much of yourself, but in letting Me make much of Myself to you?

What else could I respond but with gratitude that my Lord would convict me of my sin and lead me to repentance?

Father, let Your Son be my joy; let His sacrifice and reward be my boast. May this life be my only life — a beauty and satisfaction that drips down into the empty vessels of my words and acts.

Don’t let me miss the point of living and working, Lord; it can only be to know Christ and Him crucified, for this is the only peace and joy for me and my world.

Reveal the truth of who You are to me in a new degree that I might freely acknowledge that I am nothing to promote, but that my worth is revealed in who I get to promote. My joy and peace and satisfaction is also summed up in the greatness of You and not of me. You don’t need me to promote You, but surely I need to promote You. To be consumed with making You known I must first be consumed with knowing You.

Keeping the God of your minstry your God

i don’t know about you, but I struggle with keeping God the main thing in my life. One of my great pitfalls is in glorying in the potential of ministry more than the One who is the purpose of ministry. I forget that this work is not an end in itself, and that there is no point in expending myself here if it is not all for relating the Minister to everyone who needs Him to minister to them.

God has been speaking to me on this theme recently, and He’s included a few tips for His needy “ministers” — each of us who functions as a type of the Master we want to communicate to others:

Don’t get discouraged if no one seems to be impressed with the goals God has placed in your heart or the efforts you are expending to bring them to fruition. Believe, instead, that God knows how to make testing work for our good just as well as happy progress.

Don’t make the mistake of setting your hopes upon the ministerial progress you experience in the Lord’s service — when you find little increase to boast in you will be grieved unnecessarily.

Don’t wake up in the morning with no greater thought than what reinforcement you will receive from the community you serve. You will criple God’s ability to bless you and use what you day this day.

Don’t pass over the joys and sorrows of your colleagues and counselies — ministry blossoms in the hearts of hurting that God sees and longs to heal today.

Don’t neglect to reflect on your own brokeness and need for the Holy Spirit to minister to you daily and specifically for any grace to pour forth from your vessel.

Don’t look forward to the praise you will receive with the expectation of making as much out of it as you can — don’t be intent on dragging out your thank-yous with since-you-noticed comments. No one is here simply to notice and congratulate you for being you. Be content with the privilege you have in beholding evidence of people being reconciled to God through His Son — whether He used you to make the introduction or not.

Enjoy what you get to do before God first and foremost for the experiences it gives you in fellowshiping with Him. There is no greater mark to your life than that God intervenes in it and ever expands your relationship with Him.