I’m busy reading a book by Dr. Andrew Murray, on humility. Dr. Murray defines humility as ‘a person’s simple consent to let God be everything – a surrender to His purposes’. What gripped my heart in one chapter I was studying was the fact that we can be very zealous and active Christians, and yet be lacking in humility – humility that simply surrenders to the fact that God’s everything, and He’s our very source.
Dr. Murray also mentions the danger of our gifts being the thing that satisfy us. This really caused me to look at the things that cause me to feel fulfilled and satisfied, especially in relation to my walk and relationship with the Lord. I love the Lord, I love to worship Him and serve Him, and I love His presence, but if I have to be brutally honest, there have been times when the things I do for the Lord, and the gifts He’s so freely given me have been my source of contentment and joy.
There have been times when my pleasure came from the act of worship, and exercising the gifts that He’s given me with excellence, instead of the fact that HE was my reason, my joy, and the very source and object of my worship and service. Isaiah 64:6 says, ‘all our righteousness (our best deeds of rightness and justice) is like filthy rags’. Of course, God wants us to enjoy what we do for Him, but never at the expense of intimacy with Him.
The Lord is so gracious and merciful, and He uses even our tainted attempts and crooked motives for His glory. ‘For He knows our frame, He [earnestly] remembers and imprints [on His heart] that we are dust’ (Psalm 139:14, AMP). Romans 11:29 says that He never revokes His gifts and His call. This means that He doesn’t take back what He’s entrusted to us, even when we forget that it’s all about Him and through Him.
Jesus told His disciples in John 5:30, ‘I am able to do nothing from Myself [independently, of My own accord—but only as I am taught by God and as I get His orders]’. And in John 7:16 He said, ‘I’m not teaching My own ideas, but those of God who sent Me’. His Father was everything to Him and His very source in every situation. He was also very clear when He taught His disciples about living completely dependent on Him: ‘I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing’ (John 15:5).
One of the scriptures that God often drops into my spirit is Psalm 25:14: ‘The secret [of the sweet, satisfying companionship] of the Lord have they who fear (revere and worship) Him, and He will show them His covenant and reveal to them its [deep, inner] meaning’. When my heart is in a place of reverence and complete surrender to Him, worship happens in spirit and in truth. When He is the very source, focus, object and passion of my heart and service for Him, then intimacy and humility is inevitable. But my delight needs to be in the Lord, in who He is, in the wonder of His person, and in the fellowship we enjoy together. He’s my source of satisfaction, and the one who satisfies every need. Outside of Him nothing makes sense or brings lasting and meaningful fulfilment.
Prayer: Lord, in You I live and move and have my being. You are the source my life and the one in whom I want find my joy and purpose. Please forgive me for the times when I’ve allowed my gifts and my acts of service to You to satisfy my heart, instead of delighting myself in You. You’re the Vine, and apart from You I can do nothing! Amen.