A friend recently remarked, "It's occurred to me that if I can be humiliated, then I haven't really been humbled."  His reasoning was that if there were areas of our lives in which we could suffer humiliation before others, than in those areas, pride was still at work, and we have not really been humbled.  I could only respond with an "OUCH!"  That may be your response as well.
      I Peter 5:6 reads, "Humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in His good time, He will honor you."  Another translaton reads that He will "exalt you."  Honor, exalt, I, we, like both of those words, and the sooner they happen, the better.  When we read that scripture, we may have a certain, limited acceptance of the concept of being humbled, as long as we can be assured that in due time, a not very distant "due time," we'll be honored, exalted.  And we would especially like to be honored before the watching eyes of many others.  We want that to happen in our "now," but the Father, who lives in the eternal "now," has His own ideas as to just when that will be.  The thing is, only He can bring humility into our lives and hearts.  All we can do is place ourselves upon His altar in order that He may do so.  We can have a willingness to live in humility, but only He can bring true humility, Christlike humility into our lives.  The pathway for that to happen will certainly not be painless, and we have the words of Christ, and the lives of the disciples and so many others who have already gone before us as proof.

     In Luke 22:31, Jesus says, "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to have all of you, to sift you like wheat.  But I have pleaded in prayer for you Simon, that your faith should not fail."  Notice that Jesus did not spare Simon from the sifting, because there was much sifting that needed to be done.  Peter could write the words of I Peter 5:6 because he had lived through the humbling process, controlled all the way by His Lord.  Before he could become Peter, Simon had to die.  So too does our "Simon," our flesh, the source of all our pride.  So it was for Simon Peter, and so it was for the rest of the disciples as well.  So it must be for you and I.
     So we go back to the beginning of this writing.  Where can you and I still be humiliated?  What aspects of our lives, families, ministries, do we still take great pride in, and if made to look foolish in, or worse, a failure, does our flesh, our pride, literally cringe at such a possibility?  I am painfully aware of where many of mine are, and He's being faithful to reveal, in His time, the ones I'm not aware of.  He will sift us.  Is He sifting us, you and me, now?  His "due time" is in His hands, and it may never happen in this physical life, at least for others to see, but I think, no, I know, that it can happen in His eyes right now, with every step we take more deeply into the humility and life of Christ.  The passing, fickle honor of men means nothing, though our flesh and pride struggle to believe that.  The honor of God is everything.  May we seek it, with all our hearts, in humility.

Pastor O
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   May 2019   
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