Humility has been on my mind since this past weekend and a revelation by the Holy Spirit has caused me to approach God differently: boldly, but with humility.
I see humility as my realization that I am flesh and blood…from dust I came and to dust I shall return. I am nothing without God. I am only breathing because God’s breath is in my body.
I have been thinking about humility in relation to God being my Father. An earthly Father, there’s a certain way I would approach him…with reverence…respect. I wouldn’t command or demand anything of him, but ask and of course ask in faith.
On Saturday, my approach to God dropped in my spirit. I immediately accepted what the Spirit was revealing to me. I can boldly approach the throne of grace in faith, but that has to be paired with humility. I think of Esther who approached the king and when she approached, she bowed because although he was her husband, he was also king. She boldly approached him in that he did not call for her, but she humbled herself before him knowing she was at His mercy. She then made her request.
I am grateful to God for helping me to see who I am and reminding me in a simple way that if I were to approach an earthly father in humility and with reverence, how much more Him: the Father of ALL fathers and King of the universe.
May God continue to reveal himself to me in the name of Jesus.
Let’s be real: you’ve gossipped before right? You won’t readily admit it, but it’s probably true.
In fact, I’ve gossipped before – and I’m not proud of it. Quite frankly, it’s a shame. It’s nasty. It’s hurtful.
It may not be murder or robbery, but it’s still sin. It’s wrong. The reality is we can “murder” or “kill” someone’s reputation with gossip. We can “rob” someone of their peace when we disturb their spirit because of what is being said. Proverbs 26 verse 20 says, “Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.” Whether the information is true or false, why be the wood that enables the fire? If the person were present, would you still share that information?
Look, you have probably heard what someone has said about you right? Didn’t it hurt or disappoint you? Have you not done the same at some point over WhatsApp or while meeting up with your friend at Starbucks or on the phone? Even Christians sometimes get caught up in gossip while sharing and asking another Christian to pray about a matter. Beware believers!
We preface the gossip with:
“I understand that…” “I heard that…” “My friend (name), is going through the same thing. The only difference with her is…”
If someone has shared something personal with us or we are aware of a matter – whether a married man has children with other women, a woman wears the pants in the relationship, a couple has been trying for years to conceive, your colleague’s nephew died of AIDS or the next door neighbour’s godson got caught stealing from his workplace –is that our business? Does it concern you? How is the information being shared helping the situation?
Think: Is what you’re saying edifying or fueling the rumour mill? What if it were you or your family member being discussed? How would you feel? Proverbs 25 verse 9 encourages us to, “…discover not a secret to another.” And remember, he who gossips with you, will gossip about you! Why not choose to uninstall your internal gossip app?!
Here are FOUR practical tips to stop gossip in its track:
1) Switch on the gossiper and find something positive about the person or situation to say. Turn the tables.
2) Be bold and say, “Honestly, that’s her/his business. Let’s leave it alone.”
3) If you are in a group and gossipping is occurring, literally remove yourself with an “Excuse me. I have to leave.” And if for some reason, it’s impractical, simply do not join in the conversation. If someone pushes you by asking a question, simply say, “I’m staying out of it” or “It aine my business.”
4) Turn the gossip into an opportunity to pray. Encourage the person gossipping to pray about it and remind them that God is able to turn the situation around.
Today, let us pledge to do better regarding gossiping:
Have you heard gospel singer, Tasha Cobbs-Leonard’s song, You know My Name? Do you believe it?
It’s true. It’s scriptural.
God knows the names of all who are His.
Early this morning as I read John 10, I saw verse 3 in a different light. It says: “To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.”
What was revealed to me was, he not only knows my government name – that name my parents registered me in – but he knows me by the name, “Christian.” That, is also my name.
I started thinking and questioning myself: Am I living up to my name? You see, once we are covered in the blood of Jesus and have a personal relationship with God, then are we truly Christians. Christian is not simply saying we believe in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit or we are Christian because we attend church and are affiliated with the Christian faith. It’s living out the Christian life in word and in deed from the way we speak to people to how we handle them, to whether we are putting God first…do we love Him and love our neighbours as ourselves?
Further, Exodus 20:7 speaks to not taking the name of the Lord our God in vain. That’s not only casually dropping His name as a swear word or in a joke. When we say we are Christian, but don’t live as Christians, that’s also taking His name in vain. It’s like pretending to be a part of the royal family, but not being blue-blooded. It’s easy to dress the part, speak the language and blend in. But when Jesus looks upon us, can He call us by the name, “Christian”?
Just as there is fake news, there are fake Christians. The sad thing is there are those who are tares, growing among the wheat, but the time will come for there to be separation. Let us ensure we are not among those who say in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” However, God responds: “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:23). Lord, God have mercy! For people to believe they are Christians…saved…but in the end, He never even knew them…this is sobering.
So are we living up to the name the Good Shepherd calls us? Let us examine ourselves to see that we are in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).
Have you prayed over and repeatedly for something and still have yet to see it come to past?
Are you tired of praying about that situation, that problem…that desire…that longing?
Are you ready to throw in the towel?
Perhaps one of our issues is we are too focused on what WE want. We are humans and often, it’s all about us and what we desire. But what about what God wants?
My friend, who is a priest, once told me that God is more interested in who we become during the journey as opposed to just getting us to the destination.
As I think about this, it reminds me of a graduation. It’s such a big deal. Lots of bells and whistles. It’s an exciting day…but it’s ONE day. It’s that one day which culminates years of schooling in some instances. And trust me, I love graduations! They are worth celebrating. However, it’s the challenges we overcome, the victories, the failures, the late nights, early mornings, the tears, the difficult professors, perhaps the sitting out a semester for whatever reason…the journey of mountaintop and valley experiences, which all make the tassel worth the hassle. It’s all we have been through to get to that cap and gown, cross the stage, family-cheering moment.
So as you wait on what you have so earnestly prayed for, begin to take your focus off the destination and begin contemplating what God is doing in you during the journey. Is He trying to get you to be more patient? Is He desiring to strengthen your faith in Him? Is He saying, ‘You’re not ready. You want this more than you want me’? Is He saying, ‘My grace is sufficient’?
The reality is waiting can be hard (I know). Waiting can be lonely (I know). Waiting can be frustrating, particularly when we’ve been waiting long AND we see others – including those who do not serve the Lord – receiving some of the same requests we have been praying for (I know that too!). It might be weeks, months, years of prayer for healing, deliverance from low self esteem, a house, that new job, the husband, the baby, the salvation of your son, that scholarship, restoration of your marriage, that financial breakthrough etc. If God were to give us everything we want – and immediately at that – we would have no need to trust in Him. We would see Him as a magician.
So during these early morning hours, as I think about what I am waiting for, I encourage you – while I am encouraging myself in the Lord – to fix your eyes upon Jesus. Do not desire anything or anyone more than Him. Do not compare yourself to others. What God has for you…for me, we will get. Wait patiently. Wait on His timing. Wait faithfully. Worship while you wait. Get busy doing the work of the Lord, while you wait. Don’t waste your wait. Grow through it.
Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. ~ Psalm 27:14