Janet Smith – 1-2-2020 ©gardenministries.org
God is judging His church and calling leaders to greater levels of humility. The fire-born, purified, end-time harvesters will carry the Presence of God with no personal agenda. They will discern and do only what they clearly see the Heavenly Father doing. Before King Jesus comes to fill His end-time bride with His fullness, the Spirit of God goes before Him in a forerunner Role, straightening crooked places, removing rocks, and leveling the uneven places of the heart.
God is provoking His people to confess and repent of their valleys of rejection and mountains of self-promotion. Bold confidence in Christ’s forgiveness and restoration is driving out false humility and shame. Choices to prefer others and cast our need for significance upon Him who intimately cares for us are replacing bad habits of self-promotion and anxious striving.
1 Peter 5:4b-7 NASB … clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, 7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
God is gracious to all who come to Him. When people are drawn to Christ shining in and through His people, His gentleness and humility will treat them respectfully. Jesus is appropriately approachable to those who come to Him and so must we. Awkward and broken people don’t always come in ways we personally appreciate. And sometimes we are the awkward, broken person stumbling into someone’s space. But when we or they come and provoke our stuff, we can sink down into humility and ask for the wisdom from above to respond by His Spirit and not in our own might or power.
Jesus always knew how to extend grace and deal with the many who came to Him. He knew when to push forward and when to withdraw. Whether it was to the one, or to the many, Jesus treated people with truth and respect. He never got pulled into people’s desperate need or floundered in offence toward their sin. He spoke truth in love and provoked people to think; and respond or react.
Present and future leaders are finding God’s fresh call to humble themselves and stop treating others from a puffed-up perspective. Anyone craving and requiring special attention and treatment from others, and who seek credit from others for their God-given gifts, but treat others as less than them is hypocrisy. When people treat themselves better than others, it is a form of idolatry.
James 2:8-9 NASB If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
A “Celebrity Christian” is not a calling. If leaders in ministry let others treat them like celebrities, they are indulging in and perpetuating idolatry.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:12 NASB, In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
If God calls someone to stand center-stage and be seen and heard, then in humility they can and should stand there boldly and proclaim what God has put in them to proclaim. When the spotlight becomes the means by which people become addicted to the platform through which their ego is stroked or poked but not crucified, then it is idolatry and the spotlight has become a stumbling block.
If we need man’s praise or approval to feel good about ourselves, we will use what God has graciously given us as though it is ours to control. We will skim a portion of its glory and give it to ourselves and soon, it becomes the drug we cannot kick.
How do we know if we are people-junkies who need man’s praise or approval? Can we go without it—indefinitely? If God asks us to leave the limelight and enter into a long-term season of obscurity, can we say, “Yes” and go there with Him? He may not ever ask this of us, but our “Yes” is always ready if He does.
It is not our IQ or our talents and possessions that prove or disprove our worth before God. Our fashion, education, and career choices have nothing to do with our worth before God. It is Jesus Who died a brutal death upon the cross that proves our worth to God.
And it is our naked faith and trust in He Who died and now lives for us that connects us to that sense of worth and purpose. Humility always views Jesus Christ and Him crucified as center. Humility is the conduit through which all heavenly assurance flows and naturally prefers others to self without a second thought.
Whatever God gives us is given so we can better point people and their praise to the Giver—Jesus. Whatever I think belongs to me as a possession I will seek to control. If I believe that everything belongs to God, I will hold it with an open hand of trust and complete reliance on God, to whom it all belongs.
If we covet the credit and praise for what God has given us, we will never get enough to feel satisfied and will live in a perpetual state of discontent. The secret of contentment is this: God owns everything and we are His stewards, who own nothing. Whatever God chooses to graciously give or wisely withhold from us, we are to accept as faithful stewards of His glory.