Be Not Proud

I have had a difficult week, and I felt that it was a good occasion to write something.  Writing is cathartic, and assists us in moving ourselves on when we get self-preoccupied.

I am increasingly grateful for the resources of a faith tradition such as Christianity to ground us when we feel that the ground has come away from under us.  So often, I assert that my foundation and only hope is Jesus Christ, yet when the wheels come off I discover that I was trusting in myself again all along!  When will I look down, and realise that I am walking on the water, and actually all that was keeping me up was the Lord?

Thankfully, I can look back on occasions in my life where I know that without Him I would not have done what I have done.  In faith, it is not actually something to boast of that we have achieved something by ourselves.  It is a shame and a sin to trust in anything other than Him.  And when we seek to do things by our own gumption, our own panache, out of our own heroism or intellect, the Lord regularly (not always! out of His glory and mercy) allows stuff to fall flat on its face.

Let me qualify the bit about it being a sin not to trust Him.  There will be many days in our lives, where after a brief turning to the Lord in the morning, a quick ‘Father help me through the day’, we will look back with the evening sacrifice on that day and we will say: Wow, Lord, you really helped me through it.  During the day we were not consciously calling on Him, we thought we were drawing on our own resources.  But He was holding our hand all the way, and carrying us through.

It’s in what we say in our hearts that our own fickleness and craven self-dependence is exposed, at least to God, if not to ourselves.  It is astonishing the thoughts and statements I will permit to circulate in my own mind without looking to Him, and I’m sure that I am no different to others.  I have been using a book ‘Celtic Daily Prayer’ and it has a section on prayer in times of difficulty (I was looking at it last night!).  One of the prayers is for those who are their own worst enemies.  I can count myself among that number quite regularly.

Father, I pray for those out there as we go into the weekend who are their own worst enemies.  Who, like the man in Proverbs 29v.1 who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes, will ‘suddenly be destroyed, without remedy’.  How many of us sit under the danger of that reality?  How many of us rush to bite the hand that feeds us, to criticise those in authority over us, to saw off the branch on which we are sitting?

Wisdom cries out in the streets, wisdom beams down in the sun and surges in the wind and rain, your guardian angels watch over us so that we do not even stumble over a stone, and how can we be anything but humble, when Christ humbled himself and gave himself for us, even to that horrific death on a cross?

About stayingfaithful

I am looking for anything that relates to life and to a fuller life. I am bored by the normal and the natural and interested in the supernatural. There must be more than this. We were put on this earth for more than a nine to five prison, as someone said a few years ago.
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2 Responses to Be Not Proud

  1. Excellent post Ben. Unlike you, hurrying off to work, I had the privilege of savouring a good coffee whilst tasting the essence of your heart this morning.
    There are many days when I’m all fired up with energy and sharp vision and take the time to say “Hey Daddy, I tell you what I’ve got in mind to do for you today!’ And then presume I’m doing something amazing for the God of the Universe that He hasn’t even thought of! Those days, I believe He smiles lovingly, as any proud parent would, stays close to watch over me and indulges my yearning to please Him.
    There are other days, when, like you, I strive in my own strength, sometimes victorious in battle, often not. And unintentionally, of course, my inner self will rise to take the credit, even if my spoken words do not presume such accolade.
    The sin is I fail to recognise that every second, every breath of my life, I owe to God Most High. Every sunrise, sunset, mouthful of food, bill paid, job done, failure unjudged is because He holds me, sustains me and provides everything I need to live. Every nanosecond echoes His mercy for eternity and every breath I take is an opportunity to thank Him, praise Him, spend time with Him, which is all He asks.
    He has all things in His hands, nothing is a surprise to Him, He’s got your blindside. May you feel the relief of His arm drawing you to His chest and the all-encompassing love of Father say to you ‘this is my son in whom I am well pleased’.

    • benleney says:

      What I love Lyn is that your replies are so much more abundant than my posts, in their ideas. Especially ‘failures unjudged’ – too easy to judge failures, rather than recognise my own. Cycling home I was renewed in His love and care for me. Thanks for contributing!

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