I have just been completely humbled by God.
I finally returned to my daily readings and today's reading was on Genesis 12. As a refresher, this is the chapter where God tells Abram to leave his country and to go to the land he is told because God will make Abram a great nation and he will be blessed. So, Abram leaves, but then there is famine and Abram goes to Egypt. In fear of losing his life, he tells his wife Sarai to lie and say to Pharoah she is Abram's sister...
When I do my readings, I jot 3 things down about my reading so that I can meditate on those 3 things during the day. The 2 things I noted about Genesis 13 were Abram's great faith to leave his country and Abram's lack of faith when he lied to Pharoah. As I meditated on this I realized that Abram's wavering faith was to exemplify how God uses real people to do His work, people who desire to do what is pleasing in God's eyes, but people who still also sin. Yet, despite the sins of the people God chooses, His work is never thwarted.
I wasn't necessarily humbled by my reading, but right after my reading I received an e-mail from a DearFriend, which did humble me.
I have a group of friends here in the local area that I met about 4 years ago. Though they have been Christians for most of their lives, a lot of their thinking have been influenced by modern thinking. Therefore, there was a lot of the world's views mixed in with their Christian views and though their thinking sound good, there is just something about their thinking that is just unscriptural. When I first met these group of ladies, I was outspoken about what I thought Scripture said. However, as time went on, I stopped being outspoken about what I thought Scripture said. I did this because the one time I truly stood firm on my convictions, one of those DearFriend cut off her friendship from me. We mended our relationship by recognizing that we both love one another in Christ, but since that time, I have just sat back and listened to my friends. I have expressed and showed Scripture to my friends on most of the subjects we discuss, therefore, I usually just sit and listen and pray. In addition, I felt like my friends thought of me as too old fashioned or maybe even legalistic with the Bible and so anytime I'd give advice, I felt like I wasn't listened to.
Well, during the course of my friendship with these ladies, one of the ladies came to Bible study with me and now has started attending "my" church. Then, in a few weeks, my church is holding a National Association of Nouthetic Counseling (NANC) seminar and the e-mail I received this morning was from another DearFriend informing me that she and the other friend who now goes to "my" church are attending it together. They're going for the sake of learning how to counsel others in a Biblical manner, but I don't know if they understand what they're in for. They are going to receive, I believe, first and foremost, a wonderful Biblical foundation!
When I read this e-mail, my first emotions were anger and jealousy! I was angry because I know that if I had mentioned this seminar to any one of the ladies, they probably would not have been interested because it was coming from me. I was jealous because now that I have 2 children, I feel like I am excluded from being invited to do things like this by my friends.
I was humbled because my prayer all these years is that these women would truly come to know our God for who He really is as expressed in His Word and not mixed up with different World views. I was humbled because I thought God would use me to change these women's hearts, but I was reminded by this e-mail and even by this morning's reading that I was just a vessel that God used to get these women to a church with a good Biblical foundation and the work that is being done is His work. It was never my work to begin with, it was always His!
I believe the Lord caused me to eventually hold back my tongue and to just exemplify what I believe. I believe that I was trying too hard to change my friends' hearts by my own will and pride and He wanted me to realize that His light is so strong and that His power can be revealed in me by the faith I display in how I trust in God through my life and how I live it out.