Vulnerable

Man praying with the BibleThere are mornings when I’m writing this journal entry regarding my journey with the Lord and I feel very vulnerable. I feel like I’m sharing my life openly to others. I have found it to be a struggle at times because I don’t want to show my struggles or my weaknesses. I also know that the Lord wants me to be honest and open. He has walked with me through my own struggles and I know He will always be there with me. I can’t stop talking about His Presence in me even if others see this as some sort of fantasy. I can’t stop walking out my faith, even if others think I’m fake. I can’t quit serving the Lord even if others think it makes me look weak and helpless.  I sometimes find myself being completely honest and open while others are not being honest and open with me. Paul was having this same issue with the church at Corinth whom he thought were close friends. Check this out…

11 We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. 12 We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. 13 As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts also. (2 Corinthians 6:11-13 NIV)

 

I know what it feels like to have love withheld –it’s painful. I also know what it’s like to withhold love – it feels powerful, but it’s so judgmental and wrong. I would rather be honest and perceived weak than be perceived to be powerful and be shallow and fake. The only authority I have comes from my Creator. My journey with Him keeps me vulnerable and humble before Him. I am strong because He lives in me and walks with me daily. I want to keep walking out my faith by being real, honest and open. I know that the Lord knows my heart and my intentions. With His Presence, I’m safe, protected and oh so blessed.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Humble Pie

Hands folded in prayer over open russian Holy Bible on black backgroundI have had my taste of “humble pie” over the years. You know that piece of pie that reminds you that “you’re not all that”. The taste of it is a bit shocking at first, but then it really is not so bad. After tasting humble pie, something happens to my perspective. I can really see life from a different angle. As a believer it’s important that humble pie become part of my regular diet.  Jesus speaks to this and calls out the religious pomp and pride. Check this out….

9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.(Luke 18:9-14 NIV)

From what I can tell, Humble Pie has no calories. It is actually quite nutritious.  If I choose to make it part of my regular diet, then I can have some control over when I take it in. If I choose not to eat it, someone might very well slip it in my regular diet when I least expect it.

I think the part of this simple story that stirs my heart the most is when Jesus speaks about humbling myself. If I learn to eat humble pie as part of my regular diet, my arrogance and ego will remain in check. I will realize that without the Lord – I’m nothing. With Him I have incredible strength and value.  I must be careful that my humility does not become an arrogant badge of honor in itself. Servant leadership defines greatness in God’s world.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Favor

This is an image of a man being spiritual encouraged, symbolised by the "thumbs up".If I ask for a favor, I want someone else to do something for me like a special treatment. Favor also means “an act of kindness beyond what is due or usual”. I don’t know many people who don’t like “favors” from others. As a Dad, I always want to do “favors” for my children to bless them and help them. I also love it when others want to shower me with favor. I especially love it when I feel God’s favor on me.  God favored Mary. Check this out…

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. (Luke 1:26-38 NIV)

I love Mary’s attitude and humble spirit. I believe a good attitude and humble spirit correlate to God’s favor.  I believe that God looks for these characteristics in pouring out His favor. This is very motivation and inspiring to me. I want the favor of God on me every day. I want the favor of God on my business. I know that with the Lord’s favor on my and my business that I’m walking in step with Him and all I do can bring Him glory and honor.  I can help others with honor, honesty and professional skill and the Lord will honor my work and His favor can rest on me. I really desire that more than market share and wealth. I do believe that with His favor can come market share, wealth and influence. I want to live and work with the favor of God on me the rest of my life.

 

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Humble

Man praying with the BibleHumility is a skill to be learned not necessarily a gift or talent that I’ve been born with. It’s important for me to learn humility. I’ve always remembered the scripture that says “Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up.” (James 4:10) I like how it’s worded in the New Century Version: “Humble yourself in the Lord’s presence, and he will honor you.”

Being humble is important to the Lord. There is room for only One as the King of my heart. I must step down from that role and surrender it to Him. He is the Heart-Shaper and King-Maker. When I come before Him in humility, my life is like a blank canvas for Him to paint a beautiful life portrait upon.

He speaks through the prophet Zephaniah destruction and punishment on the people groups who have spurned Him and His people. He calls them and His people to humility before He disciplines. Check this out…

1 Gather together, gather,

    you unwanted people.
2 Do it before it’s too late,

    before you are blown away like chaff,

before the Lord’s terrible anger reaches you,

    before the day of the Lord’s anger comes to you.
Come to the Lord, all you who are not proud,

    who obey his laws.

Do what is right. Learn to be humble.

    Maybe you will escape

    on the day the Lord shows his anger. (Zephaniah 2:1-3 NCV)

Humility is a posture of my heart and my head. I must come to terms with any success that I have comes from the Lord. He directs my path so that I can be successful when I listen to Him. He defines success way different than the world defines success. I’m a success if I follow Him – period.  The amount of money I earn and the material possessions I have are meaningless to my eternity. It’s the condition of my heart before Him. I should always seek humility and show incredible respect to Creator God for Who He is and all that He’s doing in my life. I want to humble myself in His Presence so that He will honor me when it really counts!

Pressing On!
Dwayne