A Hard Fall

Man withstands moving downI’ve heard before that “the bigger they are the harder they fall”. I’m not sure who coined this little phrase. It simply means the more power or success a person has, the harder it is for them to accept losing it. I believe that with much power comes much responsibility. Leaders who are in the limelight and really large in personality, fame and fortune seem to have a really hard time when they fail at anything. I personally believe that we all have to deal with failure at some level.

Ezekiel was telling Egypt and Pharaoh that they were about to have a hard fall. Check this out…

10 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because the great cedar towered over the thick foliage, and because it was proud of its height, 11 I gave it into the hands of the ruler of the nations, for him to deal with according to its wickedness. I cast it aside, 12 and the most ruthless of foreign nations cut it down and left it. Its boughs fell on the mountains and in all the valleys; its branches lay broken in all the ravines of the land. All the nations of the earth came out from under its shade and left it. (Ezekiel 31:10-12 NIV)

 

I find throughout scripture that humility is a character trait that the Lord really loves. If I remain humble, then He gets the well-deserved credit for all He does. He also gets the credit for all the good that I’m a part of. He is the Lord over all. If any one person thinks I’m something or somebody, I should be quick to point out that I’m nothing without Him.

Please understand that a fall hurts when it happens. But a BIG fall hurts more than a little fall. I want to keep my heart and head in check so that I don’t become proud and haughty. All I have and all I know come from Him. He directs the choices I make that make me look so smart. I can’t live my life without Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Bragger

Man with arrogant expressionI am not a fan of braggers. A bragger is someone who talks with excessive pride and self-satisfaction about one’s own achievements, possessions or abilities. A bragger seeks to elevate himself or herself above everyone else. I have to confess that there are times in my life when this describes me. I am not proud of my arrogant, bragger behavior. I believe that the Lord has me in check on that now. King Hezekiah who has just pleaded for his life before the Lord turns into a bragger. The king of Babylon sends an envoy with gifts because he had heard of Hezekiah’s illness and recovery. King Hezekiah falls into a snare as he starts bragging to the representatives of Babylon. He shows them everything he has. Check this out….

 

3 Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and asked, ‘What did those men say, and where did they come from?’
‘From a distant land,’ Hezekiah replied. ‘They came to me from Babylon.’
4 The prophet asked, ‘What did they see in your palace?’
‘They saw everything in my palace,’ Hezekiah said. ‘There is nothing among my treasures that I did not show them.’
5 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, ‘Hear the word of the Lord Almighty: 6 the time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the Lord. (Isaiah 39:3-6 NIV)

 

I have learned in my journey with the Lord that the blessings I have come from the Lord. They do not come from my ability to orchestrate a great career or fantastic sales volume. He is my Provider – period. He gives me the wisdom and strength to work. He walks with me through every facet of my life and helps me serve others. He also gives me wisdom and discernment on how I spend my hard earned money. The Lord directs my living and my giving. The Lord is a Giver and I’m like Him when I give.

A bragger often seeks to impress people that he or she doesn’t know or like. I really only want my life and work to impress Creator God.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Internal Humility

Pretty girl praying.Humility is a word that is understood as a person having a low or modest estimate of one’s own importance. I can act humble and not really be humble. I can really be humble and act with confidence. Sometimes confidence is confused with arrogance. Arrogant is the opposite of humble. Isaiah is speaking against the Tyre and he clearly speaks against arrogant people. Check this out…

8 Who planned this against Tyre,
    the bestower of crowns,
whose merchants are princes,
    whose traders are renowned in the earth?
9 The Lord Almighty planned it,
    to bring down her pride in all her splendor
    and to humble all who are renowned on the earth. (Isaiah 23:8-9 NIV)

 

I am a huge fan of humble people and I believe the Lord is a fan too. I believe it’s considerably better to be thought of as humble rather than arrogant. I believe humility to be a Godly characteristic.

Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord, and humility comes before honor. (Proverbs 15:33 NIV)
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, (Philippians 2:3 NIV)

 

I believe that internal humility results in external love and honor of others. I believe that the Lord will exalt externally those who are humble internally in His time and for His purposes.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Mad & Humble

Teenage girl in trouble with parentsThese two words don’t go well together. If I were to try to mix them like oil and water they would clearly separate because they just don’t mix well. I was reminded in Proverbs that I possess both of the characteristics at time. I can get angry and mad with the best of people. I like things to go my way all the time. It should not surprise me when I don’t get what I want – when I want it. I have a bit of an anger problem. I could say I inherited my anger from my Dad, who also had a pretty short fuse growing up, but really it came straight from the enemy. The evil one loves it when I’m angry because I can’t think straight. Sometimes when I’m angry the stuff that spews from my lips is destructive and embarrassing. I was reminded yesterday by my pastor that the reason that stuff comes out of me is because it was in me in the first place. I’ve got to “nip it in the bud” and get it out of me. Check this out….

11 Fools give full vent to their rage,

    but the wise bring calm in the end.
22 An angry person stirs up conflict,

    and a hot-tempered person commits many sins.
23 Pride brings a person low,

    but the lowly in spirit gain honor. (Proverbs 29:11;22-23 NIV)

 

Humility is a stellar characteristic for me to attain as a Christ-follower. The Lord loves it when I humble myself and recognize Him as the leader of my heart. My approach to hurtful people will be appropriate when I’m humble. If I nurture and feed my fear, anger and hurt then my rage will spew out. This is something that I believe I will be fighting until I breathe my last breath. I have feelings (which are fickle and lie to me). I have an opinion on everything if you want to hear it. I have to learn to humble myself and give the Lord the seat of honor in my heart. I want His way to become my way. I want to rid my heart of anger, bitterness and hurt. A couple of days ago I read this:

19 As water reflects the face,

    so one’s life reflects the heart. (Proverbs 27:19 NIV)
 
Pressing On!
Dwayne

Rich & Proud

Man with arrogant expressionI’ve met people who are very wealthy and extremely humble. I’ve also met people who are wealthy and extremely arrogant and proud. Then there are those who act rich, but are really up to their eyeballs in debt. (I’ve been there & done that and have the scars to prove it.) A wealthy person and a poor person both bleed the same and hurt the same – They both need the Lord. Check this out….

10 The name of the Lord is a fortified tower;

    the righteous run to it and are safe.
11 The wealth of the rich is their fortified city;

    they imagine it a wall too high to scale.
12 Before a downfall the heart is haughty,

    but humility comes before honor. (Proverbs 18:10-12 NIV)

 

I watched as a lot of wealthy people in our area tasted big slices of humble pie during the economic downturn in the past few years. I also watched as others suffered, but you couldn’t tell how much their losses were, because their life wasn’t built around their wealth.

I want to have a self-imposed humble heart.

I want to be rich in love toward others.

I want to stay close to the Lord for shelter and safety.

I love the song “Strong Tower” performed by Kutless.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Humility

Man praying with the BibleThis is a word that if you know you have it, you may have very well lost it. Humility means “a modest or low view of one’s own importance”. I believe that there are times when everyone feels a bit too confident in his or her own ability. I am learning every day more and more about humility while standing in the presence of the Lord. While Jesus walked this earth he lived out humility, even though He had power beyond what my mind can fathom.  “He humbled Himself to death on a cross “made from a tree He helped make.

The opposite of humility is pride and arrogance. This means I have “an excessively high view of myself and my own importance”. The Lord does not get along well with prideful and arrogant kids. I would be wise to keep my view of myself in check. Check this out…

6 Though the Lord is exalted,
 he looks kindly on the lowly;

    though lofty, he sees them from afar.
7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble,

    you preserve my life.

You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes;

    with your right hand you save me.
8 The Lord will vindicate me;

    your love, Lord, endures forever—

    do not abandon the works of your hands. (Psalm 138:6-8 NIV)

 

I want to walk humbly before the Lord. He is the One Who makes me who I am. He brings success and He sustains me in the midst of failure. He wants to be intractably involved in every facet of my life. I want to do my part to keep my attitude in check. I need to remember that without Him, I am nothing. There are no exceptions to that statement. He is the King and I’m not. He is the Creator and I’m not. I serve at the pleasure of the King of Kings. If I’m worthy of any honor, it is simply because of Him in me.  I’m thankful that the Lord walks with me and I feel blessed beyond words to know Him.

Pressing On!
Dwayne