I don’t know if you’re anything like me, but I deal with quite a bit of clouded understandings.
It seems as if I go through most of my day not really sure whether or not my life is adding up to all it’s meant to be. Or if I’m the kind of dad that my children are truly blessed to have. I think of the church I pastor, and all the saints who are affected by my day-to-day decisions and wonder, can I honestly say as Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ?” But most of all, I wonder about my own personal relationship with God. My constant question for God is, “are you pleased with me?”
Successes and Failures of Life
Fact is, we all deal with these feelings from time to time. We think about the successes and failures of our lives and wonder if our life is being lived to its greatest potential. We look at our personal relationship with God and think, there’s no way am I praying or reading my Bible enough, and certainly no way I’m doing enough for the kingdom of God right now. These thoughts can become so overwhelming that we honestly just feel like giving up sometimes. We think, Wow! Why is it just so hard to live for God and to make Him happy? It would be easier to just stop caring so much and just try flying under the radar a little more. The fact is, this couldn’t be further from the truth!
You see, there’s something that really pleases God to see in the heart of man, something that really gets His attention. Humility! Take Moses for instance; raised by the most prestigious and powerful people in all of the known world, he was given the best education possible. I think if it were by our understanding, God would have chosen him right then and there, while at the height of his career and understanding of who he was. But He didn’t! God let him run for his life, become a lowly sheep herder for forty years, and ultimately, believe that he was nothing.
Look at what Moses says to God when God speaks to him out of the burning bush, “And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?” And Moses answered and said, “But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord has not appeared unto you.” Then Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue” (Ex 3:11, 4:1, and 4:11).
Being Satisfied With God’s View of Us
Moses had reached the place where he had become nothing in his own eyes, and now God could use him for great things. By the way, just as a side note. The Bible goes on to say this about Moses in Numbers 12:3, “Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.”
Or how about Joseph? A young man, loved deeply by his father, with dreams of greatness. Tells his dreams to his brothers and his father. He ends up nearly dead, and ultimately, sold into slavery. He finds himself in the house of an important man named Potiphar, where he becomes elevated to head of the house just under Potiphar himself. Until one day, he’s falsely accused and imprisoned, where again he’s elevated to the top of the ranks. While in prison, he finds himself interpreting others dreams, and this is what ultimately helps him find his way into Pharaoh’s house; where Joseph interprets the dreams of Pharaoh himself, and in turn becomes a man of greatness, doing the great exploits of God. You see, before Joseph’s dreams could come true, he had to be brought to a place where his own dreams were put on hold, while the dreams of others became his focus.
One more example, King Saul. Started out humble in his own eyes, not seeing anything great about himself, but ended up useless, full of his own pride and arrogance. And Saul answered and said, “Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak like this to me?” (1Sam 9:21). (1Sam 15:17;23).
While I’m not saying we should walk around feeling useless, I am saying we should understand that God has to make us small in our own eyes, so that He can make us great for the work of His kingdom. And sometimes during this process, we are going to feel small, alone, forgotten, abandoned, and sometimes even forsaken. Just remember the words of Joseph, Gen 50:20).