My mind has been reeling with thoughts and pictures of Mexico. At the same time we had a minor crisis with Lauren that took over the entire last week! A tooth caused all kinds of drama, it ended up having to be pulled, but took four dentist visits and two different dentists. All week every time I thought of Mexico one word kept running through my mind, humbling.
On two occasions last week, God let me see and experience the process of being humbled. Just in case I was tempted to discount the word running through me mind! Once with Lauren at the dentist and once in a small group, so first thing this morning I started looking at verses with the word humble in it.
There in black and white print in James 4:4-10 was what I needed. James starts out telling Christians that friendship with the world is hatred towards God. As Christians in the USA that is a very common struggle. We walk a very close line in a lot of areas. Some that popped in my mind immediately were: TV, movies, music and money. In our house with 3 daughters these are daily struggles.
How good of friends with the world were we today based on our choices?
When James is talking about friendship with the world he connects it with: God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.
What is the connection between the two?
Friendship with the world = proud = hatred towards God = God opposing me!
Friendship with God = humble = love towards God = God giving me more grace (unmerited favor)!
Just looking at that which one do you want? Me too! Grace from God is what anyone in his or her right mind would pick! James goes on to give us 10 steps to do immediately in order to make sure our friendship is with God.
1. Submit yourself to God. Ask God to show you where your friendship is, with Him or the world.
2. Resist the devil. We will be tempted to think we misheard God, resist it, God will speak to us. Act on it.
3. Come near to God. At this point I am tired, resisting Satan is a battle. Draw near to God, through music, a book, a Christian movie, Bible reading. Make an effort to come to God knowing He will meet you there!
4. Wash your hands. There are somethings that are going to have to be stopped in our lives.
5. Purify our hearts. Gods word is the tool that will purify us. Add some Bible studying to your day, everyday.
6. Grieve. One of the parts of the definition is distress. I looked at this as realizing what my friendship with the world is costing me.
7. Mourn. Be sad for what you have already lost. Part of this definition is to express deep regret.
8. Wail. The definition of wail is: To grieve or protest loudly and bitterly. We need to ask God to return to us what Satan has taken.
9. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Look at life more seriously. The choices we make today impact our lives as well as the lives all around us.
10. Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will exalt you. I love that we humble ourselves before the Lord, not before others. These are personally issues between you and God. Choose Him to be your best friend. He has grace He desires to pour into your life!
When I went to Mexico, God opened my eyes to the friendship I had going on with the world. If you have a chance to go on a mission trip, GO! At the same time God can work the same eye-opening experience here, if you will submit to Him. Before I left one thing I prayed is God would show me what I needed to commit myself to working on for this season, this was not what I expected but it is what is needed!
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