Thursday, August 27, 2020

The World's way isn't God's Way

“For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, 
and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Luke 14:11

There are two ways to attain high esteem. One is the world's method: Take every opportunity to promote yourself before others; seize occasions for recognition and manipulate your way into the center of attention. The other way is God's way: Humble yourself. Rather than striving for recognition and influential positions, seek to put others first. Cultivate humility, for it does not come naturally. One of the many paradoxes of the Christian life is that when God sees your genuine humility, He exalts you.

Proverbs 16:18 warns that if we put our efforts into promoting ourselves, we will be brought down. Jesus told of a man who tried to enhance his own image (Luke 14:7–11). While attending a banquet, he immediately claimed the seat of honor. When the host saw this, he humiliated this man by asking him to move to the least honorable place to make room for a more distinguished guest. Jesus said the wise thing to do is to seek the lowest position and allow others to exalt you if they feel you are worthy.
There is an enormous difference between the way the world honors you and the way God does. Proverbs 25:27 indicates that glory is not legitimate if you seek it yourself. When the world exalts you, you are the one who receives the credit. When God exalts you, others will praise Him for what He has done in your life. If you honor God, He will honor you (1 Sam. 2:30). Strive to humble yourself and bring glory to God. Allow Him to be the One to honor you in the way that pleases Him! - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

It's been the mainstay phrase for several decades to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.  Vanity is everywhere in the commercials we see to internet advertising.  Make the most of yourself.  Get what you can get.  It's every man for himself.  

This isn't God's way.  As we read what Blackaby, more importantly, what Scripture says by the words of Jesus, seeking the glory, the attention, the power of being first isn't seen as the best move a person can make. 

We have a role, a job, to do in Christ.  Scripture says we are part of the body of Christ.  Each part has a different function.  To do the best we can in that which we have been called.  

Joseph was a shepherd at first. He diligently did that.  But he had a bad habit of constantly relating dreams that really got to his brothers.  So much so the thought of killing him came to mind.  So as the plot unfolds the decision came down to selling him rather than killing him.  A rough way to go but consider this: God provided that option because He had a Plan to fulfill in Joseph's life.  So they sell him off, convince their father that he is dead. Lovely family characteristics.  So now it's on them to do his job too.  Joseph's life was irrevocably altered. Not only was he learning new occupations but was learning a hard lesson that speaking like he was to his family got him into the situation he was in. He was in the early stages of God's plans so he probably didn't see where anything was going.  This went on for at least a decade.  In that time he had but one thing to cling to and that was his faith.  Even to the point of being in the dungeon with the cup bearer and the baker, he wasn't seeing all that God was doing.   But at this point he had learned humility.  Then he was elevated at the proper time to rule over Egypt.  That wasn't the Pharoah's doing that was God, elevating him at the proper time to a place of importance.  

We see movies of the obscure person who doesn't seem to amount to much all the sudden being propelled into the limelight.  Designed to be inspirational feel good movies.  Yet in reality if we really look at a lot of power hungry people it's them trampling on others to get where they are. When people exalt themselves what the world calls 'karma' hits them.  What the Bible calls it is what we read in that passage.  It's not karma or anything like that.  It's Jesus doing exactly as He says He was going to do.  

I work as best as I can in whatever God gives me to do.  I do not seek high recognition, although He often bestows it. I follow Colossians 3 when it tells us to do what we do as unto the Lord.  If recognition is part of His plan for me then fine, it is. If not, one thing is clear, don't push for it. Read in Esther, yes her uncle spoke what he did to her about how did she not realize that she was put in such a position for such a time as this.  That Uncle also could himself sought out the King's favor by bringing up the fact that he saved his life, that he owed him one.  But he didn't.  Look what happened. After the plot became known, God elevates him to a significant position of authority to save the Jews.  

Our lives are full of constant attempts to engage in edifying self.  To do whatever you can to get what you can in life regardless of who you hurt along the way. 

That's not God's way.  Do what God has for you to do and when the time comes, let Him exalt you. If not, wait for Him to tell you in person in Heaven.  The praise of men is paltry compared to Jesus Himself telling you that you did great. 

Be mindful of your actions in regards to seeking recognition and glory.  This blog could give me reason to say that I have done a fantastic job! Look at me! I instead tell people to look at what God has done.  This is all His doing.  I am just trying to obey in what I am given to do.  

Live as God wants of you, not as the world says you deserve.  Let Jesus be the one to direct your steps as it says in Proverbs. 

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