Matthew 18 records the disciples questioning Jesus regarding who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? To demonstrate His answer, Jesus took a little child, set him in the midst of them, and said: “Except you are converted and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven…..”, Matthew 18: 3-4 Jesus teaches that humility is greatness in God’s eyes, the complete opposite of the world’s view that seeks honour for men’s achievments.
In our great company of Believers, the Body of Christ has often demonstrated childishness, instead of the humility of being childlike. Colossians 2:6 instructs: “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him”. How did we first receive Him? We came in humility, sin burdened, empty handed to the Christ of Calvary, and there God’s mercy met us and the divine exchange took place and we became a new creation in Christ. Our spiritual journey of discovery began, so much to learn of God’s ways, so much to unlearn of men’s traditions and religion. There is a tendency in man to over complicate, over think matters. There is a simplicity in Christ that is needful to remember: Come to Him in childlike humility, walk humbly, recognising the Lord’s requirement of us learning complete dependency on His Holy Spirit for daily guidance. It is a life time learning process. As we learn to apply it to daily living it should become our lifestyle, learning obedience and dependency on the Holy Spirit. There is a profound experience of God to be discovered in what we deem the shallow and ordinariness of every day living. God requires us to find Him there and discover His hallmarks of joy and peace in every experience.
Jesus came and lived among ordinary people. He surely enjoyed the camaraderie and friendship of His disciples and their families. No doubt there were many times of shared humour as they rubbed shoulders together, eating, drinking and journeying together. We greatly appreciate the recorded teaching and reprimands of Jesus, which continue to be timeless instruction for our lives. He taught us that our extraordinary God dwells with ordinary people, and we are all ordinary, even if we have risen to title and position. Our constant need is to walk in humility and remain childlike before God, otherwise we will not be going forward and maturing in Him. Remember that God resists the proud, (1 Peter 5:5)…..but gives grace to the humble.
Lord, give us sight to see the sins in ourselves that we hate in others! Judging others is so damaging.
If I am attempting to build up my spiritual profile to others, God will resist me. All spiritual ambition for self glory needs to be surrendered, then God shows up at the altar, breaking down the barriers we have erected in leaving our first love, (Revelation 2:4).
John 5: 1-9 Here is the account of a man with a serious disability waiting at the Pool of Bethesda, with a multitude of others, for his healing opportunity. Jesus singled him out, knowing he had suffered for 38 years, approached him and asked, “Will you be made whole?” The ensuing verses record the man’s response and healing. The seeking God comes to find us where we are, speaks to us and looks for a response. Do I respond to His questions, convictions, or ignore them? For God’s glory, everything must begin with Him, but we can be a tool in HIS hand. The Master uses the tool, without the Master’s touch, nothing will be accomplished.
John 15:16 “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit…”. God does the choosing, but our responsibilty is to respond to the revealing of Himself as He comes to us in our daily circumstances. Will I make Him Lord of my circumstances, Lord of today?……or do I grumble and comlain and want my own way? My complaining prevents Him being Lord of All to me. I must choose to bow and declare Him to be Lord of ALL. This is the response He is looking for, not my will, but Yours be done!
As I learn to respond to the living Christ in me, God can bring me to the place where I can GLADLY declare in my closet to my Maker, Galatians 2:20. “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me”. When one man gets into the closet with God and learns to live a surrendered life, thousands of lives can be touched.
1 Corinthians 10:31 “Whether you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do ALL to the glory of God”. Beware of thinking that God is not in the ordinary things of life. An Oswald Chambers quote challenges each of us:”We are so nauseatingly serious, so desperately interested in our own character and reputation, we refuse to behave like Christians in the shallow things of life. God comes down in practical living”.
May the Lord bring us to the place where we seek to find Him in every aspect of our day, enjoying the moments of light, laughter and sunshine, but ever seeking Him in the shadows too. Remember the words to the old song: Standing somewhere in life’s shadows you’ll find Jesus. Trust Him in everything in childlike faith.