Saturday, December 2, 2017

Advent 2017 #2: Preparing for the King with an Humble Heart


An exciting thing happened this week, but it wasn't until last night that it finally seemed real. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I indulged in a flight of fantasy in my mind about how my future might change as a result. 

What I fantasized, I soon recognized, didn't really glorify God. It glorified me. Pride, not joy in the grace of God, took over for a few minutes and quickly engulfed me. 

As we know, pride does not sit well with God and, as soon as I recognized it, I was cut to the core. I repented. I apologized. I repented some more. "Lord, you've finally given me a piece of the desires of my heart, and I've already squandered it in my mind. Forgive me."

I meant it, too. I want to glorify God in everything, but it's so easy to head in a "natural," and wrong, direction. Scripture's clear about where pride will take us. Since it's not where I want to go, I must get rid of pride. Repentance isn't optional, and neither is embracing humility instead. 

When we allow sin (i.e. pride) to set our spiritual GPS, we end up where sin takes us. Wrong directions may seem fun for a while, but they aren't God's direction, and the end is never as good as the start. 

Praise God for the forgiveness and new beginnings that follow repentance.

Last night, I recognized pride, rejected it, repented, and received forgiveness. My new beginning was that simple. 

Every new beginning is that simple. 

In the last days, Isaiah wrote, God will have a "day of reckoning" with everyone who's proud and "lifted up." He'll be exalted and all the prideful people will be abased. 

Women who take pride in their beauty, their clothes, their jewelry, and their things will be stripped of all those adornments in which they've put their trust. Ladies, we may love all the trappings of beauty, but God doesn't. He wants beautiful hearts. 

None of us will get away with pride, and the consequences will be terrible.

We have two choices. Reject pride, embrace humility, and avoid the reckoning, or embrace pride until God takes us down a few notches and restores our humble heart. Which one of those two choices is most appealing? Yep. Humility from the start.

"The Lord arises to contend, and stands to judge the people," Isaiah wrote. (Isaiah 3:13) That won't be a fun time for anyone. There's good news, though. Even though "the eyes of the proud will be abased," (Isaiah 5:15) God will do a beautiful thing as He provides for those with humble hearts.

"But the Lord of hosts will be exalted in judgment, and the holy God will show Himself holy in righteousness. Then the lambs will graze as in their pasture, and strangers will eat in the waste places of the wealthy." (Isaiah 5;16,17) 

God's not kidding around about pride. It has to go. This advent season, let's prepare for the coming of the King with humble hearts.
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