Thursday, August 26, 2010

This is not a suggestion

6:46 p.m. Today's project was to attend and teach our Thursday morning Bible study. I put a priority on my attending the gathering, because I am privileged to enjoy a room full of women who reflect the love, compassion and commitment that every Christian should have. They have attained the wisdom and knowledge of God's Word that make our discussions of the week's verses--even our various sidebars-- fruitful, encouraging, and eye-opening. Not one of us hesitates to bring forth a thorny or controversial issue, because we know that the answer to any of life's trials or perplexities can be found in the Bible!

"You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word." (Psalm 119:114) and further, in verse 130, the Psalmist continues:

The entrance of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple." And don't we want to be led by the Holy Spirit out of our simpleness into having "the mind of Christ" [I Corinthians 2:16] operative in our lives?!

After worship, we go over any questions in the former week's written lesson that individuals have found particularly meaningful. Today we reviewed I Samuel Chapter 11.

After a huge military victory over the Ammonites, the new King Saul was encouraged to kill those enemies who had mocked him earlier, but he turned down his kingly prerogative, saying that no one was to be killed, because it was to be a day of celebration for all of Israel. He acted humbly.

The assignment was to write out the scriptures listed on the subject of Christian humility. We enjoyed good discussion of several verses, and everyone acknowledged that God does want us to be humble, giving Him the glory for every good and perfect thing He does. Then Malinda made a striking point about Micah 6:8:

He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?

"Do you notice something?" she asked. "This is not a suggestion! It is a command from the Lord, that we walk humbly with Him!"

That got our attention! I think we get so focused on the "biggies," such as the commandments that forbid us to steal, murder, worship idols or commit adultery, that the positive directives that make our Christian walk such an invigorating and exciting journey through life can be minimized in our minds. Despite the fact that we humans have so much to be humble about, we don't find humility very energizing! Our flesh wants to be actively engaged in doing good, and we most certainly are called to aid and bless our fellow man. But how vigorously the enemy works to substitute an expectation of public accolades for the deep, inner satisfaction of hearing God's quiet "well done, good and faithful servant"(Matthew 25:23)!

Lord, help us to seek Your approbation alone, knowing that the world may or may not notice. Let us be at peace either way.

May our fleshly lust for recognition bow before Your requirement to walk as the Word has commanded, humbly with our God!

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