All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. 1 Cor 12:11
When was the last time we gave credit where credit was due? How many times more are we going to boast in our works? Why is it so tempting to be indulged in self and claim earthy possessions and accomplishments?
From the beginning of time, we wanted what was God's. The forbidden fruit wasn't ours and will never be ours. Much like the education, careers, families, service, and 'stuff' we 'earn'. Mine. Mine. Mine.
I earned this degree from this university. And I got this job that I work hard at. And these children are mine. Possession begins early; one of the first conflicts that arise are siblings fighting over what is 'mine'. The me, me, me attitude is fostered by the world too. Which makes it hard to circle back to what the Lord tells us. We become so comfortable in the pride of our accomplishments, that we are quick to forget the price paid for it all. We forget the author of our inherent desires and dreams. We turn away from THY, because my feels better.
As I read through the 2nd chapter tonight in The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer which is titled "The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing" I was reminded of Matthew 5:3:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Tozer continues with the Old Testament story of Abraham and Isaac. Where Abraham is called by the Lord to sacrifice his son. This story just captivates me every dang time. HOW? How could Abraham have that kind of faith? But he did. He was ready to not "own" a son anymore. Thankfully, Isaac is replaced by a actual lamb before the sacrifice occurs. Tozer points out that Abraham ends up having "everything, but he possessed nothing." A spiritual secret he explains.
It brings 'dying to self' to life. These possessions, our families, our jobs, our 'stuff', are NOT of us. They are written in by the author of life. Therefore, we have a call to action as disciples of Christ to call out His name, not ours. As the Spirit grows in you, the Spirit will take credit where credit is due. And rightly so.
A few weeks back, my mama jokingly said to me that I can't take a compliment well. She even empathized because she struggles with confidently accepting a compliment. I asked, "How should I react when a complement is given then?" and we laughed and joked about a VERY DRAMATIC-southern accent- "Oh, Mother, THANK YOU FROM THE DEEPEST PART OF MY HEART FOR SAYING SUCH NICE THINGS ABOUT ME."
But, she forgets that she raised me (with the Lord's support) to be a humble servant and not taking credit where credit is due. Her compliment was about my beauty, which I truly did appreciate, because in my vanity, who wouldn't want to be called beautiful? But, the Lord needs the credit for this beauty. Not my mama because she "made me" and not me because I "own my looks". The Lord knit me together in my mothers womb (Psalm 139). The Lord is the ultimate possessor of earthly things. We may have dominion over the animals and plants, but it's because He made it that way, NOT US. It wasn't of our own accord that we have that dominion.
Our mundane mine (which I define as "an earthly possession of the world rather than a heavenly or spiritual surrender of self") must be corrected, and the sooner the better. When we live in the flesh, we look for what is ours. When we live in accordance to the Spirit, we bring glory to His name for all gifts. For our spiritual gifts of desires and dreams and the ultimate gift of Jesus Christ. This means forgiveness for us taking credit for His death.
And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. Luke 14:27
Tonight, I break down my pride for the things that I do, which come solely from the Lord. My servant heart was His first. These words are words He gave to us through His Son and Spirit. And to Him be all the glory.
Grace & peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Your SIC (Sister in Christ), Hillary Kate