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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 194

Prayers of the Old Testament
The Prayer of David continued...

Human arrogance and the pride of life must disappear like fog in the sunlight when we stand before God. One cannot know God, yet be arrogant before Him. One cannot know God, and retain pride in their individual accomplishments or aptitudes.

We cannot be in the presence of the one true God, and still see ourselves as great, because his greatness highlights our own insignificance.

When confronted with God’s holiness, we see our own unworthiness, and realize it is only by the blood of Christ that we are able to enter in, and be partakers of His holiness.

Matthew 8:5-8, “Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, ‘Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘I will come and heal him.’ The centurion answered and said, ‘Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.’”

In order to understand what had just taken place in this passage, we must first understand who this centurion was, and what his role was during the days of Jesus.

During the period of time Jesus walked the earth, the whole of Israel was under Roman rule. The Roman Empire had stretched itself far and wide, and the Romans of the day had autonomy as well as much power throughout the land.

The man who came to Jesus was a centurion. He was not just an enlisted man, nor was he someone of no renown. A centurion was in charge of a one hundred man garrison, someone respected within the construct of the Roman political system, and someone to whom others deferred.

The Romans of the time considered every other nationality or race beneath them, so for this centurion to say he was not worthy of Christ coming under his roof, meant a true humbling of the self, and the subjugation of the arrogance for which Romans as a people were known for.

I realize we like to think of ourselves as great and grand specimens of intelligence and wisdom, but in reality, God doesn’t need allot to work with to make something remarkable.

Yes, that stings, especially the pride we harbor in our hearts, but God didn’t test my IQ before calling me into the ministry, He didn’t put me through a physical to see if my heart could handle the strain, He didn’t ask to see my wardrobe to decide whether I had enough suits, He called and I answered.

A potter just needs clay. Even the most beautiful and prized pieces of art start out as lumps of clay. It’s not about the clay. Clay is clay. It’s about the proficiency of the potter, and what he can do with the lump of clay in his hands.

It’s not about my aptitude, my intelligence quotient, or my abilities as a public speaker; it’s about what God can do through me.

Because it is about God’s ability and not our own, all that is incumbent upon us to do is submit, and not resist the molding and chiseling of the Lord. The potter knows what the piece of clay will look like when he’s done with it, and God knows what you will look like when He’s done with you.

Even though the promise of something beautiful is ever present in the word of God, even though we know He is a good God who desires only our sanctification, we often find ourselves resisting His correction, His molding and His chiseling.

It is to our detriment when we allow pride to override humility, and when we allow arrogance to override obedience.

When we acknowledge our own limitations, we give God the glory for everything He does through us. If we are honest with ourselves we know where we end and He begins. We know the true measure of our wit and knowledge, we know the true measure of our strength and ability, and each time we see ourselves surpassing our own limitations, we must give God the glory, for it is He who is doing a work through us.

David was a man who knew his limitations, and acknowledged the blessing and grace of God over his life all of his days. David knew God knew him completely, so there was no pretense in David. David did not try to project an image contrary to who he really was; he didn’t try to seem more righteous than God knew him to be, because David acknowledged God’s intimate knowledge of him.

‘Now what more can David say to You? For You, Lord God, know Your servant.’

When we know God knows us, pride, arrogance and self, wither and die. One cannot maintain an attitude of arrogance and pride knowing that they are an open book in the sight of God. One cannot put the self upon a pedestal, when they realize God knows everything, from the moment we breathed our first breath, to the moment we will breathe our last.

God knows of our inconsistency, He knows of our doubt, He knows of our hardened heart, He knows of our indifference, He knows of our omissions, and only one who knows not God as they ought can still stand before Him shrouded in self.

Psalm 139:1-4, “O Lord, You have searched me and know me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.”

God knows His servants. Not tangentially, or partially, but wholly, fully and completely. He knows you, He understands your thought, He comprehends your path, and is acquainted with all your ways.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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