Occasional notes from my 19 year old daughter. I never know what to expect when she writes, but it's usually a pleasant surprise. Read on!
Pride: "I need answers from God before I go anywhere. Why is He doing this like that? He needs to follow my way because it's well thought out and benefits me. God needs to follow my timeline. God needs to let me succeed before I tell the world about Him. God needs to be patient, and trust that I'll live whole-heartedly for Him when I'm 40. God needs to be for me only, forget the rest of his Kingdom that He wants to invite to Heaven. God needs me!”
"When you argue against Him you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all: it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on"- C.S Lewis
I know it doesn't sound pretty, but there’s no way to get around the truth: God doesn't need you. He doesn't need to listen to you, He doesn't need to adhere to your ultimatums, He doesn't need to follow your direction, and He surely does not need to fit into any boxes. He is God. The one who made the very being that you are. He's been around before time began. He is the author of time itself, and your life is but a vapor in that time line.
The Inspiration for C.S Lewis' book "God in the Dock" was a metaphor that He used to describe the relationship between humans and God. The metaphor suggested that modern human beings, rather than seeing themselves as standing before God in judgment, prefer to place God on trial while acting as His judge. But how can we judge our creator when we are his creation?
"A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master"-Jesus, Matthew 10:24
In context, Jesus was letting the disciples know what their job description was as they were recently hired and trained to do God's work. He was preparing his disciples for the upcoming persecutions they would face, eradicating fear before it could become a problem (this same verse will be used to address another face of pride, stay tuned). This statement is true in its specific context, and in its general context. No matter how amazing the disciple/servant is, they would never be who they were without the development they received UNDER their teacher/master.
If I ever told my mother I was better than her, before she could slap some sense into me, I would probably hear her say something like, "I carried you for 9 months! Are you insane?" Without my mom there would be no me. No matter how amazing I think I am, or others think I am, I wouldn't have been anything without her.
The best example of someone who lived this out is Jesus Himself. In Isaiah 52:13-53 (and many other chapters), Jesus is described as a sin bearing servant of God. We often talk about Jesus' suffering, but I think we forget how much God has suffered and why Jesus even did what He did. Jesus' motivation was twofold: He came to do His father’s mission, and He came to save us (only because of his Father’s love for us, not because we’re all that and then some.)
Throughout the Old Testament we see God's immense love for humankind. One of the best images to me is actually in Genesis. After God declared Adam and Eve's punishment, God did something we often look over:
"Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin and clothed them." Genesis 3:21
God's anger is always righteous, that’s something pride won't tell you. His love is also abundant and overwhelming; something that pride won't let you see. God still cares when we mess up, and there’s nothing we can do to earn that. He loves us BECAUSE HE WANTS TO, and He loves us in the way that we need love. God wants us, but doesn't need us. We need God, but sadly we don't seem to want Him. We instead chose our own will, and exclude God totally, or minimize Him to fit our vision.
The thing about God's love is His will always includes a way for Him to love us. We are never a second thought, or forgotten. We are always considered!
Interestingly enough, if we look at why God wanted Jesus to die, the only reason is us. Despite everything we already did the lack of evidence that we would ever love Him back, the lies, the adultery, and choosing worthless things over Him He still decided to follow through on His word and make a way for us to love Him back. God relentlessly wants us.
[Insert a Praise Break Here because if that doesn't make you get up and have joy in your Heart that you just can't put into words than I don't know what will. Resume reading when you can.]
He wants us with an everlasting love. God is love Himself, if anyone knows how to love, it's Him, and if anyone knows you it's Him. We are created by Love! And it's not because of anything we've done. God does not work on a debt system, this life is not a game of "I owe you". It is an experience of "I love you."
We see this love in the little details like God clothing us, in the discipline of God correcting us, and in the embrace of God holding us. He gives us love in abundance, and goes above and beyond our needs.
God does not need you, but you most assuredly do need God - all the time, for everything. His breath of life is what keeps you awake. The fact that He doesn't need you is what makes grace so amazing. WE MESSED UP, we still mess up and what we need is His love to live and He says "Here it is."
When you actually love God back with your all, when you trust Him enough to let Him know you’re frustrated while keeping in mind his sovereignty, pride is not a problem. It's time to expose the face behind the mask of comfort and really see how much our sin cost us, even if that makes us uncomfortable. Let's strive to consistently walk in Christ, no matter what the circumstance may be. He doesn't need us at any time, but He loves us eternally from beginning to end.