..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Devotions From the Heart: Humbled to Rise

by Pastor Derek Gitsham

And thou shall remember all the way which
the Lord thy God led thee these forty years
in the wilderness, to humble thee and to
prove thee, to know what was in thy heart,
whether thou would keep his commandments
or no. And He humbled thee, and suffered
thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna,
which thou knewest not, neither did thy
fathers know, that he might make thee know
that man does not live by bread only, but
by every word that proceedeth out of the
mouth of the Lord, doth man live.
-- Deuteronomy 8: 2-3

Israel was left in no doubt that their being
humbled was to prove them, and to know what
was in their heart. It is amazing when we
hit bottom how our responses are different
to when all is well. Being humbled is about
learning about ourselves. So often we like
to think we are in a better place with God,
and then comes the humbling period.

And suddenly that placid, calm individual,
pleasant to live with, is another person.
We feel we are under attack and every spiritual
lesson we have learned goes out the door.
Once we thought we were possessors of so
much, then in a flash, we have nothing.
Humbling has brought us to nothingness.

God knows the human heart is a desperately
wicked thing. Humbling is about change. No
one likes change. Humbling shakes up things,
cuts our moorings, reaches in deep that we
might afresh reach out to God in complete
dependence upon Him. God sees when trust
begins to erode in the heart, and dependence
upon Him begins to slip away.

The wilderness was a tough lesson for Israel—
forty years being humbled because of unbelief.
Interestingly enough God says, to see whether
they would keep His commandments or not. Being
humbled is a low place, it is not the mountaintop.
Who wants to pray when things are not easy? But
this is what God is after. Will you obey Him here?
We are being humbled to obey God. To bring forth
an obedience in the toughest places, when God
doesn’t look as sweet as we thought He was.

Being humbled, will you obey today?

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