We all have special talents and gifts that God has blessed us with. For me, one of those gifts is creativity and I am so honored that the Master of art and design gave me a tiny, microscopic snippet of that. He blessed me with this gift and I soon found that my pride got in the way of using it for His glory. A few months ago I took the plank out of my own eye to realize I was using my precious gift for my own recognition, attention, approval, favoritism, and my own selfish pride. It's so sad to say but I was so wrapped up in my own awesomeness and self greatness that I felt God was further from me than ever in my life. Deuteronomy 8:14 says, "Your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God."
Praise the Lord this lesson God was teaching me only lasted a few weeks and not months, or years. But for some it does last that long, maybe even a lifetime. In a world full of self-seeking attention, acceptance, selfies, followers, and all about me, me, me its so easy to slip into the pool of pride and some don't even realize they are in it. Pride leads to so many insecurities, broken friendships, family issues, letting go of that one grudge, and so many other problems but at the end of the day are all those things worth losing over our own pride?
The best news is that breaking the chains of pride is much closer than most think. 1 Corinthians 13:4 says, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud." Having the true love of God in your heart defeats pride. Pride gets pushed to the side and trampled when you seek Jesus and when you give God the recognition, attention, favoritism, honor. Gods' love and faithfulness will never leave your side. I pray to always have the true love of God in my heart and instead of seeking honor, preference, approval, attention, (the list goes on and on) from people. I want to seek them from God and give that attention to The One who deserves them ALL. Lay pride down at the cross and see how God will work in your life!
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10
At the beginning of 2016 I chose a word for the year. I prayed God would lay a word on my heart to help me get closer to Him and meditate on throughout the year. The word I chose for 2016 was "Praise". This past year was a year where I really learned to rely on God by praising Him. It was probably the most challenging year I've faced in my life. It was a year where at times I felt so alone even with a loving husband and kids around me at all times. I remember there was a day where the kids were throwing tantrums all at the same time and all I wanted was silence! They pushed all of my buttons beyond measure and I just fell to my knees in the middle of my living room and cried out as loud as I could, "GOD, HELP ME!" All of the sudden they stopped with the tantrums and there was complete silence as I wept with my face buried on my knees. Looking back on that day, I think God created that moment for me to just call on Him like never before. To remind me that I am weak and He is strong. The spiritual warfare that was going on during those dark, emotional days where so real I could just feel God pulling me close and whispering in my ear, "My Praise will be on your lips." Praise God, for He will always be there to comfort those who PRAISE Him.
I'm so thankful for the word "praise" and I truly learned what it means to have praise on my lips.
The new word God laid on my heart for 2017 is "thankful". I'm looking forward to seeing how God will use thankfulness to bring me closer to Him.