Posts tagged #humility

Jackie's Journey: Wise in your own Eyes?

As moms we have the ultimate privilege of having little innocent ones look up to us, think us wise, copy our every move and watch our pattern of responses to life’s situations. 

We nurture them and delight in the fact that we are so needed and well thought of at our young age.  To our little ones everything is new and learning about the world outside is an adventure we readily take with them, carefully exposing tiny hands to the beauty of flower petals, cautiously moving furry caterpillars and catching the wind blowing leaves.  We experience the joy of living through the eyes of these that see only the splendor…then reality hits!

We don’t live in that world anymore.  We are fraught with the truth of our own reflection in their innocent eyes.  We are in the adult theater of war with the manifestations of our self-importance!  The enemy has blinded us with a pursuit of self-recognition and self-exaltation and a desire to control.  We have become complainers; mothers who pass judgment on God (by judging others!); women of bad attitudes and angry looks; contentious; perfectionists; chatterboxes about ourselves; women consumed with what others think; unteachable; sarcastic; devastated by criticism; defensive; disrespectful to our husbands; self-sufficient; irritable; jealous; envious; full of self-pity…you know you best…you fill in the blank! 

All of these and more are marks of arrogance in the life!  Being wise in your own eyes!  Don’t give approval to your child with a lower standard than God gave us in His Word regarding pride.

Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord;

assuredly, he will not be unpunished.”  Proverbs 16: 5

 “There is one character quality that will enable us (to be the moms we are called to be) and all Christ wants us to be.  We cannot come to God without it.  We cannot love God supremely without it.  We cannot be an effective witness for Christ without it.  We cannot love our children or husband and serve others without it.  We cannot (be that model or) lead in a godly way without it.  We cannot resolve conflict without it. We cannot deal with the sin of others without it. 

In short, we must embrace and live out humility in order to truly live and be who God means for us to be.” (Stuart Scott…emphasis added) It is for this reason that God exhorts us through Paul:"Therefore, I the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all HUMILITY and gentleness…"Eph. 4:1-2

 “We can have no power from Christ unless we live in the persuasion that we have none of our own.” (John Owen)  We cannot be humble without realization of our areas of sinful pride; calling it by name, repenting in brokenness and reflecting glory back to God. As difficult as the battle between pride and humility seems, the provision to live triumphantly is possible only by His promise and delivery of grace made available to the humble.  “Humility creates the vacuum that divine grace fills.” (John McArthur)  Moment by moment decisively walking a life absent of self opens the door to all the grace needed for humility to grow.

God’s most powerful illustrations have been in the lives of men and women who knew their weakness, but who learned how to draw on God’s strength!

Charles Spurgeon taught “every Christian has a choice between

being humble or being humbled”!

Which will it be?

 

 

 

~Jackie Johnson - I am a former tribal missionary to the Kuna Indians on the Colombian border in Central America.  Fluent in several languages, my husband and I currently pastor a Spanish-speaking church in Southern California.  My passion is discipling and equipping dedicated young women for life, marriage, motherhood, and beyond. I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three Princesses and four young Knights. 

Jackie's Journey: True Greatness

Who doesn’t want to be acknowledged and occasionally praised at the gates?

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All of us want to be important…to be accepted… to be successful…to experience meaningfulness…to get to the end of our life and have accomplished something that will live on after our departure.  God builds a desire for greatness into us.  Our understanding of the term and means of achieving it will surely vary depending on our character.

While in missionary Boot Camp training we were privileged to have a veteran missionary from Brazil as our instructor.  His hip had been crushed in a boating accident on the Amazon River.  He was bravely battling cancer and in constant pain, yet his focus was on us succeeding and getting us to a foreign field.  His name was Jim McKnight.  He and his wife, Betty, would never claim greatness, but those of us who knew them would say their character was marked by it. They walked with God and taught us by example how to live and selflessly serve.

“Greatness is not a goal to be sought after but a by-product of learning to serve.” (ATIA)

Man’s idea of greatness and God’s idea are diabolically opposed.  We all know of successful people who have sacrificed their family while reaching their goal.  Their marriage is in shambles and their children have no honor for them.  They are in the Hall of Fame by the world’s standard, but have failed to reach true greatness by God’s standard.

What price would you be willing to pay for a sense of importance?

True greatness is accomplished by understanding the difference between God’s view and man’s view of importance.  We tend to focus on possessions, power, position and prestige.  God’s focus is on humility, service and character.  Our concern is on what we will gain…God ‘s concern is on where and to whom can we give.  We spend a lot of time seeking the approval of men…not the approval of God.  We strive to be out front leading others…rather than striving to follow God.   We are competitive…God’s interest is in cooperation and being a team player. Does our spirit function independently of Him and others, or do we understand how to live in harmony with the success of the other person being our priority?

Do we clearly understand the difference between the two views?

By whose standard do you live your life?

We are often tempted to fulfill God’s vision for us with human effort.  If we yield to that temptation, we will experience continuing negative consequences and totally miss the blessing God has for us, and for others through us!  It’s a choice we make…

When the disciples disputed among themselves as to who would be the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus said, “… The greatest among you, should be as the youngest; and the one who rules like the one who serves.”  Luke 22: 26

 When He, their Lord and Teacher, washed the feet of His disciples, He said,  “I have set an example that you should do as I have done for you.  I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master...”  Jn.13: 15,16  

He clearly set the bar for us.

Do we think more highly of ourselves than we ought?

 “He that is greatest among you shall be your servant.  And whoever exalts himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” Matt. 23: 11,12  

~Jackie Johnson - I am a former tribal missionary to the Kuna Indians on the Colombian border in Central America.  Fluent in several languages, my husband and I currently pastor a Spanish-speaking church in Southern California.  My passion is discipling and equipping dedicated young women for life, marriage, motherhood, and beyond. I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three Princesses and four young Knights. 

Jackie's Journey: Raising a Triumphant Knight

Little boys are born with an adventurous spirit!  Our young boys search for answers on how to translate their personal manhood into a viable and productive reality in a culture that is guilty of misrepresenting their calling.  As parents, we are seeking other role models than the secular similes that are readily available for our sons to emulate.  These “hero” images are not giving clear instruction against evil and worldly attitudes, but are actually encouraging them!

Little boys want heroes who take risks and slay dragons.  The fact that we can’t keep a weapon whittled out of a stick from their hands tells us our knights-in-the-making dream of being daring conquerors.  They sense the need to become strong…the champions of good over evil…defenders of the Universe!

Strength is often misunderstood.  Pride and bullies are the result of the world’s view.  As moms we desperately need a Godly worldview and a path into the “wild” heart of our little man.  “The only way to live in this adventure…with all its danger and unpredictability and immensely high stakes…is an ongoing, intimate relationship with God.” (John Eldredge) Humility is the natural response of being in the presence of God. It is the qualifier for receiving grace. James 4: 6

I love the animated film “Charlotte’s Web”.  The whole premise is outrageous, yet the characters represent exactly what real strength is.  It comes from the heart of a tiny insect…Charlotte, the spider.  She single-handedly saves the life of a pig, destined for slaughter, with vocabulary words of genuine strength.  Humble was the word that turned the heart and mind of the farmer and a whole community!

Humility is seeing the contrast between God’s holiness and our sinfulness!  Humility provides the critical, fundamental heart for any other character quality.  Without humility any other character quality is worthless!  There is no pride in humility.  Humility recognizes that God and others are responsible for any achievement in our life.  Real success is investing in the lives of others and seeing them succeed.  Humility seeks forgiveness and lives life for others, experiencing the joy of God.

Sir Timothy illustrates the character quality of Humility.  His anger and pride find him alone and afraid, encountering unimaginable danger and wishing he had never fled from the safety of the castle!  Young Sir Timothy learns a life-lesson that not only brings him back to the castle but into the heart of his family. 

We hope Sir Timothy will encourage and inspire your little knight as you teach him to live triumphantly by walking in humility. I Peter 5: 5

~Jackie Johnson - I am a former tribal missionary to the Kuna Indians on the Colombian border in Central America.  Fluent in several languages, my husband and I currently pastor a Spanish-speaking church in Southern California.  My passion is discipling and equipping dedicated young women for life, marriage, motherhood, and beyond. I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three Princesses and four young Knights. 

Jackie's Journey: "I Surrender!"

The year 2015 is coming to a close, and my commitment to blogging was for one year.  What an incredible blessing to be able to jot down thoughts and rehearse what God continues to teach me through His Word and the people and events in my life.   

All any of us has to share with others is our weakness translated into a life message for the benefit of another.  I trust God has used my flaws to manifest His strength for your benefit. 

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.” II Cor. 12: 9-10

Jim Elliot, husband of Elizabeth Elliot, who was martyred at the hand of the Auca Indians, once said:  “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” 

Listen to the spirit of his devotedness…

“Father, let me be weak that I might loose my clutch on everything temporal.  My life, my reputation, my possessions, Lord, let me lose the tension of the grasping hand…Rather, open my hand to receive the nail of Calvary, as Christ’s was opened, that I, releasing all, might be released, unleashed from all that binds me now.  He thought Heaven, yea, equality with God not a thing to be clutched at.  So let me release my grasp.”

Christmas is a wonderful time to put our busy lives back in Scriptural perspective. We celebrate the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ…the One who “gives us everything we need to lead a godly life! “ II Pet.1: 3  

Genuine Christianity is an unconditional surrender to His Lordship!

While attending the University of Arizona I was invited to join Kappa Alpha Theta, a national sorority.  I had a sense of acceptance and grew to love the girls and the accountability.  After a semester of initiation we had a night of mild hazing that culminated in stepping individually behind a veil for the final step of becoming a Theta.   As the pledge of loyalty was read and the words were spoken to me… I was asked to repeat them.  At that time I realized I had already pledged my loyalty to Christ. 

A few months earlier, over the Thanksgiving holiday with my parents and sisters, I had attended a church service and had heard for the first time in my life that I could know God in a personal way through His Son, Jesus Christ.  Standing behind that curtain I was struck, profoundly, when I realized I had already given my total allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ that Thanksgiving weekend!   When He walked into my life everything changed, I had no more allegiance to give.

Time has tested on life’s stage that unconditional surrender I made to my loving Savior and Sovereign Lord in those college days.

What is your present commitment? 

When we talk about a total surrendering of our lives to the Lordship of Christ, we are talking about yielding all our rights and expectations! 

·      A dying to self and self-attitudes

·      A yielding of all entitlements and self-interest

WHAT?...WAIT A MINUTE!

Don’t we run from the people and circumstances that call us into total commitment?  It is much easier to go with the flow as the secular, ungodly world dictates to us relativity, independence and “I have my rights!”   The world’s motto: “Strength only…show no weakness!”  The human struggle wants His power to do OUR will.    

Is humility a position of strength or weakness, in your opinion?

Humility is me… seeing the contrast between my spiritual condition (a sinner) and God’s holiness and then receiving His grace to live Christ-like, not Jackie-like!  

 Phil. 3:10   Grace is doing His will with His power!  It is acknowledging His presence and His power to live the Christian life.  Victory is living in that truth!   

Are you living in Victory? 

Have you surrendered your life to His Lordship?

~Jackie Johnson - I am a former tribal missionary to the Kuna Indians on the Colombian border in Central America.  Fluent in several languages, my husband and I currently pastor a spanish-speaking church in Southern California.  My passion is discipling and equipping dedicated young women for life, marriage, motherhood, and beyond. I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three Princesses and four young Knights. 

Posted on December 21, 2015 and filed under Motherhood, Spiritual Growth, Character and Virtue.