Weekly Newsletter

Pastor David’s Weekly Devotional
     The fundamental problem of idolatry is not ignorance of God, but arrogance toward Him.  Idolatry is essentially God’s creation choosing to worship created things rather than Him as the Creator.  The epicenter of pride is egotism.  While perhaps overstated, Andrew Murray made this point when he said, “pride must die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you.”  Jonathan Edwards called humility the “most essential thing in true religion.”  Left unchecked, human pride leads to false worship – even latent, seemingly trivial, forms of idolatry (see 1Jn.2:15-17; Col.3:5; Jms.4:6; 2Tim.3:1-5).

     Although pride is certainly not a sin that only affects adults, it seems to tighten its grip on us as we age.  Typically, if we are not vigilant against it, as we age our expectations increase and our gratitude decreases.  We can morph into a person that is hard to please, easily irritated and increasingly disappointed.  For example, children are more likely to be fascinated with how a light-switch turns on the lights (causing them to flip the switch on and off repeatedly with great delight), while adults are more apt to be frustrated when the power goes out or annoyed with how much electricity costs.  And this arrogance can be camouflaged under the guise of humility or frugality.

     C.S. Lewis brilliantly illustrates this truth by likening it to a woman who only wants a cup of tea:
“All she wants is a cup of tea properly made, or an egg properly boiled, or a slice of bread properly toasted.  But she never finds any servant or any friend who can do these simple things ‘properly’ – because her ‘properly’ conceals an insatiable demand for the exact, and almost impossible, palatal pleasures which she imagines she remembers from the past; a past described by her as ‘the days when you could get good servants’ but known to us as the days when her senses were more easily pleased and she had pleasures of other kinds which made her less dependent on those of the table” (The Screwtape Letters, pp. 88-89).

     Generally speaking, children are more easily pleased, less cynical and more trusting.  Which is why, when His disciples were persistently arguing over who was the greatest, Jesus likened humility to that of a child: “At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’  And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, ‘Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven’” (Matt 18:1-4).

     Pride is the deadly delusion of self-reliance; humility is the pursuit of self-forgetfulness.  Andrew Murray profoundly described humility as “the displacement of self by the enthronement of God.”  Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking less about yourself.  The person who is truly humble is not thinking about all of their successes, or even about how humble they really are.  In other words, the goal of humility is not to think of ourselves in high or low terms, but to be consumed by and obsessed with thoughts of Christ.

     Humility is not so much a state of being, as it is an earnest pursuit.  True humility comes from knowing, and believing, the truth about God, and the truth about ourselves.  Simply put, the closer we get to the greatness of Jesus the more humble we will become.  It is standing so close to the towering majesty of Christ that, by sheer contrast, the issue of humility is automatically achieved.  In the truest sense, humility is simply being in touch with God’s Sovereign reality!  This, as it turns out, is the greatest antidote to and protection against any and every form of idolatry.

Together in and for Christ,
Pastor David

Scripture Readings for the Week (Monday – Sunday ~ Week #50):
Deuteronomy 26-28; Nehemiah 10-13; Psalm 143-145; Song 3-4; Revelation 7-11; Acts 23-24; 2 John
Recommended Reading:
“Humility: The beauty of holiness” by Andrew Murray

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