Before stumbling

PerspectiveI am confounded by the depravity of my own heart. How true it is that my heart is deceitful. Honestly, it is very discouraging, disheartening, and saddening when I’ve prayed continually  to the Lord, expressing my desire to glorify and not sin against Him, and then stumble into the very sin that I wanted most to avoid. If there was ever a time when I was truly humble before the Lord, I’ve found that humility can be so quickly tainted because of the sinfulness of my own heart.

“I see only one thing to do at the moment. Your patient has become humble; have you drawn his attention to the fact? All virtues are less formidable to us once the man is aware that he has them, but this is specially true of humility. Catch him at the moment when he is really poor in spirit and smuggle into his mind the gratifying reflection, “By jove! I’m being humble”, and almost immediately pride – pride at his own humility – will appear. If he awakes to the danger and tries to smother this new form of pride, make him proud of his attempt – and so on, through as many stages as you please. But don’t try this too long, for fear you awake his sense of humour and proportion, in which case he will merely laugh at you and go to bed.” – The Screwtape Letters, C.S.Lewis

This excerpt from C. S. Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters”, a fictional dialogue between a seasoned demon and his apprentice, reveals essentially what I feel has been the state of my heart of late. There was a time when I truly desired to use the gifts that God has given me to  glorify Him, serve Him, and serve others. I prayed almost everyday that He would enable me to attribute the glory to His name, that He would use me as a representation of Christ before others, an example that others could follow and be pleasing to Him. Whatever gifts He had  graciously given me in this life, I truly desired to hand them over to Him for Him to use. How I wanted to be humble! But, as can be expected and without even realizing it, I indulged my flesh, just a thought here and there, comparing myself to others, recognizing my so-called “humility”. I succumbed to temptation and became proud. Not only that, I was so ignorant of what was happening my heart!

What followed was a spiritual “dry time”. My pride placed a barrier between me and my God. I read His Word and listened to the teachings of pastors, wanting so badly to learn and an apply, and yet not feeling inclined to obedience. For a time (and by God’s grace it was not long) I was selfish and I only complained and grumbled. I abandoned humility altogether, and sought my own interests rather than looking out for the interests of others. Then, I began to realize that there must be some sin in my heart that was preventing me from serving obeying God, but I did not know where the sin had taken root in my heart. I cried out to God to search me and show me the sin in my heart…… He answered my prayer. He showed me my pride.

Now, I am crying out to Him again to make me humble. I never realized how easily one slips into pride until now. It is such a danger, and one that I must continually guard against! Really, the only way to guard against pride is to be humble – that is, to continually remind myself of my own depravity in comparison to God’s holiness. And if ever I am to compare myself to others, it must only be to think of myself as lower than them.

Dear readers, please pray with me as I ask the Lord to teach me to be humble…

1 Corinthians 4:7, “For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?”

Romans 12:3, “…I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each measure of faith.”

1 Peter 5:5-6, “…and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time.”

Pro 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.”

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Comments
One Response to “Before stumbling”
  1. Robin Claire says:

    Hi Sierra,

    I think that sin is ingrained in us so deeply that we are literally riddled with it. So much so that without God to save us, we are truly doomed. I wrote a post on sin that I thought you might like to read if you have a minute. It might be a kind of strange way to look at it but, here it is anyway…

    http://robinclaire.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/revised-where-exactly-does-sin-begin/

    If you can look at sin in this way, perhaps your pride will dissipate somewhat.

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