Monday, February 15, 2016

too big for my britches

When we think we “know it all,” we’re in serious trouble. Several passages in Scripture call someone who is “wise in your own eyes’” a “fool” (Proverbs 26:5), a “sluggard” (Proverbs 26:16) and even “the rich man may be wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who has discernment sees through him” (Proverbs 28:11). Ouch.  Some of us just like to be right all the time and do not want anyone else’s perspective or counsel. There’s a word for that, too. It’s called pride, also known as being too big for your britches. That’s when we think we know what is best and don’t look to God for wisdom and godly insight.

I used to think I always knew what was best for me. I would make decisions by my feelings and how things looked to me.  I didn’t often ask God, “What’s your will in this situation?” I saw myself as very observant and insightful and then just made decisions.  My britches were getting tighter and tighter, Sisters! And with that attitude I created lots of potholes in my own heaven-bound highway due to personal assumptions and unrealistic expectations. “Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight” (Isaiah 5:21).

As God watched my behavior over the years, I imagine He may have thought, “I need to help my girl get out of her miserable pit of repeat offenses.”  My rescue is and has been gradual and gentle over the years as I’m continuing to learn to not be wise in my own eyes. Yep. This is absolutely an ongoing process for me.  “If anyone of you thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself” (Galatians 6:3).

This I know is wisdom for me:  "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness." (Matthew 6:33). I don’t know the future and the specific plans for me, my family or friends. I learned it was stupid for me to call the shots like that anymore. The wisest thing to do is to step back, kneel, and ask my Lord what to do, and to reveal to me what’s best.

 I don’t know about God’s Big Picture. All I know is that it’s magnificent because He’s painting it and He uses the richest of colors in the most spectacular of images when He paints our lives on His huge canvas: “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “…plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

There is only one God and we are not Him. He is the only Creator. He is the only wise and loving Controller of the universe. That’s who He is. He is King and we are His subjects. His servants. His beloved children, you know, we’re His kids with whom He “rejoices over with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17). He gives us the Bible as our instruction book for abundant life. We are to look to Him and follow Him down the path of righteousness.

Because He deeply loves His children and knows us exceedingly well, He sends us continuous warnings to guard ourselves when our rebellious attitudes rise up within us. “Do not deceive yourselves. If anyone of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a ‘fool’ so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight” (1 Corinthians 3:18-19). God tells us to turn away from man’s wisdom, which is worldliness. The reason Christians have a difficult time in this world is that most people do not think biblically. Who is asking, “What does the Bible say?” and “Lord, how am I supposed to think about this situation?”

We must encourage each other to look to God. That is wisdom. If we are His with His Spirit living inside us, we can open our Bibles for the right answers and His Spirit will speak to our Spirit. Wow! What a priceless gift! “Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you” (Romans 8:9).

If you do not have the Spirit of God living inside of you as you are reading this, ask Him to forgive you of your sins. Ask Him to help you turn from your old ways. In your mind, body and soul, run to Christ and ask Him to be your Lord and Savior. That’s the wisest thing anyone can ever do.

Do I still at times get too big for my britches? I'm sorry to say that I do. But His grace is like giving me stretch pants; He gives me just enough room to repent before I decide whether to go back to fill up another plate of pride. 

That's who He is. Awesome. Yep. God is Awesome.

"Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt His Name together!"
Psalm 34:3

This is a revised version of a devotion from my second book,Totally Devoted 2. The book is being updated and published as a Kindle edition.