Whether for correction or for His land or for love, He causes it to happen. (Job 37:11-13)
If we have ever seen the limits of our physical strength, we just did here in the Houston area. We are the fourth largest city in the United States of America. The energy capital of our nation.
Harvey came. We have been woken up.
We just received a merciful call to unparalleled, historic humility. (Psalm 18:27) We were reminded that we would have no strength but for the joy of the Lord. Yet we do have joy, and it gives us strength. Great, immeasurable, sustaining joy. Our joy birthed and grounded in knowing who God is and what He is like. His character is merciful and just and good and powerful and patient. He gives us all we need for life and godliness in His divine power. (2 Peter 1:3) He clothes the unworthy and humble in robes of righteousness and garments of salvation. I am weak, but, oh my God, He is strong!
We’ve driven down streets where curbs are lined with what looks like worthless, disgusting trash but used to be furniture and treasured, hard-worked-for goods and heirlooms. Beds, sofas, refrigerators, drywall and insulation all washed up and worthless. On so many levels it is heartbreaking. But also so freeing. I’ve realized that is, in truth, what everything we have here on earth eventually and fundamentally is. It’s freeing to realize that I can trust Jesus when He says, “Don’t lay up treasure on earth…” (Matthew 6:19-21) The truth is those words of His were kind and wise and right, freeing me from what looks like a worthy pursuit but isn’t. May we be like Peter who said, “We have left everything for you.” (Matthew 19:27) And then wrote, “Let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” (1 Peter 4:19) And may we not have a hint in us of the rich young ruler whose final posture was disheartened and sorrowful because he was rich and his heart was connected to his possessions and wealth. (Mark 10:21-22)
My daughter’s piano teacher has a sign on her piano that I love. It says, “Very little is needed to make a happy life.” It turns out it’s just Christ and His kingdom. After that, all else we need, He adds. (Matthew 6:33) Our belief and reliance on that is being tested. May we come out shining as gold! (Job 23:10)
And may those of us who have, freely give, affirming that we agree, believing that this stuff of earth is all temporary and not, after all, the treasure it appeared to be. “If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:15-17) But in all we do, we won’t entertain talking about ourselves for a moment, because we are only “ones who serve by the strength that God supplies.” (1 Peter 4:11) All we can talk about is Him.
I pray that we would glorify the one true and living, worthy God in the United States of America. I pray the pervasive attitude would be repentant humility, sparked by what appeared to be disaster, and that the church will lead the way. Psalm 19:12 says none knows his hidden sins. Knowing that, may the Christian church set an example of complete humility. May we pray, forgive us for things we didn’t even intend or know we did apart from You, God. Let’s ask Him, is there any attachment to material things or worldliness in us? Oh, God, if so, remove it. We can’t and need you to change us. Have we taught or said anything that was not absolutely of your truth and Spirit? Forgive us, and lead us in the truth. Have we been conformed to the world in any way instead of transformed and distinctly yours, God, from the inside out? Oh, “Search us and know our hearts! Try us and know our thoughts! And see if there is any grievous way in us, and lead us in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139:23-24)
May we draw no attention to any one church, and any attention that comes to The church, may it be redirected immediately to God, without whom we can do nothing. All glory is His and belongs to no man. May we take no pride or solace in our strength but glory in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). No eyes on us. All eyes on Him.
We are nothing. We have nothing. But we have everything and all that we could ever want or need because we rest in the perfectly trustworthy arms of the Living God. Oh, let us point with all reverence and fitting humility and honor to Him!
#HoustonHumble #GodStrong #ThankGodforMercy #Awake