Happy friday!! This week I am so thankful for Friday. For some reason all week I have thought it was a different day. Last week I decided to pick up a book that I had gotten as a hand-me-down. It is called "Brokenness the Heart God Revives" by Nancy Leigh Demoss. I had expectations that this book would be good and hopefully bring life change. As I am reading this book I have been made aware of all the different things she is talking about like humility, repentance, and forgiveness. I hope in my heart that the final cord of pride is broken soon, broken so that I can be used fully by God, broken so that I can see him and others rightly in his image.
I am going to make no effort to make this post flow I am just going to share random things from this book and how God has been working. One image that Nancy talks about, is that we are all seeds. Seeds have a harder outer shell and when placed in the dark cold ground something amazing happens. The hard outer shell breaks off it dies, then fruit can grow. We must die to ourselves before fruit can grow, before we can be used fully.
At lifegroup this week we started a discussion on "the Church" the all encompasing church of christians, not just your local church. We read Ephesians 2:14-22, this is verse 16, "and in this one body to reconcile both(Jews and Gentiles) of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. As we spent time in worship listening to God at the end I felt like God was pointing out how I am acting like the gentiles and the jews creating hostility between themselves because of their differences in actions and tradition. I have a really difficult time relating and loving someone because the first thing I see in people is our differences. I don't see God's heart for them, I don't see hope for thier life, I just see our differences. At this point I then begin to let our differences build a chasm between us that will only be broken if they can prove to me they are listening to the Holy Spirit and I see change in their life. Clearly I don't understand God's love for people which is something that came up when they were praying for me at lifegroup. I have been aware of the difficulty I feel in myself to love others without having an alterior motive to love them. I act like the know what is best. I act like a Jewish leader that is just about following tradition over a geniune loving heart.
Instead of staying imprisoned in the pridefulness and thinking I am better than others, I pray that God breaks me all the way and permanently.
This book lists out a list of things that are identifiers of pride:
- You focus on the failures of others and can readily point out their faults
- You look at everyone's faults with a microscope
- Criticize those in positions of authority-pastor-boss-husband-parents
-You think highly of yourself and look down on others
- You have an independent, self-sufficient spirit
- You have to prove that you are right and get the last word
- You have a demanding spirit
- You are self-protective of your time, rights, and reputation
- You desire to be served and life to revolve around you and your needs
- You desire to be known as a success
- You focus on what you can do for God
-You have a drive to be recognized and appreciated for your efforts.
- You get wounded when others are promoted and you are overlooked.
- You feel confident in how much you know
- You are self-conscious; They worry about what others think of them.
-You are driven to protect your image and reputation
-You can't bear to fail or for anyone to think you are less than perfect
- You compare yourself to others and feel worthy of respect.
This is just half of the list in the book. These are the one's that I generally relate to. As I am writing these out I can begin to feel sorrow well in my heart. I am thankful that I am feeling sorrow I am feeling remorse and desiring God's mercy. Many times I feel no emotion because my pride has removed the life God has for me.