I don’t know why exactly it has taken me so long to put all of my thoughts into this post but I am here now so no more excuses. I have been through a rollercoaster of a year already and it is only the third week of 2017. I recently decided to take a leap of faith, step out onto the water if you will and leave GCU to move home. It has been a crazy, emotional, and wonderful decision/process, which I am so thankful I decided to take on. My heart has felt a tug home for the past semester of school, well since summer really, and I just recently really clearly, heard God telling me to follow that tug. This was a satisfying yet scary calling. I had thoughts of, “I have no prospects, no idea what I am going to do,” “I have no job security or really even a solid school lined up at home,” even, “what if this is letting everyone (especially my parents) down?” I felt miraculously joyful and a great amount of healing in the step, but then immediate guilt, was I being selfish? Am I doing this and not thinking about all of the repercussions that could occur?
Then I prayed really really hard for Jesus to quiet my heart so that I could hear exactly what I needed to hear.
I felt it. The peace that God gives us when we are following His call. Almost like saying, do not fear, for I am there, you are doing exactly what you should be. I felt the Lord calling out to me, saying, “Alex, you are the most important, you are treasured, you deserve everything, follow where I lead you.” I felt so compelled by the peace that I had no more doubt, worry or regret. Somehow, everything was going to work out just fine.
And it has, worked out just fine. Yes it is going to be hard, there will be bumps in my road ahead, but my heavenly father is right here with me.
At the beginning of this year, before I decided to move home, I decided that I was going to come up with a word to set the tone for my year. As silly as this may sound, my heart is at a peaceful place because daily I remind myself of this and I am able to refocus myself on the Lord. It pains me to admit that I can be a selfish human being sometimes and my heart is not always devoted to all things holy, however, somehow this helps.
My word is: Humble.
Humble yourself before the Lord.
This is is a phrase that I hear all of the time, from people who are much older and wiser than me, and it is a great saying, but what does it truly mean?
It actually is found a few times in the bible (James 4:10, 1 Peter 5:6, Exodus 10:3, to name a few), however, Luke 14:11 is the one that I found really striking. “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” This comes from a parable that Jesus speaks of, “the Wedding Feast.” The parable speaks of letting others who come to a wedding feast, sit in a more distinguished place above you, so that when the host of the wedding comes to great you, he asks you to move to a higher seat.
Those who humble themselves will be exalted.
It seems like a common theme in teachings that God will humble those who are lofty or whom exalt themselves, even if they have a right to, and will exalt those who choose to humble themselves even when they do not have to.
So how does this apply to anything that I do in my life? Well that is a great question, humbling yourself before the Lord, even when you might not “need” to. We exalt ourselves, put ourselves on these pedestals because of our achievements or what we believe to be achievements, and forget that we do not get to exalt ourselves. It is our heavenly father who does so.
Every aspect of our lives, contains something that we could humble ourselves in: school, work, play, family, even normal conversation. I like to think or equate this to the terrible concept of one-upping people. When we are constantly trying to be the best, or better than someone else, we lose sight of the fact that we are all torn from the same cloth, that Jesus loves us all the same no matter our accomplishments. Yes, succeed, do well in what you do, but humble yourself to thank God for the talents and gifts that he has given to you.
Humble yourself before the Lord. He is greater, stronger, mightier, however you want to put it, and we are small. But we are not unrecognizable.
It is crazy to me to think that He, the flinger of the stars, the creator of all things, loves each and every single individual, same as the last, and no more than those before. He loves me with an unconditional love, no ifs, ands or buts. How can I not humble my heart before Him?
This year is going to be much different from the last, it will be filled with many new and exciting things, and I am sure that will also be followed by sadness. But I challenge myself, and you, whoever you are, if you want to challenge yourself as well, to humble yourself. See through His eyes, understand that the universe does not revolve around us, rather we are a tiny part of it, that still each have massive meaning.
You are loved son/daughter of Christ. You are made whole by Him, you are made new by Him. Do not reject Him, humble yourself before Him.