“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,” – Colossians 3:17
I have always dreamed of being a great theologian. I want to write books that people will read. I want people to read all my articles, listen to my sermons, and quote me in their Facebook feed. I dream of having my Masters in divinity. Yet even with all this desire, God has not opened the door for me to go to seminary or Bible college. God withholding me from higher theological education has taught me something about myself.
I am selfish.
If you read the last paragraph you can see that all my desires for higher study have been desires for self-actualization. I have always had a desire to be a theologian not only for the glory of God but for the exaltation of Rob. I have been guilty of being just like that Paul talks about in Philippians who preach for selfish ambition (Phil 1:17).
Despite my arrogant heart, God has been merciful to me. He has graciously shown me the error of my own heart. I have had to repent not only of sinful actions but also sinful motivations. Thankfully God has given us His Word by which we can renew our minds:
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
The process of repenting of pride takes focus. By God’s grace, we must set our mind on Christ. We must look to him. Think of scriptures that directly exalt Him and teach us of His excellence. Write them on the walls of our heart that we might not sin against Him (Psalm 119:10). In the light of Christ glory’s all pride fades away. We see the majestic glories of Christ never more clearly than when we look into the window of God’s Word.
I share this confession with you because I want to encourage you in your walk. I know how hard it is to kill pride. I know how hard it is to truly die to ourselves. It is impossible for a mind set on the flesh to seek the Kingdom of God. By the Spirit, we have been enabled to walk in godliness by His divine power (Gal 5:16).
Set your focus and gaze on Christ in every area of life. Do not think that because you do pious things that you are necessarily doing such things for God’s glory. God knows your heart. Examine your heart and ask God to draw out any prideful ambitions. Kill any desire you have to boast about anything you have done and give all glory to Christ. Kill any desire you have to establish your puny name and ask that God might empower you to live for Christ alone. Then with a new focus, work hard at whatever your hand has found to do with all your might.
“Thus says the Lord: ‘Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.'”- Jeremiah 9:24-25
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