Dear Sisters & Fellow Princess Warriors
This has been a truly trying week- one full of battles and lessons from our Captain. I feel as though our Captain would have me share one of these lessons He’s been teaching me with you.
I have been studying the book of Romans for the past few weeks, and earlier this week, I was studying through chapter nine. The Lord took verse fifteen and sixteen and smote me with them.
“For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.”
J. Vernon McGee explains and expounds upon these verses this way:
‘Moses, you recall, wanted to see the glory of God. God said in effect, “I’ll show it to you, Moses, but I’ll not show it to you because you are Moses.” Now, Moses was a very important person…God says, “I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. I will do this for you, not because you are Moses, but because I am God!”…Human-willing and working are not motivating causes of God’s actions. Man thinks that his decision and his effort cause God to look with favor upon him. Stifler states it succinctly when he says, “willing and running may indicate the possession of grace, but they are not the originating cause.” God extends mercy”
Or decides to use us
“and He does it because He is God… bow before Him today!”
This is what God showed me through this passage of Scripture and devotional study:
Sometimes, when the Lord, in His infinite goodness, chooses to work through us in some way, without even really doing it or knowing we are, we allow ourselves to be lifted up in/with pride. When the Lord chooses to use us, it’s not because of anything we’ve done. It’s not because of who we are or how good we are. It’s because He’s sovereign and has a purpose He’s accomplishing through us. He doesn’t use me because I’m so spiritual or because I’ve arrived on some high and mighty spiritual plain—oh no. He could totally use somebody else. He uses me to show someone else (even if it’s only me!) how powerful of a God He is if He can take my wicked, sinful self, and my impure, selfish motives, and work through them to do something good! God, through His sovereign will and grace may use a wretched, low-down, selfish sinner like me to accomplish His will or do great things for Him—but only so He will somehow get the glory!! So when I’m am praised for something “good” I’ve done (and the Scripture makes it very clear in Psalms 14:3, Psalms 53:3, and Romans 3:12 that no one can do good. Any “good” we do of ourselves, on our own, in our own sinful flesh, is as filthy rags, Isaiah 64:6) I aught to take that praise and reflect it right back to the One it belongs to- right back to Jesus. When someone tells me that I did a good job singing that solo, or that I did a great job cleaning the church kitchen, or that I was a big help in children’s church, or that I was a blessing, or that I sent that card at the perfect time, my response aught to be “praise God!” (Because it was Him doing the good work through me if I am saved and by that salvation have the Holy Spirit living inside of me- Galatians 5:25 and 1st Peter 4:6b). At least, this aught to be my response… But how often is it? How often do I take the focus off of myself, where it doesn’t belong, by praising God, as opposed to how often I receive that praise with a “thank you”?
The day before I had these devotions, I had the very humbling experience of going to someone and having to admit my wrong and apologize to them for something. God used that painful but very necessary exercise to show me, as He’s graciously done before, just how sinful I am, and how very, very blessed I am that He even chooses to use me as a vessel for His use in the first place! He used it to say, “See, Katie, you’re not as good as you think you are. So why are you accepting all these accolades, my Child, for things that I have done and simply allowed you to be part of?” I had allowed myself to be lifted up in pride—and not even realized it! L
So instead of accepting praise for things I’ve done or am doing or will do, I need to reflect the praise and glory back to the One to whom it belongs before I’m tempted to glory even the slightest bit in the satisfaction that I did something good!
Praise God, dear sisters! He’s so worthy of it!