Pastor Mahaney reminds us, “I must consider how DAILY, DILIGENTLY, and DELIBERATELY I can weaken my greatest enemy (pride) and strengthen my greatest friend (all motivated by the grace of the cross). With that said, how we begin our morning OFTEN sets the tone for the day (true?). Why not get started in a God-honoring way?
Which brings us to CJ’s 4th lesson. The 4th practical step towards cultivating humility is to practice the spiritual disciplines (prayer, devotions, worship, meditation, Scripture memorization, fasting, etc). How does personal Bible study and prayer time specifically ATTACK self-sufficiency? CJ writes, “I’ve also learned that the very act of opening my Bible to read and turning my heart and my mind to prayer makes a statement that I need God!” So how are you doing? Have you grown in your faith this year? Do you love the Lord more this year then you did last year? Is your progress being made evident to all? Paul challenged Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:15, Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress may be evident to all.”
Have you worked more on your physical shape this year than on your spiritual condition? 1 Timothy 4:7-8 reminds us, “Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; 8 for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” So are you practicing the spiritual disciplines on a consistent basis? If not, why? The 4th practical step towards cultivating humility is to practice the spiritual disciplines.
The 5th practical way to grow in humility is to seize your commute. Do any of you drive more than 5 minutes to get to work each day? Does it take you more than 5 minutes to get to school? We can seize our commuter time by memorizing or mediating on Scripture, by listening to good sermon tapes or cds. What we are really talking about here is making the most of our MUNDANE TIME. Now if you have kids and you’re a mother you probably don’t have a TON of wasted mundane time. But most have some down time which we tend to waste. Ephesians 5:15-16 says, Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.
Wouldn’t you admit that we tend to waste a lot of time? Some of us mindlessly surf the internet every day; others channel surf through their 120 satellite tv stations; some go through “Pottery Barn” magazine for the umpteenth time just because; many listen to junk radio during their commute to and from different places. Christian Jocks often jog or run, listening to music when they could spend some of that time memorizing/mediating on Scripture. Many people spend their lunch hour doing nothing instead of spending a few minutes in the good Book (and in communion with God).
What’s the point in all this? We need to make the most of those mundane moments. This may require some creativity but it can be done. I’ve even heard of some Christians trying to utilize bathroom time in a positive way (but I wont got there today lest i fall into a Mark Driscoll snare). :)
The final item for each morning (#6), is to cast your cares upon Him. Let’s check out 1 Peter 5:6-7; “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.” This is written specifically to younger men but is applicable to all. What is one of the ways we can humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God? The answer is found in verse 7, “By casting all your anxiety upon Him.”
Do any of you ever struggle with anxiety or with sinful worry? The root of anxiety is often that we are trying to be self-sufficient. I’m acting independent of God. So what’s one of the biblical solutions to this problem? We should humble ourselves before God. We must acknowledge our NEED for Him. Thus we should keep ourself in a season of prayer (1 Thess. 5:17).
Our loving God promises to give grace to humble- Pastor Mahaney writes, “God wants us to learn to depend on Him, to need Him, and in the end to give glory to Him with an ever deepening appreciation for the mighty hand of God.”
As each day begins let us consider applying these practical principles.