I think it's so easy to become depressed, whiny, debbie downers in the fallen state we are in. We only think about ourselves, our needs, and wonder why we aren't getting our way. I can't tell you how many times selfishness can rear it's ugly head and enter my life. But God and His word has a way of kicking those thoughts right out of my head.
"Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." Proverbs 16:18
What's interesting is that you see it in the bible too! Before I was a christian, I thought the bible was a nice book about holy people living good lives, but it is filled with stories of people with the same problem as me: sin.
They say pride is the greatest sin because it is the root of all other sins, the gateway sin if you will. In his book, Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote that "it is pride which has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began."
The battle is for the mind. Whoever controls the thoughts, controls you. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood. And 'as a man thinketh, so is he.' Proverbs 23:7
Our negative emotions have a huge impact on us and those around us. It changes our heart and the way we see the world. But if we read God's word and spend time praising Him for our countless blessings everyday, your joy will start to show.
I love how all my personal bible study time, our Sunday sermons & whatever else I read or hear all seems to dovetail together and teach me His amazing truths. God is there leading me and guiding me through His word!
One such example of this is as follows. I have a CD of the radio ministry 'Revive Our Hearts' titled "Lessons from the life of Joshua." What a blessing those teachings have been to me. I have learned so much from them and grown, it's unbelievable, but that's a story for another time. In one particular lesson, Nancy Leigh Demoss explained that as Joshua was nearing the end of his life that he wanted to teach the children of Israel to rely on the Lord, wholeheartedly. He wanted them to see how richly God had blessed them. The way he did this was by reciting or recounting to them the particular blessings and mercy He showed to them. Joshua went on to ask the people to name this day who they would serve. He made a call to action to these people. I really appreciated that. He doesn't want them to just say they believe, but really rely on Him; Choose this day whom you will serve. I've shared this in a previous post, but I can't stress it again; it is vital that we make this decision and give thanks to God for all that He has done!
That very next Sunday our Pastor's sermon was a call to action to recount the great blessings the Lord has done in our lives. We have been going through the book of Deuteronomy chapter 8 when the Children of Israel reached the promised land and it is there where we begin to enter a dangerous place. We begin to think it was us and our power that got us where we are today.
“Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end— then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the LORD your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish. As the nations which the LORD destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the LORD your God." Deuteronomy 8:11-20
The call to action to start a journal or scrapbook to remember God's blessings and His work in our lives is an essential one. When we forget about God and the work He has done in our lives, that this ugly sin called pride comes in. "Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves." Psalm 100:3 It was and is Jesus who did and has done everything for us. "Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted." Isaiah 53:4 Jesus carries our burdens, our sins.
I am so excited to take this challenge to create a notebook of His workings in my life. God IS faithful with His promises. If we will but keep our chin up and remember that we have a God in heaven looking out for us, helping us with our issues and loving us despite said issues. Praise His holy name for His faithful presence in my life!