Christian Peacocks and God’s Presence: Lessons in Humility

8 02 2011

Tuesday Re-mix -

Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you and you shall answer me. Job 38:2-3

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness… II Corinthians 3:18

Driving to work recently, I pulled up behind a truck literally covered in bumper stickers.  I mean, there had to be 50 of them all over the truck.  Many of them were Christian.  Others were political.  Some were rather personal.  But the collective “message” was clear: this truck owner was screaming, “Look at me! Look at me!”  This truck was like the vehicular version of a peacock, with its feathers spread wide, and its pride featured front and center.  And I thought, there is something not quite right with that picture.

Do you know any professing Christians who seem to know a lot about God and the Bible and Jesus and who talk a lot about all that they know, but who just don’t seem to ring “true” for some reason?  They wax eloquently all day long about this doctrine or that doctrine, or they can impress you with their stories of “conquest” from the mission field, or they can show you the sacrifices they have made on their church’s behalf.  But when it comes right down to it, something about their attitude, something about the way they carry themselves just doesn’t add up.  They simply do not exhibit the humility which naturally comes from being in the presence of God.  And before you get too wrapped up accusing that person, let me ask you this: is it possible that person has ever been you?  You see, having that “Jesus is the Answer” bumper sticker on the back of your truck is one thing, but actually spending time walking in His presence is another thing altogether.  And the proof of the latter “thing” is humility.

Can you think of anyone in the Bible who actually entered into the presence of God and who came away arrogant?  No, you cannot.  Because it simply is not possible to stand in the presence of God, the creator of the universe, and feel all high and mighty about yourself.  In fact, I would say that Isaiah’s reaction to being in God’s presence (Isaiah 6) is fairly typical: “Woe is me! For I am a man of unclean lips and  come from a people of unclean lips.” That, my friend, is a standard response to meeting one’s maker.  The reality is, you simply cannot be spending time in the presence of God and not be humbled by the experience.

Remember our friend, Job?  After the onslaught of horrible circumstances in his life, and after doing a little “fist shaking” and asking some hard questions of God, it was time to receive counsel from God. And such counsel! God spent 4 chapters answering Job. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?… Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb… Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?… Who fathers the drops of dew?…” Job was humbled, to say the least. Suddenly, he was less inclined to be so obsessed with his own circumstances, and more inclined to “be still, and know that [God] is God.” So, as I read this account, I just cannot help but wonder if it really is possible to spend any genuine time in the presence of our God, I mean really IN HIS PRESENCE, and not have tons of humility to show for it.

In short, you show me a brother or sister who struggles with arrogance in his/her life, and I will show you someone who does not spend much time in the presence of God.

Moses came out of God’s presence with his face veiled, so as not to scare people. It was evident to all who saw him that Moses had just been in the presence of God. Isn’t it fair that we should ask ourselves, “How evident is it that I have been with God?”

© Blake Coffee
Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on this website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Blake Coffee.  Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: © Blake Coffee. Website: churchwhisperer.com







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