Do You Think I’m Strong?

I was about to confront someone who had mistreated me and I was carefully planning my response.  I had two plans of attack.  One was a bit more passive aggressive than the other but both were motivated by righteous indignation.  I was determined to prove how right I was and how wrong she was.  I weighed each carefully.  “Lord, tell me what to do?  Which one of these do I choose?”  I would rehearse one response and then the other.  It was like a tennis match in my head – back and forth, back and forth.  And in the midst I continued to pray. “Which one, Lord?  Tell me.”

Finally, the Lord said, “Talk to me.”

“Talk to you?  I have been talking to you. Which one is it?  What do I do, A or B?  Come on Lord, A or B?”

“Talk to me.”

“Lord, did you not hear me?  What do you mean, ‘talk to you?’  I thought I was.”

“Talk to me.”

Suddenly, I felt the tennis match in my head subside.  I let each side take a rest and I focused my attention on the One who wanted my undivided attention.  I took a deep breath and let my mind go blank.  “Okay,” I said.  “I’m talking to you.”  And then I shut up.

In my mind’s eye I saw a vision of a man’s right arm.  His left hand pushed his right sleeve up past his bicep and he began to flex for me.  I heard the Lord say, “Pretty strong, don’t you think?  Do you think I’m strong, Chris?”

I felt a blush of humility fall across my face.  “Yes, Lord.  You’re strong”

He continued to flex for me.  In a quiet humble voice I heard Him say, “Do you think I’m strong enough to handle what you’re facing?”

My blush felt warmer now.  “Yes, Lord, I think you’re strong enough.”

“Will you let me?”

I let the two tennis players retire to the locker room… permanently.  It wasn’t easy to do but I knew I had to.  The carefully planned and thought out confrontation with that person never happened.  I let the Lord handle it instead of me.  Frankly, I don’t know what He did or how He handled it but I’m grateful that neither of my plans were accomplished.

1 Peter 5:5-6 says, “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’  Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”  (emphasis mine)

I was sure in this instance that I had only two options, two ways of showing this person just how valuable I was and how wrong she was.  I was even being “spiritual” about it.  I mean, I was praying wasn’t I?  In reality, everything about this circumstance was a lesson in pride vs. humility.  I wanted to prove myself to this person.  And I wanted to do so by demanding that God endorse and get behind my will!  (Yikes!)

Exchanging our will for God’s will is what “BN DA GLV” is all about.  In order to make that daily exchange we’ve got to hang up our letterman’s jacket that shows the world our achievements and put on our apron that shows we are ready and willing to humbly serve our gracious God.  We must know and believe in His strength to defeat those who oppose us.  We must count on His wisdom and trust that according to His will, not ours, will we be defended.  And it is to Him alone that we should look to to be lifted up.

Lord, I want to follow Your will and not my own.  Help me to be Your “glove.”  Forgive me for the times I have been interested in only pursuing my will.  Help me to hang up my pride daily and put on an attitude of humility so I can serve You faithfully. Thank you for the example of Your humility, putting on the flesh of man and going all the way to the cross to die innocently for me.  In the strength of Your great and mighty name, amen.

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