Flatlander Faith

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

Tag Archives: being little in one’s own eyes

Too big

A minister was asked to take a break from his ministerial responsibilities. He had been known as Spirit-led man of God, an effective preacher, evangelist, counsellor. But now he was being told that he had somehow lost direction. He accepted the request, prayed earnestly to find what he had lost. He asked counsel from many brethren and they tried to describe where he had gone wrong. Nothing helped. Finally, in desperation, he asked his young daughter if she could tell him what was wrong. She thought a moment, then said, “Yes I think I can Daddy. I think you’re just too big a man.”  He knew that was the answer he had been searching for and it opened the door for him to repent and become small enough once more for God to use.

Can any of us say that we’ve never been there? That we haven’t at times been so big and important in our own eyes that we got in the way of God? We want to be strong Christians. We can’t. Only God is strong; it is when we are weak that His strength can be seen in our lives.

We want to be right. Only God is right: “Let God be true and every man a liar” (Romans 3:4). Well, we certainly don’t want to be liars, but we forget that it is the Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth, we cannot do it ourselves. “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man that walketh to direct his step.” (Jeremiah 10:23). We want to be on God’s side, on the side of all that is true and right; but it is not our side, it is God’s side.

“Only by pride cometh contention” (Proverbs 13:10). The Spirit brought that verse to my mind at a time when I really needed to hear it and accept its truth. I struggled with that blunt statement for a bit, but it became evident to me that when I tried so hard to be a strong Christian, when I tried so hard to uphold the truth, others were not seeing the strength and truth of God, only my pride and obstinacy.

Samuel reminded King Saul of how God had blessed him and used him: “when thou wast little in thine own eyes” ( 1 Samuel 15:17). How I wish to always remain in that blessed state; or at least that whenever I begin to think highly of myself I would realize it and quickly backtrack.

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