So, when are you going to surrender your all to Jesus? Is there anything to which you are hanging on? Give it up!
2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
Humility- not proud or arrogant; modest: modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance, rank, etc.
When I went to Dictionary.com to look up the definition of Humility, the Word of the Day was “Ductile.” It seemed quite appropriate:
Ductile- capable of being molded or shaped.
That’s what happens to us when we enter Christ’s army. The first thing that happens to us is we go to Bootcamp. Among other things that happen there, we run the obstacle course. This course is designed to condition us, strengthen us, and teach us how to overcome obstacles in our lives. It is designed for us and it is NEVER one that we run by ourselves: Jesus runs it with us! Today, we look at Jesus as the Good Drill Sergeant. He is our Encourager, our Counselor, and our Commander all at the same time. Oh, and we run it more than just once. We will run it many times. In fact, there are many courses that we will run in our lives; all of them more than once.
You are the Favorite Big Brother, the Benevolent Master,
the Ultimate Boss, and the Good Drill Sergeant.
If you’ve ever been in the military, this illustration may have both good and bad memories attached to it. Sorry. But, it is a good illustration for the training that we receive as His good soldiers:
3 Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 2 Timothy 2:3-4
The key is in the phrase, “tries to please.” It’s our desire, and we make every effort to please Him. When Paul wrote to Titus, he talked about Jesus redeeming us from all wickedness and purifying for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good (Titus 2:14). We, as followers of Christ, should be eager to do what our Commander desires. We want to please Him by doing what He commands. He came to live inside of us via the Holy Spirit to give us both the desire and the power to do His will (Philippians 2:13).
The question is, do you desire to please Jesus? Is it your first and last goal everyday? If not, then we should “examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” 2 Corinthians 13:5). If we consider ourselves as enemies of the cross (Ephesians 2:1-3), then to come to Christ is to surrender to Him–and actually switch sides! We die to ourselves and are raised as new creations in Christ. Our desires change; our habits WILL change. Our reward changes, as well. We have this promise from Peter:
10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things [daily], you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:10-11
There is one more verse in Proverbs 11 that I want for us to view:
5 The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight, but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness.
- The righteousness- The conditioning we receive is called righteousness. It is both imparted to us by Jesus and it is developed in us by the Holy Spirit. We are promised completion in the course upon death when we are made complete and whole in Christ!
- The blameless- It means, “without fault.” Jesus took all of our faults and our guilt with Him to the cross and to death. He now looks at us as faultless and blameless, spotless and perfect, whole and complete. He sees us as we are in Him and as we will be when we see Him in person.
- Straight paths- Following Jesus doesn’t mean that the path is straight, but plain and traversable. He would never ask us to do anything that wouldn’t please Him and that He didn’t empower us to do. Think of the path more as “straight ahead.” If we are following Jesus, then the path is always straight ahead of us.
- The wicked- Those who follow their own paths. They have not surrendered to Christ; they have not raised the white flag and thrown down their pride. Jesus is NOT their LORD.
- Brought down by their own wickedness- Knowing that sin destroys us, in not following Jesus they are walking off the cliff’s edge or walking into quicksand, all traps of Satan. They are self-destructing!
Let’s surrender all to Christ today. Let’s breathe in the Spirit and breathe out the flesh; let’s turn our eyes upon Jesus and away from anything else; let’s surrender our lives and will to Him as we raise the white flag and throw down our pride. Let us “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance [endurance] the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:1b-2a)
Abba, may I be first to raise my white flag and throw down my pride. May I fix my eyes on You and follow You on the straight path, the one straight ahead of me. May I run the obstacle courses of life WITH YOU and learn all I can each time I run them. Teach me everything I need to know for godly living. I am hungry for it–I am DESPERATE for it! Bring it on, amen.