I have been reading a book called Revolution in World Missions, by K. P. Yohannan. He is the founder of Gospel for Asia, a non-profit organization whose mission is to sponsor native missonaries in countries throughout Asia where there are millions who have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the book he tells how he started out being a native missionary himself at the age of 16. He would later come to America to study the Bible and God would move amazingly in his life and ministry. As I was reading tonight I found myself feeling convicted that I do not live my life fully for Christ and His commission to share the Gospel. It’s very common to find ourselves humbled or convicted during our walk as Christians, and while it can be painful emotionally (sometimes even physically) I think it is a necessary part of our faith. If we are not humble, we are proud. If we are not convicted, we are vindicated.
According to Webster’s dictionary, pride is ” delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship.” Pride is usually felt because we feel we are deserving of the recognition that we did this act, or are able to have this possesion or relationship. Pride is always of the self. But this is not how God wants us to live. We are to have a servant’s heart, and to be humble. Webster’s has two fitting definitions of “humble.” The first shows the opposite of pride: ” not proud or haughty : not arrogant or assertive.” The second is ” reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission.” This is how we are to respond to God when He calls. We are to serve Him with a humble spirit, submitting to His will.
And then there is vindication. Webster’s defines “vindicate” as “to free from a charge of wrongdoing.” If we are innocent of a crime this is a very good thing. By God’s Law, however, we are all guilty. Webster’s defines “convict” as “to find or prove to be guilty” or “to convince of error or sinfulness.” Writing this I’m realizing that the conviction of our sins and humbleness go hand-in-hand. It is the conviction of our sins that humble us enough to realize that we need Jesus in the first place. We should not be surprised then that God would continue to convict the things in our lives hindering our obedience to Him, stopping us from humbling ourselves to submit to His plan.
The question then becomes, what will you do about it? We still have our God-given free will. God is not a dictator, He gives us a choice. His way, or our way. He wants us to willingly submit to His way, and trust that it will turn out better than we could have ever imagined. It may be a hard road. There may be days we want to quit. There may be days we think we know better than God and try to throw our own plans into the mix. But if we follow in God’s way, the end result will always be good. So here’s what I ask myself today: What will I do about it? How far am I willing to go? Can I die to myself each day, giving myself and all I have to God for His purpose?