Yesterday I had a good 5 hours to think about a lot of things because I was driving down to Miami for the purpose of submitting documents for visa.
Solitude is truly a gift to those who embrace it, but it is also something that the world dreads for the same reason that it helps us to search our hearts & discover truths hidden, forgotten or denied. And there are 2 responses to truth we may discover. One is joy for we have found the priceless prize that changes us, but the other response is that of denial & hardening of heart.
Whether we pursue solitude or flee from it, it is indeed an essential gift for growth & transformation, especially for us believers because being alone means that we are alone with the One who created us & loves us.
Spending time with God, the One who controls all things, and who can satisfy our deepest need… why would anyone neglect this gift, especially when uncertainty, sinfulness & self-deception abound in our lives?
The reason why I am writing about this today is because as my family & I are preparing to go & do missions work in Taiwan, I couldn’t help, but to find myself constantly in God’s presence because I am overwhelmed by how little or no control I have over anything, not to mention being confronted by my own limitations & sinfulness.
Here’s the main point I want to get across that unless we build our ministry & missions on truth, motives that have been purified, and honesty about who we are & what we are feeling, what we do for God’s kingdom will be fragile & cannot stand.
After a while, there will be areas in our hearts that are hardened, still sensitive & untouchable by God because we haven’t laid all of them down at His feet, something that cannot be done unless we find ourselves in the presence of God with our hearts wide open.
Opening ourselves wide open before God is a scary thing because we can’t choose what God will reveal to us & oftentimes they are truths we do not want to see or admit. It’s painful to stare at our own fears, unrighteousness & insecurities.
This is when we go through charades of approaching God only at a superficial level always holding something back from Him, justifying our actions to others & ourselves & often blaming external sources. So it’s never us. We are not the ones who are unrighteous.
But if we are indeed servants of God, who are growing in Christ’s likeness, eventually & inevitably, we have to confront & admit our insecurities, weaknesses & sinful nature.
I think & write about the topic of humility often, and I spent a good part of my life trying to be humble, and THAT’S THE PROBLEM that I am TRYING to be humble. Motives are all wrong too. One of the reasons why I pursue humility if I’m honest with myself is because it’s one of the most admirable virtues. In other words, it is desirable for respect. How shallow could that be.
The day that the Holy Spirit revealed my false humility, it was painful. Up to that moment, I had relied on others & my own actions as evidence of my humility, but God exposed my ugly pride. God who loves me couldn’t let it slide any longer.
I had 2 choices.
Admit & accept my sin so that it can lead to repentance or
Wrap another layer of false humility around my pride so that no one could detect it, which means that I don’t have to deal with it until later when I really have to.
But that day, as I was confronted with my pride, I didn’t pray much. I just wept…
Letting go of my pride has been an ongoing process that the Spirit has been guiding me through in small increments.
Whether it be internalizing truth or purifying our motives, it is a process. A process that is impossible to go through unless we are honest with ourselves & ready to hear what God has to say, even if it reveals our smallness.
It’s funny because when we create a façade for ourselves, it prevents people from knowing our true inner person only initially. As times passes they will eventually know what we are truly about. Of course God always knew. So the only person we are trying to fool is ourselves or our own perception of others’ assessment of us.
Proverbs 29:25 says, “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”
The only opinion that matters is God’s.
To know His heart toward us & be transformed by the Spirit, we must move beyond our routine QT’s. Instead we are to enter God’s presence with openness & vulnerability to hear His voice & willingness to change the direction of our hearts & lives.
This sounds a lot easier than it actually is.
As we are approaching our departure date to Southeast Asia, I’m realizing more & more that it’s imperative that we build our missions work on God’s truth & purest of motives because this is for God’s kingdom.