Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Freedom of Humility

This week I have been captivated by this exhortation from God's Book:

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you."[1]

As I process this through the distinctive filter of our freedom in Jesus Christ, I look back over the years of testimony that have separated those who have found freedom from those who have remained hidden away in bondage.

What I see so clearly now is that the difference between these two groups of people is not the extent of their soul-injuries, how badly they were treated in the past, how poorly they were supported at the time they were entertaining letting people help them, or anything else that could be measured by degrees of experiences and circumstances.

The difference comes down to this one thing, that those who continued on into freedom did so because they humbled themselves under the mighty hand of God and learned to let HIM handle all their soul-condition needs, while those who remained in their bondage did so because they would not let go of the self-dependent systems and roles they had created to survive and handle whatever they went through.

At times, this was so distinct as to have two people facing virtually identical soul-needs with the exact same opportunities available for receiving help and ministry for their freedom. One person began learning to humble themselves to let God take over, while the other refortified their self-protection so as to keep anyone from seeing them differently than the false role they had created.

In some cases, this added further trauma to the person seeking freedom since the other person’s decision to reject the opportunities led to them also rejecting the friend or family member who was humbling themselves to join God in his work. Some have gone so far as to tear down those seeking to do the ministry so their church is restored to the nice safe place for people to play their selected roles under the approval of others doing the same. When that was not an option, people have left a church that was offering them freedom to go to one that was quite happy to leave them as they were.

My point is that, when I first began learning about these things it was so new to me that I excitedly started showing people all the things God promises us in his word regarding our freedom and healing in Jesus Christ. I had been warned that people in churches would be more committed to their self-protection than to knowing and doing the will of God, but I kept thinking that people who professed to be Christians would surely love to receive all the hope and encouragement God gives us in his word and humbly follow him like little children who want nothing more than to be with their Father doing whatever he is doing.

However, since those early days of immature faith, I have now added so many personal experiences to the mix that I can testify about how faithful God has proven himself time and again to anyone who has humbly received his will and his work, and how even the numerous negative experiences have also proven that only humble faith in Jesus Christ will lead people to the freedom for which Jesus Christ has set us free.[2]

Whatever time I have left in this earthly journey my prayer is that I would make this the focus of my ministry, that I would so exalt Jesus Christ in my own life, and in my sharing with people in need, that they would see how much rest they could experience if they would humble themselves under the mighty hand of God and let him completely take over the handling of their soul-condition.

The bottom line is that I would much rather be with a small group of broken people who know God is their only hope than a whole bunch of role-playing church folk who would attack and destroy anyone who ever suggested there is more going on under the surface than their mask vainly tries to suggest.

It really comes down to this, that Jesus tells us, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls,"[3] and I want to join him in continuing to publicize this invitation and to join his work in anyone who wants the freedom to grow up in Jesus Christ.

We must humble ourselves from our independent belief that we can handle our inner stuff better than God, and humbly take on ourselves the yoke of Jesus Christ, the attachment relationship that sees him as greater than ourselves. When we let him be himself in our lives, he will give us rest so that we can freely be ourselves in him.

© 2018 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

[1] I Peter 5:6-7
[2] I have shared about freedom so many times that I am only referring to these things in passing. It is in Galatians 5:1 that Paul speaks about the fact that Jesus has set us free for freedom, and so we are to avoid anything that would return us to bondage.
[3] Matthew 11:28-29

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