What is the posture of strength? Is it standing tall proclaiming loudly who we are? Or is it one who admits they are weak and fails?1
As long as we’re listening and following and never believing we’re God’s gift to humankind, like the Pharisee, God will promote us.
The publican, who cried out for mercy and called Himself a sinner, is the one whom Jesus promoted.2
Our greatest strength comes from admitting we can’t do things perfectly. When we allow God to lead us step- by-step, we develop a relationship that is close to His heart.
In that place we cannot fail.
It is not just the “act” of being humble, it is knowing who you are and where you are in relationship to God.
It is not trying to be perfect by self-effort, but it is knowing your value comes from what God placed inside of you.
Humility is lifting others up because you know so well who you are, it is not necessary for you to be exalted.
It is total submission to the divine grace of God and superior in thought and context to who you are and where you are.
Humility comes from the Latin word, “humilitas,” which means grounded, from the earth or low, according to Wikipedia.
In the past, I tried everything to make myself more important. It had the reverse effect of making my body larger.
Here’s how. I felt I was a big failure in the physical area, so I tried extra hard to make up for it by working on Christian endeavors.
I was always trying to balance the scale using all my good deeds to outweigh my extreme weight gain. It only backfired because I knew it wasn’t working and so then I’d eat to assuage my guilt.
My prideful posture of striving to be more important changed when I got up enough courage to admit my abject failure to God and ask for His plan.
Today, I realize, really realize, my posture of strength is face down before Him.
I used to be a controller, controlling everything in my life and everyone in my life. I controlled out of fear of someone else trying to control me. So I grabbed the reigns and held them tightly.
That got me absolutely no where. It got me to 430 pounds because my way of controlling what I ate was to eat whatever I wanted. I was in control because no one could tell me what to eat. After all, I was adult. Never mind that I wasn’t acting like it.
This prideful attitude really put me out of control. Oh, what a tangled, backwards, upside down web we weave.
Now, I live not knowing. It is a place of total peace.
Last year I wrote and self-published Sweet Grace. I didn’t know how to write, publish and promote a memoir. I cried out to God and admitted my difficulties.
He brought people along side me to help. I learned how to do the next thing as I would cry out to God and say I don’t know how to do this. I need your help. And, I would run across a video or a website or a contact that was exactly what I needed.
He didn’t overwhelm me with the details I didn’t need to know. He knew what I could handle. He gently took me by the hand and led me.
For a recovering controller, it’s a little scary. But, I’ve learned there is no better place for me to be. Submitted. Obedient. Willing to take direction.
I gave God my weakness and in exchange, He gave me His strength.
The words He spoke to Paul really ring true in my life. “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in your weakness.”3
I finally know who I am. I am self-sufficient but only in Christ’s sufficiency.4
Trying to control and figure everything out is no longer an option. He is my engine. I’m dead in the water without Him.
He has plans for me I can’t fathom. The awesome thing, though, is they are dreams that were resident in me, but I never imagined I could do them.5
Things like TV, radio, workshops, speaking, coaching, leading.
This is why God doesn’t tell me everything at once. Had He told me last year I would be doing this, I would have run screaming in the other direction.
Every new opportunity He brings simply brings me face down in His presence begging for His help and guidance.
It is the posture of strength.
“Face down, having nothing else to cling to, but need of love that only You can give.
“Face down where I know that I belong and I pray with grace that this world sees in me someone humbled and broken at Your feet.”
* Listen to Face Down by Casting Crowns, HERE.
1 Luke 18:11-14
2 Luke 18:14
3 2 Corinthians 12:9
4 Philippians 4:13 AMP
5 Ephesians 3:19 TPT
Sweet Change is Teresa Shields Parker’s new group on living healthy through a total renovation of body, soul and spirit. Teresa chronicles her journey in the memoir, Sweet Grace, and the practical application workbook, Sweet Grace Study Guide. Also, get a free chapter of her memoir at Teresa Shields Parker.com. Connect with her there or on her Facebook page.