I have been studying the themes of the Old Testament. As I thought about Moses and Abraham, I reflected on how different is was at that time, when God could not find any righteous people. Later in Jewish history there were thousands and thousands of people who thought of themselves as God’s people. When I read about them, it is obvious that not many of them really were His people. They worshiped idols. They committed many sins. But to them, it wasn’t obvious.. They still saw themselves as God’s people.
God was looking for a few righteous men to build His future on. Would He have chosen me?
One of the themes I have seen from the beginning of the Bible is how God wants to have fellowship with man, to walk with him, to have a relationship with him. He called out to Adam and Eve in the Garden, “Where are you?” He set up a covenant with Abram so he could have a relationship with man, and so He would have a people who were His very own.
I was struck last week in a sermon by Richard Allowaye in which he said God wants us to petition Him in prayer because He wants us to spend time with Him. He doesn’t just want to hear our requests. Our requests compel us to spend time with Him, to have fellowship with Him, and that is what He desires.
But from the beginning of the Bible, I see how God was also looking for those with a righteous heart. Adam and Eve did not make good choices and God cast them out of the Garden. But Noah was the kind of man God was seeking, even if he was the only one. He trusted and obeyed God by building the ark. Abram was also the kind of man God was seeking. He believed the promises of God, and it was counted as righteousness.
Would he count me as righteous? Of course I am saved and that makes me righteous. But do I have a righteous character?
What does God look for? He looks for faith. He looks for obedience.
He looks for devotion. “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” II Chron 16:9
And what convicts me most right now is that in addition to these things, God looks for HUMILITY, “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut 10:12) “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.” (Isa 66:2)
Today, as I listened to a recent message by Francis Chan, I was convicted by my pride. I realized that my desire for recognition and accomplishment can be synonymous with wanting people to focus on me, not God, even if I think I am doing things for God.
Pride is ugly. I just read about a speech Robert Mugabe made as he celebrated being elected again in Zimbabwe. He called himself the greatest African leader ever, and said Nelson Mandela was a ****ing coward. In looking at Mugabe, I can see how repulsive pride is. But now I need to turn that focus on myself.
Last night when I got with the Columbus women, Amy talked about humility, and said the person she wants to be “when she grows up” is someone who only thinks of herself as a tool of God. That is a great goal for me as well.
My goal must be to be the lens that focuses others on God, not on myself.
I got with Bethany a few days ago, and she said, “If I have taught the women nothing else, I want the women to know that the answer is always knowing God more.”
I fervently want people to know God more, to see His awesomeness, His radiance. But I didn’t see until now how much I can get in the way.