Galatians 6:14-15 – “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.” NKJV
Not long ago I was in a meeting where ministers gathered and discussed the works they were leading. I heard words like ‘the work I have built’, ‘my church’, and ‘my ministry’. Almost every statement contained the word “I”, “My”, or “Me” and my heart was grieved. Even as those leading the meeting began to introduce and recognize some of the prominent people there was praise and recognition of what each one had built or the work they were doing.
What they meant, I am certain, was not meant to be disrespectful to the Holy Spirit but what I heard was ‘flesh’ and ‘boasting in the flesh’. I fully understand the human element in the work of God on earth and that God uses people but for me, it runs deeper.
When I was a lead pastor in congregations, I would sometimes be guilty of referring to the local congregation as ‘my church’ and frequently the Holy Spirit would bring conviction to my heart. I would in sincere repentance correct myself and say, ‘The Lord’s Church that I am charged with providing human leadership.’ I never want to ‘boast’ in the flesh because there is nothing in the flesh to boast about. Were it not for Calvary I would be nothing and it is only through the Work of the Cross that I have life and that life more abundant?
I have an ego like everyone else and continually ask the Lord through the Holy Spirit to keep it in check. Flattery can shipwreck virtually anyone, and a man of God once stood before me and warned that I was falling prey to ‘flattery’ and at first, I was angered by that suggestion but as I weighed it in my spirit, I realized he was correct.
The church was doing well, people were giving me accolades and I was being recognized by others outside the church and was, without being aware becoming a little full of myself. God engineered a series of events that brought me back to reality and reminded me of how dependent I was and am upon Him and instead of wringing my hands and lamenting I rejoiced as I recognized the work of the Holy Spirit. The victory came as did my deliverance from ‘flattering tongues’. Understand I’m not talking about giving people compliments I’m talking about flattery. I’m talking about allowing the accolades of man to shift your view of total dependence upon the Lord to your accomplishments.
The old song with the words ‘without Him, I could do nothing’ is appropriate here. Jesus said, “I (Jesus) will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” I’m just a laborer together with Him. Any gift or ability I have is directly from Him and I am and will always be Totally Dependent on Him for all that I am, doing, or hope to be or do.
I hear people in today’s world talk about ME (self) and it bothers me so naturally when I hear people in the faith talk about ME (self) it bothers me even more because we know better. Some believe that God gives the inherent ability and then just leaves it all to us and others believe that He micromanages everything in our lives. Regardless of what you believe tell me what do you have that you did not receive as a result of His work in your life?
May God be with you as you go through your day! Blessings!