So I’ve been trying out this new prayer. I don’t really recommend it. I’ve been asking the Lord to show me areas in my life that are sinful and hindering my walk with Him. Well, He sure didn’t waste any time answering that one. He has been revealing some awful yucky areas that I didn’t even realize were there. One big boy is pride. I have diagnosed myself with what I like to call “passive pride.”
Let me explain. The other day I was at a friend’s house. She had a daily bread devotional book sitting out and I opened it up and read it. Then I laid it back down still open to the page I had just read and thought, ‘Maybe when my friend sees this devotional open, she will know I read it.’ Then as quickly as I thought that, the Lord spoke to my heart, “Rachel, that was prideful!”
WHOA! He’s absolutely right.
I didn’t make a big announcement that I had read the devotional. I was ‘passive’ about it. But nevertheless, that was pride to the core.
Then later that week I read this verse in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
Jesus is teaching that if our lights are shining the right way, others will see our good works and give God the glory.
Not us. God.
That verse made me think of John the Baptist.
Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”
They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.” John 1:19-21
When John was approached by the Jewish leaders and they asked him who he was, he didn’t respond by telling them who he was. He responded by telling them who he was not. He made it crystal clear that he wasn’t Christ. He wasn’t Elijah. Not the Prophet. Nope. None of the above. Check out his humble answer.
Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’” John 1:22-23
He doesn’t even refer to himself as a person. He refers to himself as a ‘voice.’ A voice is a vessel through which God can operate and speak through. A vessel whose singular purpose was to make the way for the Lord straight. He wasn’t making a straight path for himself. He wasn’t rolling out the red carpet to showcase himself. He didn’t want there to be any curves, twists, or turns. No doubts or confusion. His message was clear and straight forward. His mission was to glorify Christ.
Then a few verses later when Jesus arrived on the scene, John 1:29 says, “The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’”
John doesn’t point his finger at himself and say, “Behold, it’s me, John, J.T.B., look at me!” He points to Christ and declares, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”
John’s life can be summed up in this powerful verse. “He must become greater; I must become less.” John 3:30
John lived his life in the shadow of Christ’s glory.
And if we want our lights to shine bright, we must do the same. Because it’s not about us. This Christian life is not about us. It’s all about Him! All for His glory!