Monday, September 8, 2014
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Life on the road is so glamorous! Yeah, I can pack, unpack and repack my suitcase blindfolded. I have learned the survival skills of living in airports. And one of the most important things to remember, although it is hard sometimes, remember what time zone you're in. You can really get that messed up if you forget that. A lot of things are going to be wrong. I know! You miss planes, you miss meals, you miss appointments, you miss sleep. So I must faithfully reset my watch as I cross in and out of time zones or everything else is going to get messed up.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Resetting from the 'Me' Zone."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Daniel 10. I'm going to give you a little background here. Daniel is trying to understand what God's plan is, and he needs some special wisdom from the Lord. He doesn't understand what he's feeling. He's receiving a messenger from heaven, though, who tells him that he is highly esteemed by God, and then reveals what has impressed God about Daniel's praying.
Daniel 10:12 from the Word of God. The messenger said, "Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard and I have come in response to them." These words really leaped out at me as I read this. You set your mind to humble yourself.
Now, this business of us humbling ourselves; it's apparently pretty important to God. He keeps talking about it. 1 Peter 5:6, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God and He will exalt you in due time." This humbling yourself? It's not something that comes naturally. You have to set your mind. I was really hit with that "setting your mind" to humble yourself. It's like me resetting my watch. It's concentrating on a different zone from the zone we're used to living in in this selfie world.
Now, what is humility? It's not denying your created worth and saying, "I'm no good." No, that's an insult to God. Maybe it's best understood by its opposite-self-focus. That's the 'me' zone we live in most of the time. How will this help me? How can I look good? How can I get the edge? My comfort, my story, my need, my feelings, my advancement, my attention. Humility, then, is self-forgetfulness; setting your mind to forget about yourself.
In Philippians 2 we're told to "have the same attitude Jesus had." And then it says, "He humbled himself." And then it describes how He later denied His comfort in heaven, His safety, His rights, all of His interests. Ultimately, He denied himself His life. And that's why God exalted Him, and that's why He will exalt you if you humble yourself.
I'm beginning to see this business of humbling myself as pretty practical stuff. Look, each new day I have to reset my inner watch, because it keeps resetting to the 'me' zone. And I have to set it to live in the 'God and others' zone. I need to pray, and maybe you do too, "Lord, by nature I'm self-centered. I'm going to live for my stuff today unless I set my mind to humble myself. I want to do that; I want to lay aside my self-agenda today. I just want to be available for Your agenda. Help me forget about myself. Help me focus on You. Help me focus on the people around me. Help me seek to give attention, not try to get it. Help me to bring credit to You, not to me. Help me to focus on the needs of other people, not on my own. Help me to let other people tell their story before I tell mine; to prefer other people ahead of me." See, that's resetting yourself for another day of walking humbly before your God.
And in the strangely upside-down ways of God you'll find your life by giving it away. You'll be promoted by God, who could do a much better job of it than you can by promoting yourself. Take it from a veteran of crossing time zones, things are not right until you've reset for a different zone. And things won't be right for you unless you reset each morning from the 'me' zone to the 'God and others' zone. It's called humility.