69 Weakness

“Humility is honesty in action.”*  If we are honest with ourselves, then we would admit we are weak.  It is in weakness we find true humility.  We cannot make ourselves humble, but we can receive humility as a gift from the hand of God.

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  II Corinthians 12:7-9

When we cry out to God, we humble ourselves before Him and He will meet us (Luke 18:1-8).  God may allow outrageous things in our lives to bring us to a place of crying out to Him.  In our pride we resist this process.  We need to let go of resistance toward God and instead submit ourselves to the Lord.  “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

“Be self controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.  And the God of all grace, Who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (I Peter 5:6-10, emphasis mine)

We need to choose to humble ourselves, in order to put our resistance in the right place, toward the enemy of our souls.  We are unable to carry out the choice to humble ourselves without the Lord’s assistance.  The Lord brings truth to our minds—the truth of how weak we are.  When we own our weakness, we move toward humility.  Owning our weakness involves letting go of our pride which is the primary barrier to our humbling ourselves.  Obvious, I know, but worth saying (My wife often calls me “Obvious Man”—without the cape, of course).

The pride comes from our old self, our flesh.  Humility comes from our new self in Christ.  Christ was humble, and we learn humility from Him.  “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)

Weak and finding His strength,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com

*Francis Frangipane 7-21-13 at River of Life Church, Cedar Rapids, IA.


68 Humility II

I have much more to say on humility and consider it such an important topic that I decided to write a second blog on it.

So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men.  I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full….But when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men.  I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full….When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting.  I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.  Matthew 6:2, 6 & 16

Humility includes being selfless and not looking for an earthly reward.  By seeking earthly rewards we strive to build ourselves up, promoting our positions and interests, looking for our agenda to be done.  True servanthood looks for God’s will to be done.  Even Jesus prayed, “Yet not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39)

Of course we are selfish by nature.  That’s a part of being human!  And expecting ourselves to rid ourselves of selfishness is perfectionistic!  We are not able to make ourselves humble any more than we are able to make ourselves perfect.  If we were able to make ourselves humble, then we would really have something to brag about!  Rather, in placing ourselves under God’s mighty hand we allow Him to humble us.  Hear me out on this.  I know that I Peter 5:6 says, “Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God,” but God’s humbling of us is a process.  First, we need to realize how truly proud we are.  Our perfectionism belies our pride.  This is much easier for others to see about us than it is for us to see about ourselves.

The next thing we need to do is to let go of our pride.  We don’t want to.  We want to hold on to it for dear life, as if it is who we are.  Know this, our true self is in Christ.  Our identity is not found in our pride, but rather in Christ.  Only God gets to define us, to decide who we are.  In our pride we try to define ourselves as better than others, more deserving, better at following Christ, super-spiritual, etc.  We do so because we are still trying to prove ourselves worthy and this we can never do.  Our righteousness is in the blood of Jesus Christ, alone.  That is what the stories in the Bible are telling us.  God gets the glory, we are the goofs.  As long as we try to make ourselves right, we reject the blood of Jesus.  Jesus died so that we could be right, pure and holy—before the Father.  When God our Father looks at us, He sees us through the blood of Jesus. (II Corinthians 2:14-15, Ephesians 1:7)  We, however, try to improve on that image even.  There is no improving on the blood of Christ.  We need to imitate Him and that imitation is based in humility rather than pride.  We do not make ourselves brothers of Jesus; rather, we receive our new identity of being His brothers as a gift from God.

Humility is powerful.  When we are truly humble, we are equipped to resist the devil.  (I Peter 5:6-9)  Finally, we need humility not only to be able to rebuke the enemy, but more than that to receive God’s love, to draw near to Him.

Being humbled,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com

*From William Barclay, New Testament Words, p. 53.  The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, copyright 1964


67 Humility I

Two recent occurrences led me to think on humility.  One was a friend of mine at Bible study who said, “Pride will not enter the kingdom of God,” and a Bible study leader who told me that we must humble ourselves to hear God.  Often, in our pride, we are unable to hear God telling us He loves us.  Also, we think we deserve better than what we have received in life.  “If God really loved me, then He would not have X, Y or Z”—fill in the letters with how we think that God has disappointed us.

I have a deep and abiding understanding of this phenomenon.  I have wrestled with it most of my life.  “If God really loved me, He would not have let my mom die when I was eight and a half years old.”  Do you hear the case I was making in that?  Yes, it was really quite tough on me, but to say that God did not love me because my mom died makes my reality more important than that of the Living God, Creator of heaven and earth.  Do I really know better than God what is true?  We all need to humble ourselves before Him to receive His love.

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.  Luke 1:14

…humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.  James 1:21

We resist humbling ourselves.  In America, we are so concerned with our rights.  Consider those who talk about abortion rights or the right to bear arms.  Without meaning to offend anyone, consider how we view these as rights.  Think of other things you consider your right to have, like, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.  We need to let go of an entitlement mentality and enter God’s mentality that He has for us.  Think of it—we do not have rights with Him but God loves us.  We need to humble ourselves before Him.  He knows what is best for us.  We need to trust Him in order to submit ourselves under His mighty hand.  He is completely trustworthy and does not change like a shifting shadow.  (James 1:17)

Do you want to be exalted?  Then humble yourself!  Even though this goes against the grain of our nature, we still need to humble ourselves because it is true.  Consider the alternative.  Go ahead and exalt yourself.  You will find yourself humbled by someone somewhere.  God is true to His word.  You can count on it.  What do you prefer, to humble yourself and be exalted, or to exalt yourself and be humbled?

When we humble ourselves, God meets us.  In humility, we place ourselves to receive from Him.  He has much to give to us but we cannot receive from Him when we are in a place of pride.  He gladly would give to us if we would but humble ourselves.  “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.” (I Peter 5:6)

Wanting to be exalted,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


66 Caring for our Bodies

I have been listening with Marguex to a number of first-rate CDs, which discuss our mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.  I am surprised at how many different speakers make a connection between our physical/mental well-being and our emotional and spiritual well-being.  One speaker in particular stressed the connection between our minds and our bodies.  Daniel Amen, M.D. talked about the importance of water, nutrition, sleep and exercise to our emotional and spiritual health.*

After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church.  Ephesians 5:29

Christ takes care of us and assumes that we will take care of our own bodies as He cares for us.  Perhaps He was not anticipating the rise of fast-food restaurants and the many modern machines that make natural forms of exercise (such as chopping wood) unnecessary.  In America today we can live truly unhealthy lifestyles, and then go to the doctor to repair what might be wrong with us.  What would it be like if we tried to avoid the doctor?

Back to the CD to which we were listening, I will summarize what Dr. Amen had to say.  He talked of the importance of the quality of the foods we eat as well as the amount and type of exercise we do.  He acknowledged getting the proper number of vitamins and minerals is difficult, even with good nutrition, and so recommended taking a daily multi-vitamin, multi-mineral supplement.  If we had a perfect diet, then we would not need supplements, yet he said he does not know one person who has a perfect diet.  Eighty percent of the brain is water so we need to keep ourselves well hydrated.  We need to watch fats and get good oils in our systems.  And, by all means, we need to get good sleep because  it provides good blood flow to the brain.  Above all, do not be involved in brain-damaging activities.  Do not take the adage “using your head” literally.*

Putting our heads together, but not too hard,

Noah & Marguex Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com

*Daniel Amen, M.D., “Change Your Brain—Change Your Life”, Grace and Truth, AACC 2009